Howard Center Presents: When Survivors Give Birth

Burlington, VT— Howard Center will be hosting a foundational training September 22 for professionals serving pregnant, birthing, and postpartum families. This virtual training gives nurses, doulas, midwives, social workers, doctors, psychotherapists, childbirth educators, and others the resources and tools they need to better serve their clients or patients, many of whom may not disclose a history of sexual abuse.

Topics of the training will include the impact of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault on pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding; whether and how to inquire about a client’s history; how to respond to a disclosure; tools to prevent vicarious trauma; how to work with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum trauma survivors; power differentials in maternity care; communication skills and reflective listening; and how/when to offer a referral.

Washington-based Selena Shelley, MA, LMHC, CD, LCCE, is a When Survivors Give Birth approved trainer and adjunct faculty in the department of midwifery at Bastyr University. She has a psychotherapy and consultation practice in the Seattle area, and specializes in working with pregnant, postpartum, and parenting trauma survivors.

Howard Center’s Director of Early Childhood, Liz Mitchell says, “We are thrilled to be hosting Selena Shelley as we spotlight this important topic for our provider community and focus on how to offer the best possible compassionate care for trauma survivors, during their time of significant vulnerability.”

The event is made possible with support from Howard Center’s Early Childhood Program and Perinatal Support Services along with the Vermont Department of Mental Health, the Vermont Department of Health, and the STAMPP Grant.

The Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health have been collaborating on the Screening, Treatment and Access for Mothers and Perinatal Partners (STAMPP) 5-year cooperative agreement funded by HRSA to help expand perinatal mental health services in Vermont.

The training is from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Registration is free and CEU certificates will be available by request following the training.

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ABOUT HOWARD CENTER: Howard Center has a long and rich history as a trusted provider in the community. With a legacy spanning more than 150 years, we have been providing progressive, compassionate, high-quality care and supports to those in need. Today, we offer an array of exemplary mental health, substance use, and developmental services across the lifespan. As Vermont’s largest social service organization, our 1,600 staff help more than 19,000 people each year in over 60 locations throughout Vermont in collaboration with hundreds of community partners. Howard Center’s 24/7/365 crisis service, First Call for Chittenden County, is available to meet the needs of Chittenden County children, adults, and families in crisis by calling 802-488-7777. Help is here. A United Way of Northwest Vermont Funded Agency.