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Doula Course Professional Panel

Penny Simkin, PT - is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labour support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 13,000 women, couples, and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women and couples through childbirth as a doula. She is author or co-author of books for both parents and professionals.  She has developed teaching materials for birth classes and produced several videos for educators, doulas, and families.  Penny is co-founder of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America) and PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth).

Phyllis Klaus, L.M.F.T., L.W.S.W. - is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Social Worker. Phyllis is an EMDR Institute Certified Therapist, Consultant, and Trainer. As an EMDR Institute Trainer, she did the first EMDR Trainings in Europe in Switzerland and Italy. She is also an Instructor of hypnosis, grief counseling, and several therapies such as somatic and energy therapies.

She is a Founder of DONA International and PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth). She has extensive experience in treating trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD, dissociative disorders, and survivors of abuse. She also incorporates Hypnosis, EMDR, Ego-State Therapy, EFT along with other psychotherapies in the treatment of somatic and medical disorders, family of origin and attachment disorders, and complicated grief. 

She consults, does research,  presents workshops nationally and internationally and is co‑author of several articles as well as an author of several books.

Michel Odent, M.D.  - best known world-wide as the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms and the author of the first articles about the initiation of breastfeeding during the hour following birth (1977). He has published 16 books in 24 languages.

Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg, M.D., Ph.D., - recognised as a world authority on oxytocin. Her research takes place at the famed Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, where she is Professor of Physiology.  She is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and three books.

Francoise Freedman, Founder and Director of Birthlight - is a medical anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, where she does research and teaches as an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology.  Francoise is also a qualified yoga therapist who has pioneered Pre and Postnatal Yoga, Baby Yoga, Aquanatal Yoga and Infant Aquatics, contributing to their development as mainstream practices with eight books with many foreign editions. As part of her anthropological field studies, she trained with indigenous shaman midwives in Peru and assisted births as a doula in the UK for twelve years before Birthlight took off as an international non-profit organisation. 

Hilary Lewin - is an Arvigo® Therapist and International Teacher. Having worked with women through all transitions of life starting with puberty, fertility, birth and postpartum she is now a champion of the menopause. Bringing humour, advice and just enough fact to keep it off the fiction shelves, Hilary is currently writing a book on the subject of women in midlife and is enjoying the uprising of the grey haired woman to her rightful place in the world. Hilary was the founder of Doula UK and is still occasionally working as a doula.

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