Penny is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She estimates she has prepared over 12,000 women, couples and siblings for childbirth. She has assisted hundreds of women or couples through childbirth as a doula. She is the producer of several birth-related films and is the author of many books and articles on birth for both parents and professionals. Books include The Labor Progress Handbook (2011) with Ruth Ancheta, The Birth Partner (2008) and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse of Childbearing Women (2004) with Phyllis Klaus. Her latest film is “There’s a Baby: A Film for Children about Birth and the New Baby” (2013).
Besides being one of the Founders of DONA International, she currently serves on several boards of consultants, the Editorial Board of the journal, “Birth”, and serves on the senior faculty at the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, which was named in her honor.