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  • Writer's pictureDoula Ashley

A Deep Knowing

It is my belief that most women are severely disconnected from their intuition. I have seen this time and time again in the birthing room. Some would say that women make different decisions that serve them and that is true in some cases. However, If that were the case, most of the time, you would not have so much birth trauma. 45% of new mothers report traumatic birth experiences. Why is this? What are we missing that nearly 50 percent of new mothers have felt trauma from their birth?! And more importantly, how do we fix this?! I believe we are missing the God-given intuition that guides us away from harm!

It saddens me to say that Doulas have contributed so strongly to the positive washing of birth experiences. We see trauma, disrespect, and lies regularly and we candy-coat them to make mothers feel good about their births. On one hand, we do not want to heap insult onto injury but on the other hand, we are perpetuating a system that is harming women and babies. This is an intricate balance. I speak of it flippantly here but it is much deeper and needs a particular amount of care given in every individual birth. Speaking the truth in love is as hard as it is to speak the truth to power.

I have done it. I have contributed to this system. But after 8 years of being a doula, I have come to the conclusion that the system will not change on its own. I believe there are two things that can happen, that need to happen, for the trauma to stop. For the harm to stop against our babies and bodies and for women to have powerful experiences of becoming mothers again. One: Women must connect back to their intuition and their inner knowing. Two: We must opt out of the system by either the choices we make in hospitals or by removing ourselves from the hospitals altogether!

Let me tell you a personal story. I was taught not to listen to my feelings. The religion (mostly the people that taught bad religion) that I grew up in taught this. It was also perpetuated by my family that the feelings that I was feeling were not real. My experience was not real. What I was feeling didn't matter because what was done was right and God instructed. I was “loved and cared for” because I was told I was loved and cared for but that was not what I felt. So there became a disconnection between what I felt and what I actually believed. Because I truly believed, in my head, that I was cared for and that we had a great family. I believed that I had it good and that I had a family that always had my best interest in mind. When there was a conflict I was gaslit constantly. It’s crazy-making. I remember feeling crazy and like I wanted to run away. I even told this to my mother who promptly shipped me off to my grandparents, for reasons now, as a parent, I can only speculate.

In my adult life, I would experience anxiety after conflict but had no idea what anxiety was. I had no idea the feeling I was feeling was anxiety. It just felt like chaos in my brain that I needed to just ignore and get away from. Right here, slowly, I began to lose myself. I began to lose my God-given intuition that something was not right. I began to lose that sense that is given to guide our lives. For women, I think it is even stronger because we are meant to grow and protect life.

At 29 years old I began to wake again. At 31, I finally went to a therapist and by 35 I was awake. Not fully healed, not having it all together (does that ever really happen) but awake! I distinctly remember the day I was at a park with my son and someone texted me. In response to that text, my body and mind had a reaction. Chaos, unsettled, low-level turmoil, something you can't quite put your finger on but it's real and it's there. I finally was able to connect with myself, listen to what my intuition was telling me, and act accordingly (which was not to continue that relationship with this person.) I was so happy that I was able to identify this feeling right away. Earlier in my life, I would have never identified it and just worked to push that feeling away. For me, that meant throwing myself into countless hours of work!

Why is what I am saying important to childbirth? Because the totality of the woman that you are from all your experiences is the woman that is at your birth. Has she healed? Is she awake? Is she connoted to her body and to her intuition? I began to see as a Doula how important this is when making choices and decisions for birth because most women are birthing in a system that has its own values and goals (monetary and otherwise.) Instead of listening to their intuition, many mothers give these decisions over to the doctors. Mothers will learn what natural childbirth looks like from books and doula classes and other mothers' experiences and then they go into the system and are gaslit by doctors that tell them something completely contrary to what they have learned…and they go with it!

A mother who is connected to her knowing is not easily swayed by the blowing winds of fear. She knows what she wants, and she is strong in her convictions because she knows inside of her what is right. She has read all the things, done all the research, and knows what the right choices are for herself. The doctor does not know best. She is the authority on her health and knows deeply how and in what way to bring her child into the world.

I began to think deeply about this in 2020. How can I teach women to connect back to their intuition? How do you start listening to something that you have not listened to since childhood? My answer was pretty revelational. It was to connect back to the very process that makes us a mother in the first place! So I created the course, “Know your Cycle, Know Yourself”. (It’s Free, Go check it out here!) The system will not change but the hearts and minds of the women in the system can!

Our cycles can be tracked and observed. Not only can they physically be observed but they can emotionally be observed! There are emotional and creative changes that happen throughout our cycles that we can bring our awareness to! When we, as women start to bring our awareness to those things I believe we can start to listen to our bodies again and the natural flow is to start listening to our intuition again! This is how to begin to get in touch with your deep knowing.

I don't think this is the only way to connect back but I think this is a healthy way to become more aware of your intuition. There is a process called post-traumatic growth that can happen after trauma in your life. This sets women on paths of personal growth and can certainly connect them back to their deep knowing (like in my life). Many women will go through a traumatic birth experience and some will experience this growth however many will not.

I want women to skip the trauma and experience the amazing transformation that can happen as they become mothers or become mothers again. You may be reading this and you are childless but thinking about having children. I would suggest that you start here. Start with getting in touch with your deep knowing. Maybe, you are already a mother, and the experience around having your child was less than optimal and maybe even traumatic. Start here! You will process a lot and in time you will heal for your next birth and for your children. Start here!

Maybe you are already pregnant and you feel disconnected from that deep knowing. It’s not too late mama! It’s never too late! Research, Know what you want, talk about your values, and then start believing deeply and listening intently to what your body and heart are telling you. There is perhaps no stronger connection to our bodies than when we are growing life that contains a soul inside of us! Isn’t it fascinating! One of our missions, at The Life Spark Project, is to help you connect back to your intuition. Without your intuition, there is no meaningful sovereignty or intention for your birth. We want you, in every way to connect back to your deep knowing, your intuition!

If this resinates with you and you don’t know where to go next I would love to talk to you. Please reach out and book a chat with me. We can sift through your birth, trauma, or present pregnancy together and hopefully set you on your journey.


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