Episode 9: Pain, Power and Birthing With Confidence
Rhea’s understanding of birth has been gained over four decades. Her book ‘Birth with Confidence: savvy choices for normal birth’, explores the issue of physiological pain and the importance of experienced support. ‘While Beyond the Birth Plan: getting real about pain and power’ explores the deeper emotional and psychological dynamics impacting birthing potential.
Doctors, drugs, surgery and systems, or labour, love, support and sentiment?
With around 5% of current births occurring in a home or birth centre setting, you could be forgiven for thinking that medical interventions in childbirth are now totally standard. Granted things do go wrong sometimes, but are expectant mothers going to hospital to deliver because they are unwell, in pain or injured? Are we ‘pathologising’ birth, and what are the emotional and hormonal consequences for new Mums? Are there consequences for taking the work out of labour to ensure a ‘pain-free’ birth?
Pinky and Rhea discuss the changing nature of hospital birth, privacy, seclusion, surveillance, the years of mandatory episiotomy and the benefits of a more ‘reverent’ birth setting where mother is in control and emotions are being supported.
From the catastrophic interpretation of pain to support in ‘doing the work’, from mandatory antibiotics for mastitis to more physiological and time-honoured methods – this is a fascinating discussion about the increasing clinical perspectives of childbirth.
Separation of mother and child in those early times is not a great idea! As Pinky’s grandfather the farmer quipped: “”Take the calf away from the cow and she’ll bellow for a week!”
Maybe it’s time to move away from systems and back to instincts.
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More about our guest - Rhea Dempsey:
Rhea Dempsey is an Independent Birth Educator, Doula, Trainer, Counsellor and Author.
Her understanding of birth has been gained over four decades. She has presented nationally and internationally. She is recognized as an insightful commentator on the difficulties women, who have a yearning for normal physiological birth, face in navigating present birth culture.
Rhea’s book Birth with Confidence: savvy choices for normal birth, explores the issue of physiological pain and the importance of experienced support. While Beyond the Birth Plan: getting real about pain and power explores the deeper emotional and psychological dynamics impacting birthing potential.
Rhea is the mother of three adult daughters, and four delicious home born grandchildren. Her mothering included the key tenets of attachment parenting—long-term breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing. She delights in witnessing this generational pattern continuing with her grandchildren.
To find out more about Rhea’s book and work, visit her website www.birthingwisdom.com.au