The Midwives' Cauldron

Childbirth education, home birth, attachement styles and the "F%k1ng epidural" - An interview with Rhea Dempsey

May 17, 2023 Rhea Dempsey, Katie James, Dr Rachel Reed Season 4 Episode 11
The Midwives' Cauldron
Childbirth education, home birth, attachement styles and the "F%k1ng epidural" - An interview with Rhea Dempsey
Show Notes

Rhea is a former PE teacher turned childbirth educator, and counsellor and feels privileged to have attended more than a thousand births in hospitals and home settings as a birth attendant as well as connecting with many more women, their partners and support people during birth preparation workshops and personal birth counselling sessions. 

Rhea has spoken extensively around Australia and internationally and is the author of two books – ‘Birth with Confidence: savvy choices for normal birth’  and the most recent ‘Beyond the Birth Plan: getting real about pain and power’.

Rheas thoughtful, gentle voice takes us on a look back over the world of birth from the past 40 years from England to Australia.  

How Rheas home births led to her passion into childbirth education and birth attendant work.

 How home births were parties back in the days! 

Rhea talks with us about how sadly, in more than forty years of birth work, she’s witnessed an unprecedented rise in unnecessary medical interventions and the development of a culture that, rather than supporting women to birth naturally – physiologically -, is actually undermining them.

We discuss the f&@k1ng epidural, as Rhea terms it, and how she feels it has hijacked what labour and birth discomfort means. The ‘thank goodness births’ and what this means for society.

And we discuss the importance of what it is we ‘choose’ to focus on when providing childbirth education. Attachment styles and how that impacts how we go into birth. How shame plays a role in how we may or may not ask for help.

Rhea leaves us with an oxytocin fuelled story from her book and makes Katie cry! 

Rhea Dempsey website, courses, books 

Want to listen to the new podcast 'The Feeding Couch'? Find it here or on all good podcast hosting platforms! 

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