Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education since 1968. She estimates that she has prepared over 14,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth, and is a co-founder of DONA International. Today her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling and writing, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops. Penny and her husband, Peter, have four grown children, eight grandchildren, three grandchildren-in-law and a pug named Lola.
Through independent study and her work as a birth counselor, she has developed a counseling approach for pregnant survivors of sexual abuse. This work is described in the book, When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on the Childbearing Woman, which she co-authored with Phyllis Klaus. Today her practice consists of childbirth education, birth counseling and labor support, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops.
She co-founded Doulas of North America and The Pacific Association for Labor Support.
Penny’s latest publication is the third edition of The Birth Partner: The Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labor Companions. Other recent products for birth educators and doulas include a client handout called “The Road Map of Labor,” a birth video titled The 3Rs: Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual, and a Birth Sling—an aid to the dangle position for second stage labor. Currently, she serves on several boards of consultants and editorial boards, including the journal, Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care; the International Childbirth Education Association; and the Seattle Midwifery School.
Penny has also written Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia, with Ruth Ancheta (2000), and Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, with Ann Keppler and Janet Whalley (2001).