Rhea Dempsey
Birthing Wisdom

blog archive:

Perth/Fremantle

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thank you everyone x

Adelaide

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.

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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.

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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 …

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a book reading and birth chat from me …

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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

‘The Birth House’ Geelong

Yet another book event in regional Victoria.

Down the road to The Birth House

The birth house is another example of inspiring, courageous midwifery innovation. As well as the group of midwives offering midwifery care, the birth house offers complimentary health care, birth and parenting education and … they also have a birth retreat catering for ‘home away from home’ births!

The Birth House

The birth house itself has been open two years now and the birth retreat opened for births March 2013. Since then they’ve had 10 babies born there, with more booked.

Similar to MAMA and the My Midwives centres, the birth house is a thriving community ‘hub’ for all things pregnancy, birth, early parenting related with a strong women/family focus. Again, honour to all those involved, especially midwife Judy van Dreven who materialised the vision.

My book event on a Saturday night had a party feel. Good food, company, plenty of juicy birth chat—fully oxytocinized!

Thank you Melissa, Sheree and birth house team x

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Thank you Melissa, Sheree and birth house team x

Colac Launch

Then another visit to regional Victoria. I am a trainer for CAPEA – Childbirth and Parenting Educators of Australia and was in Colac with others running a childbirth educator’s training course for midwives at Colac hospital. A book event was added.

Lots of birth chat hearing about the difficulties in regional areas but also hearing many positives; like water births happening at Colac hospital and a sort of default ‘continuity of care’ situation. Many of the midwives practice across the full spectrum of their expertise, in pregnancy clinic, labour and postnatal wards as a matter of course and often know the women in the community anyway – great!

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Thank you to my CAPEA colleagues, Melinda Eales and Janice De Campo for organizing the venue, food, etc., etc. xx

PS: If any of you have experienced the magic of the midwifery technique ‘sterile water injections’ during a gruelling backache labour, then you too will want to thank Janice. Janice introduced the technique to Victorian midwives some years ago after being introduced to it in Sweden by the midwife who attended her daughter during the homebirth of her first grandchild. Yay to sharing midwifery wisdom!

Here’s Janice with her latest grandchild.

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My Midwives: Shepparton

For a number of reasons I was very happy to head up to Shepparton for a book event. I’m originally a Mooroopna girl, so firstly I wanted to see what was happening in the birth scene in Shepp.

Then I particularly wanted to visit Independent Midwife Andrea Quanchi’s centre. She is another of those courageous midwives setting up midwifery clinics – a My Midwives centre at the Dutch House in Wyndham St. Shepparton. (Contact: shepparton@mymidwives.com.au)

Andrea, Rhea

Here again, Andrea and her team, like the MAMA team, offer continuity of care through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. There are a number of My Midwives branches in Victoria and Queensland, however they are expanding so no doubt others will emerge. Bring it on!

I met some of the local doulas and a number of the Midwives from the Midwifery Group Practice at the GV hospital came along … recipe for some great birth chat.

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The number of Midwifery group practices providing continuity of care in hospital settings is increasing … another heartening trend.

Finally I was happy to go to Shepparton for a book event cause it meant my Mum and Dad could come along and get a taste of what I have been going on about all these years – precious!

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Thank you Andrea x

Ballarat Maternity Coalition

Regional Victoria has a number of pockets of birth passionistas Ballarat has one of them.

Ballarat Maternity Coalition has been active over many years informing and supporting women with their birth choices, with committed input from some key women, in particular, midwife Margaret McGuire who organized this book event.

Thank you Margaret and Maternity Coalition team. x

MAMA: Midwives and Mothers Australia

Such a treat to have a book event at MAMA Kensington.

Midwifery clinics such as MAMA set up in the community as primary care centres for pregnant and birthing women, bit similar to GP clinics only much better!! are the way of the future—sooooo so encouraging for birth passionistas and aging birth activists. All honour to the pioneering courageous midwives, in MAMA’s case Jan and Kelly, across Australia who are making this difference. MAMA has since opened other branches.

Jan’s words of introduction, spoken by Kelly, as Jan was at a birth (of course!) captures the feelings of frustration that underpin the urgency that drives my work and my book and that has provided the catalyst for clinics like MAMA … cause we know there is a better way!

Jan’s words:

I’m not going to talk about the good old days

Were they good old days?

I’m not sure

I think little has changed in behaviours of institutions, educators and practitioners, but over the years there have always been champions.

Rhea is a champion

Thank you

I say in response, that yes, there have always been champions—birth activists and practitioners—such as Jan, Kelly and all the other midwives now pioneering a way forward.

Thank you Jan, Kelly and the MAMA team x