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We have heard you, loud and queer!

A wholehearted thank you to everyone who provided their feedback to help us better understand the need for gender affirming and inclusive education around pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care that centers queer families and queer experiences.

SHORE Centre is thrilled to offer Pride and Joy, an 8-week prenatal education series for expecting 2SLGBTQIA+ families.

Fall 2024 Session

When: Fall 2024

Time: TBD

Cost: FREE

Where: A combination of virtual and in person sessions

Accessibility: Mobility Device Accessible, All Gender Bathroom, Low-Scent Environment, Masking Strongly Encouraged, Food and Drink Friendly, Nut Free, Multiple Seating Options

Registration: Pre-Registration Open Now

The Topics

Topics and Descriptions

Below is a list of our session and the topics that will be discussed in each session.

Session 1: Pregnancy & Prenatal Planning
  • Welcome and Orienting
  • Pregnancy Experiences (changes, discomforts, providers and care settings)
  • Self-Advocacy in Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Planning (importance of and what to plan for)
Session 2: Labour & Birth
  • Care Providers and Settings
  • Labour Hormones 
  • Stages and Progression of Labour and Birth
Session 3: Labour & Birth Continued
  • Medical Interventions in Labour and Birth
  • Pain Medications 
  • Risk Management and Emergency Intervention
  • Birth Planning
Session 4: Comfort Measures
  • Mindset for Labour and Birth
  • Comfort Measures for Labour 
  • Fetal Positioning
  • Non-medical support strategies
Session 5: Postpartum Care
  • Immediate Postpartum Management 
  • Birth Recovery
  • Birth Processing
Session 6: Postpartum Care Continued
  • First 24 Hours with a Newborn
  • Medical Support for Baby 
  • Postpartum Planning
Session 7: All About Newborns
  • Newborn Care 
  • Body-feeding and Bottle Feeding Babies, 
  • Safe Sleep
Session 8: Birthing Locally as a 2SLGBTQIA+ Family
  • What to expect at hospital (policies, procedures, & people)
  • Legal Considerations 
  • Conceptions Stories: How & When to Tell

Meet Our Facilitators

Grace Van Bruwaene (she/her)

Grace Van Bruwaene (she/her)

Hey! I’m Grace. It’s lovely to meet you! I’m a parent, birth and postpartum doula, and a childbirth educator. After beginning my doula journey in 2010, I ended up specializing in supporting people moving through their reproductive journey after trauma. I strongly believe that support makes all the difference, helping individuals have a positive and empowered experience however their story unfolds.

I have both training and experience in supporting 2SLGBTQ+ and disabled parents as well as those experiencing PMADs, intimate partner or domestic violence, and/or parenting after trauma. In my “free” time, I enjoy accidentally going on long walks with my spouse, attempting to finish my many fibre arts projects, and reading all the books. You can connect with me @bgracevan on Instagram or check out my website at I look forward to meeting you!

Sasha Simine (she/her)

Sasha Simine (she/her)

Hi! I’m Sasha. I’m a cis-gender lesbian and a birth and postpartum doula guiding families through a calm and informed transition to parenthood. Having certified as a doula through Revolutionary Doula Training and Birthing Advocacy Doula Training, my work is trauma-informed, culturally conscious, and grounded in reproductive justice principles. I specialize in supporting queer parents, single parents, and recent immigrants.

I’m passionate about anti-racism, LGBTQ+ rights, and protecting the environment. When I’m not supporting new parents, you can find me reading epic sci-fi novels and gay rom coms, hiking with my family, and cuddling my cats. Learn more about my doula practice at or follow me on Instagram @sashasiminedoula. I can’t wait to meet you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring support people?

Yes! This program is for pregnant folks and the loved ones supporting them throughout pregnancy and postpartum.  

Please include the name(s) and pronoun(s) of support people you wish to bring on your registration form.

We can accommodate up to 2 support people per pregnant participant, possibly more depending on the size of the group.

What’s the cost to attend?

SHORE Centre, in partnership with some beloved local doulas, will be offering this workshop series free of charge

I can’t make it to every session. Can I still register?

This is a closed group, 8 week series and we encourage you to attend all sessions. 

However if there is a scheduling conflict and you have to miss a week, you can let us know ahead of time.

Is your venue wheelchair accessible?

Yes! There is an outdoor ramp into the building and accessible bathrooms.

I’m not currently pregnant but I am interested in this class. Can I register?

While we are prioritizing 2SLGBTQIA+ folks who are currently expecting, please fill out the registration form regardless.  Depending on the size of the group, we may be able to accommodate you or put you on a waitlist.

Can I bring my children/is there childcare available?

If you need childcare in order to attend our in person sessions, please let SHORE staff know in advance.  Our venue is able to offer childminding at no additional cost but it must be pre-arranged.

Will there be food provided?

We will provide some light refreshments such as coffee, tea, and juice but will not be serving food.  You are welcome to bring your own snacks/breakfast and beverages. Please note our venue is NUT FREE and we will inform all participants of any other allergies before the first session.

Can I attend online?

Yes – most of our Winter 2024 sessions will be virtual with the exception of our first session and our fourth session on comfort measures, which we will host in person in Waterloo, ON.

Are you taking COVID precautions?

We are asking all participants to wear masks if possible and stay home if they are feeling unwell. We will be using air purifiers on site.

Our facilitators may remove their masks while speaking as needed to enable lip reading as needed.

When does registration end?

Pre-registration now open for Fall 2024, more details to follow soon!

I still have more questions. Who do I talk to?

You can fill out the registration form and request a call back from SHORE staff to get all the information you need. You can also email Ash, the program coordinator, at

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