Join us as we hubble, bubble, toil, and trouble our way through aspects of midwifery, birth, lactation, and womanhood. We tackle and discuss a variety of topics within the sphere of womanhood, birth, and lactation and what this entails in today's society. We want to be able to share in the strengths of women gathering together and being more informed, for their birth, their feeding experience, and the transition into knowing ourselves better. This is the podcast to connect us as a greater circle of women united.
An interview with Ellie Young - freebirth, transition phase and polyvagal theory
In this episode we interview Ellie Young. Ellie is an Australian edge-dwelling registered midwife, qualitative researcher and writer. She has worked with women and families for over 15 years within the permaculture and traditional nutrition space whilst supporting women choosing to give birth outside the system. After midwifery training, Ellie went back to attending homebirth within her community, whilst undertaking a research study on women's experience of the transition phase of physiological labour during freebirth. This inquiry led her down the rabbit warren of all things nervous system, somatics and the Polyvagal Theory, whilst exploring women's unique perceptions of peak intensity within physiological labour processes. She's now a self-confessed geek for the rewilding of childbirth through understanding the social nervous system at play during birth and positioning it within a biopsychosocial model. Her work in the world is now firmly centred on supporting women and midwives on their paths to reconnection with self, the body, intuition, female physiology, birth and this precious earth. We discuss all this and more in this episode of cauldron.
Ellie Young: @newmoonmidwife
Blog Post: No Woman's Land
Dr Rachel Reed website
Support the show
An Interview with Dr Hazel Keedle - talking all things VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean)
In this episode we have Dr Hazel Keedle and we are talking all things VBAC, vaginal birth after caesarean!
Hazel is a lecturer of midwifery at Western Sydney University, Australia. Hazel has worked in midwifery group practices, an aboriginal medical service, a variety of hospital settings and as a privately practising midwife in both city and regional locations. Hazel’s passion for VBAC followed her own experience of having a VBAC with her daughter in 2008 and since then has published research on women's experience of having a VBAC at home and on her PhD work exploring women’s experiences of planning a VBAC across Australia. Hazel is currently the lead researcher on Australia's largest survey on women's experiences of maternity care, the Birth Experience Study. Hazel is passionate about improving support for women during pregnancy, birth, and the early transition to mothering.
We asked Hazel all the questions you’ve been asking us for months to discuss! So here it is folks the topic you’ve been waiting for. Hazel definitely left us with some golden nuggets, you want to have your pen and paper ready.
Dr Hazel Keedle
Dr Rachel Reed
Support the show
An interview with Professor Helen O'connell - talking all things clitoris.
In this episode we have Professor Helen O'Connell and we are talking all things clitoris!
Professor O'Connell was elected Vice -President of USANZ in 2021. She was the first female Urologist in Australia and New Zealand, completing training in Melbourne in 1993 followed by a Fellowship in Female and Functional Urology in Houston, USA in 1994-5. Her doctoral studies in female pelvic anatomy have achieved international renown leading to significant conceptual changes in both medical and lay literature. Her higher degrees were conferred at the University of Melbourne where she became Professor in 2013 and Head of Department of Urology and Surgery in 2016.
In 2014 Professor O'Connell became a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, completing its diploma in 2011 whilst a director for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand. In 2019 she led a successful Australian Government bid to establish the Australasian Pelvic Floor Procedure Registry to improve the outcomes associated with mesh SUI and POP implantation and explantation procedures. It is a collaborative effort with Monash University Registries, the Australian Commission for Quality and Safety in Health Care, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and leading pelvic floor surgeons and consumers.
She has been Principal investigator on a large number of clinical trials for drugs and devices for overactive bladder, stress incontinence in men and women and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Her current clinical interests are native tissue pelvic floor repairs, minimally invasive approaches to pelvic floor mesh removal and benign prostate surgery.
In 2021 Professor O'Connell was named an Officer (AO) in the Order of Australia: For distinguished service to medical education, and to medicine, in the field of urology, as an academic and clinician, and to professional groups.
We asked Professor O'Connell to come and talk to us specifically about the clitoris in all it’s glory. We learn about how medical training used to use pornographic images of the breast to teach anatomy. We discuss the nerves of the clitoris, what the anatomy textbooks don't tell us... Yet! Rachel ends up telling us about her broken clitoris! We ask about labiaplasty & FGM (female genital mutilation) and its potential impact on vulval stretching during birth. And how cultural sensitivity is essential to reframing our viewpoints. And we also ask Professor O’Connell how her work has influenced artists, sex therapists and academics in how we now approach things such as orgasm and our deeper female sexuality. And as Professor O’Connell quotes in the podcast "you are not literate until you are clitarate".
Prof Helen O'Connell
Dr. Rachel Reed website, courses and books
Mentioned in the show:
SMH article - Get cliterate: how a Melbourne doctor is redefining female sexuality
Giant infaltable clitoris facing Eiffel Tower
Sophia Wallace art
Book - Female Genital Mutilation
Support the show
An interview with Kemi Johnson
In this episode we have the fabulous Kemi Johnson on to chat with us. Kemi is a mother, birthkeeper in the birthroom, birth educator and birth activist. Formerly an independent midwife, registered in the UK she is now freely following her calling to facilitate healthy ecstatic births for mothers, and their babies. We chat with Kemi about home birth, free-birth, and why the reported outcomes can often be misunderstood. We look at induction, and childbirth outcomes, time frames in birth, as well as breech birth.
We find out why Kemi left midwifery and started speaking out. Her thoughts on becoming a "safe" midwife and working as an independent birth keeper. We talk tough about the difficulty midwives & doulas are currently facing in our maternity systems, and how we can best serve families as birth keepers and protectors whilst maintaining our own health.
This will be a brilliant but tough listen at times, however a conversation we need to be having and acknowledging.
Kemi Johnson website, courses, more https://www.kemibirthjoyjohnson.com/
Find Kemi on Instagram @kemibirthjoyjohnson
Rachel Reed website: blog, books, courses https://www.rachelreed.website/
Support the show
Your questions answered #3 – Inverted nipples, declining interventions, and more
In this episode, we answer your questions! We take a dive into, inverted nipples and what you can do during pregnancy and with breastfeeding. Answer whether vaginal examinations are necessary during pregnancy, why milk teeth are called milk teeth, look into informed non-consent in the hospital setting, and discuss declining interventions during labour & birth. We delve into the ethics and copyright of how to share information. Whether you can or should breastfeed whilst pregnant, how placental function is checked on an ultrasound scan, and more on placenta previa. As well as also squeezing in why some women experience lower libido and vaginal dryness whilst breastfeeding and the KICO - knees in, calves out birthing position.
Phew! That was a lot and we hope you enjoy it.
Childbirth Physiology Course: https://www.rachelreed.website/store
Dr Rachel Reed Website, blog, books and more https://www.rachelreed.website/
Sara Wickham article re. sharing information: https://www.sarawickham.com/riffing-ranting-and-raving/how-to-share-blog-posts-so-that-everyone-benefits/
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/themidwivescauldron)
An interview with Pippa Grace
In this episode in the cauldron, we have Pippa Grace, the author of Mother in the mother.
Pippa is a socially engaged artist, writer, and sculptor. Her work brings together over 26 years of training and working in the worlds of holistic health, bodywork, dance, creative writing, film, and sculpture.
Pippa facilitates the sharing of stories and the creation of ‘visual narratives’ at beautifully held workshops. Pippa is particularly interested in helping to give voice to the quiet, everyday stories that may otherwise be overlooked or forgotten. Where voices have been silenced, her practice helps them find a creative way to speak out. A passionate feminist for as long as she can remember, Pippa specialises in working with women, exploring issues including motherhood, grand-motherhood, menarche, the female body, and trauma.
All of her work is grounded by an ongoing fascination with, and research into, the healing qualities of literature, myth, fairytale, storytelling, dream, and archetype.
In this episode, we explore the themes of maternal lineage and women's experiences when they themselves became a mother. We touch on what are some of the challenges or joys women often encounter in their own relationships when they themselves become a mother, how becoming a mother in itself, can be healing for some women, and we look at how Pippa explored the role of being both a mother and a daughter in the same body.
I know you will enjoy this fascinating discussion which really looks deeper into themes of transitioning into motherhood and what it means for our relationships, both past, present, and the future.
Thank you to all of you that support the show over on our Patreon page, and if this is something you think you like the sound of doing then all the links are below. We are so thrilled to have you with us, stirring up the bubbles in the cauldron! Please share this podcast with your friends, family and social circle to keep getting these messages out there.
Dr Rachel Reed: Courses, books, webinars, blog and more.
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/themidwivescauldron)
Such an amazing podcast. Truly is essential listening for every birth worker and even moms to be. Also very hilarious.
I am a certified childbirth educator and mother in the US. The Midwives’ Cauldron is an incredible resource for pregnant people and birth workers alike. I frequently refer to episodes in my childbirth classes and tell everyone to check it out to further their knowledge. The information is easy to digest and comical simultaneously. Buy Rachel Reed’s book “Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage” too, regardless of where you are in your reproductive journey!
Lily Nichols episode
Another stellar episode! Keep in mind Dr. Brewer’s diet and research into preeclampsia in the 1960’s. He was ahead of his time!