When Survivors Give Birth


A training for professionals about working with trauma survivors before, during, and after giving birth.
September 22, 2022 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm EDT. 

Register Here

View Agenda



Foundational Training – A foundational training for professionals serving pregnant, birthing, and postpartum families. This 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 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 for working with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum trauma survivors, including how to prevent vicarious trauma
  • Power differentials in maternity care
  • Communication skills and reflective listening
  • How & when to offer a referral





Selena Shelley, MA, LMHC, CD, LCCE is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, 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.  She also facilitates When Survivors Give Birth trainings for doulas, midwives, social workers, psychotherapists, nurses, community and reproductive health clinics, and sexual assault centers.

Selena has been working with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum trauma survivors for over twenty years – first as a social worker with teen parents, then as a birth doula and childbirth educator, and now as a psychotherapist.  She also helped develop and run the Birth Doula Services Program for Open Arms Perinatal Services in Seattle and served as a board member for the Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth (PATTCh)

In all of her work, Selena has witnessed how transformative the right kind of support and care can be for trauma survivors.  To that end, she believes training professionals how to work more easily and effectively with trauma survivors is some of the most important work in maternal, familial, and community health, and she is honored to be facilitating this training for Howard Center.




CEU certificates will be available by request following the training. Please email amuir@howardcenter.org to request.


If you require special accommodations, please contact Brigett Weinstein at 802-488-6913 or bweinstein@howardcenter.org by September 1, 2022. American Sign Language interpretation will be offered.




The Vermont Department of Health received funding though the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to carry out the STAMPP (Screening, Treatment, and Access for Mothers and Perinatal Partners) program in Vermont.

The purpose of this program is to establish, improve or maintain programs that expand health care and mental health providers’ capacity to screen, assess, treat, and refer pregnant and postpartum women people for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). The primary goal is to improve the mental health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum people which also positively impact their infants’ social and emotional development.

Howard Center’s Early Childhood Program was selected as one of several programs to receive funding from this grant. We are currently in year four of this grant. We have utilized this grant to train early childhood mental health clinicians in this work which aligns with the overall goal of our program, to support the healthy social and emotional development of young children by engaging and partnering with their parents, guardians, or other primary caregivers.

This event is offered with support from Howard Center’s Early Childhood Program and Perinatal Support Services.

When Survivors Give Birth 2022 (download the flyer)