Rhea Dempsey
Birthing Wisdom

blog archive:

Lotus Chiropractic – Mt Eliza

Down to the peninsular for another great night of birth chat.

Midwife Sue Holland, a passionate advocate for women and normal physiological birth organized the night at the beautiful Lotus Centre in Mt Eliza.

Pregnant women, couples, practitioners, midwives and some old friends from my days (long ago) teaching at Somers school camp when I was on the Physical Education Staff. (You can find reference to this in my book on pages 131-132) Also some mothers with teens and twenty year olds whose births I’d attended way back then.


During this time of sharing my book, catching up with women/couples who’s baby’s births I’ve attended over the years has been very, very special, especially if the grown babies have come along as well – can you image!


Thanks Sue and Lotus team x

The Grumpy Swimmer Bookshop

Nothing grumpy about this night, which was the first book event in an actual bookshop.  The Grumpy Swimmer in Elwood.


It, like most successful bookshops, regularly present a program of book talks and has a loyal following including Sarah from Nurtured Birth mentioned earlier.

On the night the participants were a mixture of birth people as well as regular grumpy swimmer supporters. This gave scope for my ‘crisis of confidence’ model to be applied in a more general way over many other challenging life events as well as specifically to birth – juicy conversation.


Thank you Clifford and Sarah x

Red Beard Bakery – Trentham

This was a charming opportunity to hang out at the famous Red Beard Bakery Red Beard Bakery the vision and sweat of John Reed and his partner Thais. I had the privilege of being with them for two babies. Their great story with their second son finishes off my book. (You’ll find it on pages 198-200)

This birth event turned out to be a real treat for a number of reasons. Catching up with passionate birth women including Kaggi (you’ll find a great quote from her on pages 156-157 of my book) as well as Thais and John and their now grown up kids. Mmmm … can’t imagine it gets much better than reminiscing on birth stories with the mother and with the grown young men who were the baby’s in the stories!

Thank you Thais x



More passionate birth activists, beautiful venue, opportunities to talk my talk and share with pregnant women, couples, midwives, midwifery academics, student midwives, doulas, new and old friends … couldn’t do better.


As well as the actual book event, where I get a chance to read a bit and speak directly to the issues in the book, a public lecture Pain and Power in Birthing was also on the program.


The book event was held in the Warrnambool art gallery – we felt the art piece ‘Hymns of Creation by Bruce Vinall provided an on theme background.


The organizers also managed to get an article in the local paper and get me interviewed on the local ABC breakfast radio show. (You can listen to a recording of this via my birthing wisdom website)

Thank you Delise, Suellen and all others involved x

Wagga Wagga – Wagga BaBs

Off to Wagga Wagga in country NSW after an invite from Wendy Harper on behalf of the local Wagga BaBs group.

BaBs groups—Birthing and Babies peer support groups—are an initiative of the Maternity Coalition Maternity Coalition.

With the support of midwifery lectures from the School of Midwifery, Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, I had the opportunity to present a seminar, Boosting Birthing Capacity: what helps, what hinders, what heals. Then in the evening the book event again offered an opportunity for me to speak about the birth issues I’m passionate about, whilst also offering an opportunity for me to hear about what was happening in Wagga Wagga—sadly the usual—small pockets of enlightened (well really just evidenced-based!!!!) practice that are hard to access in a generally medical/obstetric dominated birth scene.

Staying positive and continuing to strive for change continues to be the challenge for those of us passionate about normal physiological birth.

Thank you everyone in Wagga who supported the events – food, venues, words and positive energy for change x


Treana Jones, birth activist, member of Birthrites and pregnancy yoga specialist got the ball rolling for my Perth visit.


As well as the book launch in Fremantle, my Perth trip involved a number of other events.

I was invited to give a presentation, Healing Wounded Mothers: psychological pain and wounding in birth, at the AGM/Seminar of the WA Branch of the College of Midwives.

At the AGM I met up with some of the midwives from the Community Midwifery Program in Fremantle, the longest running government funded home birth program in Australia.


We have two funded home birth programs in Melbourne now, one at Casey Hospital in Berwick, the other out of Sunshine Hospital, hopefully more to come.

I also presented a full day seminar/workshop Crisis of Confidence and Caesarean Prevention for National Caesarean Awareness Day organized by Birthrites: Healing after Caesarean.


Yes more ‘crisis of confidence’ cup cakes!

I did another workshop for Birthrites: Moving beyond a difficult birth, for postnatal women struggling with their feelings after the birth of their babies. The venue for this workshop was the Conscious conception and Birth Centre.

This centre is another of those exciting innovations offering a hub for all things birth, baby and parenting, including a midwifery team offering home and hospital birth options.

Also got to do my Embracing the Intensity day with some of Treana’s pregnancy yoga couples.

All in all a full on Perth visit, offering many wonderful connections.

Thank you to everyone, in particular to Treana for the original vision and all that great organization! X

Dynamic Neuro-Development Clinic

I was invited to present a book event at this Chiropractic clinic.

Dynamic Neuro-Developmentand was very pleased to share with the chiropractors and pregnant couples present. Over the years I’ve had many conversations with Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, cause they too are concerned about what is happening in the birth scene … they see the effects in the babies and young children they treat.


Thank you everyone x


I was invited to Adelaide by Jo Hood, a birth activist who was working towards setting up a Maternity Coalition/Choices for Childbirth education series. She kindly organised a book event and presentation for me to share my work, as well as a workshop for women healing from difficult births organized with the support ofCARES (Caesarean Awareness Recovery Education Support).

Always distressing to hear the difficult birth stories, especially when it’s clear that in most cases it didn’t have to be that way … if only different choices were available or women were savvy about the birth scene before the birth rather than finding out after a distressing experience … still plenty of work to be done by birth activists.


Thank you Jo x

MAMA Daylesford

Off to Daylesford for an afternoon book event … lots of pregnant women and their partners, babies, children, some of whom I had been with as they were born … what a treat it is to see babies who’s births I’ve attended grown into happy kids.

Some stories, book readings and juicy birth chat … what better way to spend my time

The session was organised by Emma Ireland on behalf of the MAMA group in Daylesford.


Eastside Midwives @ TLC Birth and Beyond Centre in Ferntree Gully

Eastside Midwives  organized a book event at the TLC Birth and Beyond Centre. They are one of the groups of Independently practicing Midwives in Melbourne. They offer continuity of care to women in Melbourne for homebirths and hospital support—more great midwives walking the talk for normal birth and empowered mothers.

The TLC centre is another hub filled with nurturing energy for pregnant and postnatal women and their families, it was set up by Melanie Cane, a doula and calmbirth educator.

Again some speeches including beautiful words from Bree, whose third baby’s homebirth I had attended …


a book reading and birth chat from me …


and some ‘birth dancing’ lead by Natalie Poole a dancer and dance teacher. I had been with Natalie for the homebirth of her daughter and, like Bree; Natalie had also trained as a birth attendant with me some years ago.

We all had a stompin good time

Eastside Midwives

Thank you Helen and Amy from Eastside Midwives and Melanie for offering the TLC centre as a venue xxx