Birth Time in Conversation with Rhea Dempsey

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42 King Street

Newtown, NSW 2042


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BIRTH TIME - @BirthTimeWorld

proudly presents

An Intimate Evening in Conversation with

Rhea Dempsey

We are thrilled to be able to bring you the next juicy event in our @BirthTimeWorld Live series.

Zoe Naylor (one of our Birth Time Team) is in conversation with Birth Educator, Doula, Author and Birth Activist, Rhea Dempsey (see full bio below).

Rhea is one of the most passionate and engaging birth educators around!

We will be discuss navigating pain.

Look at whether normal physiological birth is on the endangered list?

What we are currently missing about birth...

AND much, much more....

The event begins at 6.00pm with canapes upon arrival.

Drinks can be purchased on the night.

The formalities kick off at 7.00pm sharp.

There will also be a Q&A opportunity.

Ticket Price is $75 + GST + Booking Fee ($85 Total)

For any further enquiries AND for student 10% discount code please email Selina: support@birthtime.world

TO BOOK: head to birthtimeworld.eventbrite.com.au

AND we will have some of our exclusive Birth Time merchandise available too.

All proceeds from the evening contribute to the @BirthTimeWorld Documentary which is currently in production.

If you would like to purchase our previous event recording, 'Feminism and Human Rights in Childbirth' OR to learn more head to www.birthtime.world


Love the Birth Time Team - Jerusha, Jo, Selina and Zoe xxx


Rhea is a passionate woman of birth; she is an educator, trainer, doula, counsellor, speaker, author and birth activist.

Her understanding and experience of birth has been gained over forty years of birth work. Distilling birthing wisdom from her many privileged experiences supporting birthing women, their partners and families at over a thousand births in home and hospital settings.

She presents locally, nationally and internationally, in fact, she passionately speaks about birth anywhere, anytime.

She is recognized as an insightful commentator on the difficulties women, who have a yearning for normal physiological birth, face in navigating the present birth culture.

And is also respected as one of Australia’s foremost thinkers on the topic of working with pain in childbirth and its connection to normal physiological birth—themes explored in her book ‘Birth with Confidence: savvy choices for normal birth’

She has facilitated Doula training courses since 2000.

And sadly her counselling training, combined with her knowledge of birth and the present birth culture sees her called upon to conduct far too many distressing birth debriefing sessions.

She is presently working on a second book due out early 2019 – working title: The Better Birth Plan: preparing emotionally for normal birth.

Some other things to know about Rhea –

She is the mother of three adult daughters and grandmother to four delicious grandchildren—so far!

Pre-Birth Career

Before the change in her life direction after the birth of her first baby, Rhea was a Physical Education teacher, swimming instructor and outdoor adventure facilitator – the influence of which can be seen clearly in her approach to birth.

Awakened Birth Consciousness

Her pathway to birth work was opened by the birth of her first baby in the UK. Emerging from her daughter’s birth wounded and wondering ‘what the fuck happened?’, a radicalised birth consciousness was awakened.

Home Birth

Returning to Australia at the time when home birth was being reclaimed (in a similar way to in the US) she began attending home births and her next two daughters were born at home. And she’d have to say that her birthing heart has never really left home! And neither have her daughter’s birthing aspirations, resulting in her four grandchildren all being home born.

Childbirth Educator

In 1979-80 Rhea trained as a Childbirth Educator with the Childbirth Education Association in Victoria and was part of the group who set up the National Association of Childbirth Educators (now CAPEA, Childbirth and Parenting Educators of Australia).

Direct Entry Midwifery

In 1989, Rhea, along with a small group of other passionate women of birth (lay midwives) researched, designed, lobbied government and universities to set up a Direct Entry Midwifery Course in Victoria. Unfortunately, such a course didn’t become a reality till 2001, too late for Rhea.


So instead, in 1999 she completed a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and later Gestalt Therapy training.


Her work in birth began in the 1970s and 80s, when home birth, ‘natural birth’, ‘active birth’ and ‘water birth’ practices were pushing back against, what we thought back then were overly medicalised births. This was before epidurals … and little did Rhea and her contemporaries foresee the major assault on women’s birthing power hidden within this Trojan horse in the birth space.

Birth Education in Schools - Primary

Rhea’s daughters attended an alternative primary school, where a majority of the families chose to home birth their children, so she attended the births of many of the kids. She also taught them swimming and saw first-hand the pattern of the children’s births expressed in their personalities, in how they approached and processed new experiences and written into their physical way of being in the world.

Across the final year of her family’s engagement with the school when her youngest daughter completed year six, Rhea undertook a birth project with all the kids in three groups – preps, years one and two, years three and four, and years five and six.

In the designated ‘birth room’, once a week, the kids in the group, after having made their own ‘wombs’, (using boxes, material, cushions and the like, which remained throughout the term) were taken on a journey through their growth and development in the womb and the adventure of their birth.

At the end of each session they painted their experience and told their story to an adult to write down, most usually their mother or father. The parents and kids were enthusiastic participants in the project, even including the year six kids, who were thought to have perhaps been ‘too cool’ to image being babies in the womb again, but in fact were the hardest to get born as they loved being snuggled in their warm wombs.

The project confirmed what is known about a baby’s consciousness in the womb, especially in the last months of pregnancy – awareness of the external world through their hearing; familiarity with their mother’s voice and the voices of people close to their mother; awareness of their mother’s emotional state and the feeling quality of her relationships; awareness of the birth process and a great sense of their autonomy and working with their mother to be born – so much of the detail of the children’s stories was confirmed by both the parents, and Rhea if she’d been at the birth. (If only, instead of just being curios, Rhea had been a researcher.)

Birth Education in Schools – Secondary

From 1995-2003 Rhea formed ‘Future Birth’ and with a small group of midwives (including Deb Pattrick, who with Tracy Smith went on to develop The Core of Life teens birth education program), provided birth education in secondary schools as part of the human development curriculum.

Birthing Wisdom Centre

From 2002-2011 Rhea ran The Birthing Wisdom Centre in Melbourne. The centre provided a wide selection of groups, courses, workshops, counselling and complimentary therapies, to support pregnant women, new mothers and fathers and grandparents across the pregnancy, birth and early parenting time, as well as doula training and seminars for midwives.

Grandmother Urgency

In more recent years, since Rhea has become a grandmother and her vision stretches further into the future, her passion for birth has developed a greater urgency. Particularly as the future of normal physiological birth comes more and more under threat and research points to dire implications for the wellbeing of future generations.

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42 King Street

Newtown, NSW 2042


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No Refunds

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