Rhea Dempsey
Birthing Wisdom

blog archive:

Fertile Ground Health Group

Two sessions at Fertile Ground sharing with complimentary therapists, pregnant women, couples.

It’s particularly satisfying to speak with complementary therapists. They’re often bemused by what they see happening with their pregnant and birthing clients. So it’s important for them to understand what is happening in the birth culture that hijacks the straight-forward birth experiences their clients (generally healthy, committed, low-risk ‘willing’ women) expect and plan for, but that sadly so often end up in a cascade of interventions.

My book lays all that out and seems to give them the ‘ah ha’ awareness that they can share with their clients. Yay!

Thank you Charmaine and Milly for this support of my book and so much more x

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Official Book Launch

What a great night – catching up with old friends, new friends, couples with their grown up babies who’s births I’d attended, colleagues, midwives, student midwives, birth attendants, childbirth educator’s, academics—birth passionistas all—and of course my family.

The launch was held at ‘The White House’ in St Kilda – home of ‘Dumbo Feather’ magazine which coincidentally was running an interview with me at the time – very handy!

The white house

There were speeches, of course.

Leigh Russell, an inspiring woman, one of the new wave of passionate birth activists, was the perfect MC for the evening.

Leigh Russell

Colleague Kerreen Reiger, sociologist, academic, author, founding member Maternity Coalition and so much more, launched my book by first making sense of the current political, structural, social context of birth and the place of my book within that context. (There will be a video of Kerreen’s speech up on my soon to be launched YouTube channel – if you are interested in the social context of birth over the last 50 years or so check it out.)

Kereen Reiger

Independent Midwife Alice Barden provided a more personal take on my work. I’ve had the privilege of being with her and her husband for the three home births of their sons, Alice also trained with me before going on to become a midwife.

Alice Barden

Organisation, set up, food, flowers, etc., etc., etc. accomplished beautifully by Jo Askham and Sarah Goldburg both experienced birth attendants as well as organisers of the Maternity Coalition film nights.


Have to mention also the ‘crisis of confidence’ cup cakes by Bree and Jules from Mammabake.com.au


While mentioning crises of confidence, my ‘crisis of confidence’ logo designed by graphic designer  Keith Downes is a stylishly crafted version of the scribble I make on the whiteboard whenever I’m presenting my crisis of confidence concept.


Thanks Keith x

Kimba and Ryan offered sweet music that soothed and entertained us.

Kimba and Ryan

Those of you aware of the early days of reclaiming home birth here in Melbourne during the 70s will recognize (in the back) lay midwives Jan Deany and Mel Shere. During the 80s, amongst other things, we were part of a group of birth activists who worked (around Mel’s kitchen table) towards setting up a direct entry midwifery course. It didn’t come to pass then, but was a step along the path that has eventually resulted in the Bachelor of Midwifery courses now available.

Jan, Mel

Finally they let me loose … I, of course, loved speaking about my passion—birth issues—read some sections then thanked a lot of people … thanked all for their contributions to the night, to the book and to my understandings about birth. Especially also thanking the colleagues, friends and my cherished family for creating such a sustained, strong ‘holding circle’ over so long – believing in my book and waiting on its emergence. xxxxxxxx

Rhea Dempsey

Lotta oxytocin, lotta love in the room!

book launch audience

Thank you also to Berry and the Dumbo Feather team for the perfect venue x