Why has it been hard for spiritual women to have natural births?

Despite all the prenatal yoga, organic food and deep healing work we’ve done, many smart, educated and vibrant spiritual women have had birth experiences we were not expecting. The underlying causes are often hidden and overlooked.

What follows here are some of the feelings and issues that conscious women have revealed to me and that I have observed in my work as a midwife, doula and birth healer over the last decade. The following list is not evidence based, complete or conclusive; rather it is my opinion and a reflection of some of my own experiences and also those of the women I work with. If any of the following resonates with you, or triggers something within you, please do your best to be compassionate and gentle with yourself and others, both during and after reading this. If what you hear here brings up old feelings you are welcome to contact me here for more support.

So, why has it been so hard for caring, educated, conscious, smart spiritual women to have natural births? Here’s what I’ve noticed that is linked to some of our most disappointing birth outcomes.

We were unprepared for the pain of childbirth and nobody mentioned pain or spoke honestly about pain in any of our childbirth education classes. When labour came, we didn’t know how to meet the power or intensity of contractions.

Looking back we had no real experience of labour and birth apart from what we’d heard or seen on movies and videos. We thought it would be much easier than it was.

We are results driven women and successful in the world and we had high expectations of ourselves to perform well and succeed at birth.

We had a plan for our birth. We aimed for the perfect birth and what we got didn’t fit that picture. Deep down we may feel we failed at birth.

We didn’t really want to birth in a hospital and got caught up in a cascade of intervention.

We were told we had to have an induction and ended up with a c-section.

We had an epidural that led to an instrumental birth.

We didn’t have the practical or spiritual support we needed to navigate labour and birth naturally when the time came. We got scared and looked to our care provider to sort it out and tell us what to do.

Deep down we didn’t really get along with or trust our care provider during birth.

We thought we could project manage our birth via an app or birth plan.

We didn’t know how to open up and be powerfully vulnerable during labour. We didn’t tell anyone how we were really feeling inside and we didn’t know how to let emotional support in at the difficult times when we most needed it.

We felt completely overwhelmed by the pain of labour and chose options we thought we never would.

We know ourselves to be strong women and for some reason during labour all our support people got sick and couldn’t be there for us.

We felt hurried and pressured during labour. We felt watched, observed and under surveillance during birth.

We got caught in power dynamics. We were unsure of our own role and power in the birthing process. We did what the care provider said whilst knowing deep down that the choice didn’t feel right for us.

When we got to the hospital we got swept up in a world not our own and felt captive and frightened. 

When the shit hit the fan we lost our voice and we were unable to ask for what we needed or even say what we were feeling and thinking.

When it came time we felt alone and realized that we didn’t feel supported.

We didn’t know how to ask for our needs and desires to be met in a way that inspired others to meet them.

We were in relationships where we weren’t seen, respected or properly heard and it impacted our birthing process.

We have prioritized the needs of others over our own needs and we haven’t been able to ask for what we want and need during pregnancy or birth.

We had children with partners who abused us. We carry shame about this.

We didn’t know how to stand up for ourselves or value or worth.

We’ve been afraid to let go of the fathers of our children even though we knew deep down they weren’t right for us. We’ve stayed in relationships too long, especially if they were safe and secure ones.

We’ve stayed in unhealthy relationships where there was good chemistry in the hope it would get better but during birth the truth was revealed to us and we had to face that truth with a baby in our arms.

We’ve had sexual abuse and other trauma in our past or childhood. During birth we were unable to trust or surrender into our own body and birthing process.

We grew up catholic and we have not felt fully at home in our female body or with our radiance or sexuality.

We were terrified of birth and overwhelmed by the pain of labour.

We had an awful birth previously and haven’t healed from it yet.

We did what the obstetrician or midwife or doula said because we felt we didn’t know enough about birth and babies and they knew more than us.

We were led to believe that the hospital was the safest place to have a baby, so we found an obstetrician and talked to them about our wishes for a normal birth. We were shocked when close to the arrival of our newborn the scissors came out and our vagina was cut to ‘deliver’ the baby from us.

We were labouring well until suddenly the baby’s heart rate dropped and we were rushed off to have an emergency caesarean.

We had an epidural and a vacuum or forceps delivery. We came home with a deep cut, a wound, lots of stitches or worse. Years later we still deal with incontinence, unresolved feelings, vaginal prolapse and trauma that impacts our sex life and intimate relationships.

We didn’t know how to say no. We said yes when we wanted to say no. Or, we said no, but were not heard. We felt pressured or even threatened to agree to something we didn’t really feel good about.

These are a few of the many reasons why spiritual women have unexpected birthing outcomes.

If any of these resonate with you, know that you are not alone.

These are the experiences of many women I work with, including my own.

Instead of blaming ourselves or others, let’s show a lot of empathy towards ourselves. All of these experiences can be gateways into power moving forward.

How we birth is linked to a much bigger story of women and power. No matter what happened we can heal.

Our birth story can teach us how to live powerfully in a female body on planet earth if we are courageous to look at what happened and how it made us feel.

Women and Birth have formidable Feminine Power, the power to create, relate, expand, radiate, regenerate, rebirth and heal worlds. 

You can have the support now that you did not have then.

You can have the voice now that you did not have then.

You can have the power now that you did not have then.

You can be now who you were not then. You can rise. You can heal. You can expand. Your voice matters. Your body matters. You can take up more space here on this earth. 

Here’s what I know… there is beautiful treasure for you within your birthing story, exactly as it happened. 


If any of the issues raised in this post are having an impact on your life, then you are most welcome to reach out to Angela for personal support.

This is what I love

Illumined Angel in Crystal Stream

As the year comes to a close I pause to reflect on what I love. I love this river. She is a pristine sanctuary that delights me with her enchanted emerald green pools. 

I love dance. I love dancing in costumes. I love dancing in comfy clothes. I love dancing naked. I love dancing in community. I love dancing in my back yard. I love dancing with kids! I love wild anything goes dancing. I love dancing in gold threads.

I love Nature. I love soft grass. I love my rose tree. I love swimming in the sea. I love swimming in rivers. I love the change of seasons. I love flowers. I love bumble bees. I love sunsets. I love snow on the mountains. I love the sunsets near my home.

I love my daughter. The child who came through me, who is of me but does not belong to me. I honour the journey we’ve shared so far. Thank you for being my greatest teacher. It really has not been easy, yet I am in awe of you, how you change and grow. I miss you near. I hold you dear.

I love cooking. I love cooking curry and bliss balls and cake and apple pie.

I love celebration. I love parties and countdowns and fireworks and concerts.

I love travel. I’ve been to India several times, West Coast of USA, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Canada and New Zealand… and I’m only just warming up. I love the new smells and foods and sounds and faces. I love the different things to wear and see.

I love berries. Strawberries, cherries and raspberries. I love squishing the berries and seeing the colours all mix over my hand. Perfect water colours. Perfect ye olde lipsticks me thinks.

I love colourful spirited art. I love women’s circles. I love men’s choirs and monks singing. I love bird songs and dog songs. I love whale songs too.

I love water colours. I love how it flows and it cannot be controlled.

I love conversation. I love a good ole cup of tea and a chat with young and old.  The lady at the end of my street. Hester’s Mum. The seventy year old woman I met on the dance floor on Sunday, an earth Goddess!

I love singing.  Mantras and eighties songs, the themes of my youth. Your true colours are beautiful and ‘Wake me up before you go go’! are etched in my bark.

I love the experience of being alive. Each day a new creation. Each day a new expression of self flowing through this soft body.

I love my man. My magic Silver Moonlight.

I love my friends, rare gems, sparkling and golden.

I love myself, always here, always near.

Starlight, spiralling life, shining through me to all tonight.

The Womb contains the Cure

I truly believe that womb health is connected with mental health. I know what it feels like to smile to the outside world while privately living with deep seated mother grief, mother guilt, mother rage, and mother shame.

It held me back for years.

It kept me isolated, stuck and feeling invisible.

Twelve years ago I had an abortion which seriously impacted me.

I thought I was fine, the procedure was straight forward and I had some support from my partner, but it wasn’t enough. On the surface and medically speaking everything went smoothly. Inside me, however, was another story.

I can still remember the tears streaming down my face as we lit a candle and prayed for our loss. Despite this I knew that the termination was the right decision for us both.

What I wasn’t aware of then was how I felt deeper down.

Underneath my smile for the outside world was a rage that wanted to be seen and felt but was hidden.

My anger was held in my underbelly, in my womb.

Back then I had no way to articulate what I was really going through.

I was comfortable with grief but actually I was furious.

I really wanted to make a family and to have more children but my partner at the time didn’t.

Six months later we had ANOTHER abortion.

This was the final TIPPING point.

One day a current of rage rose up from deep within me and impacted the only person truly by my side back then, my five year old daughter.

My shadow self rose up and hurt a vulnerable and innocent child.

I was frightened and horrified and the shock of this day took me years to come to grips with.

I needed womb healing. I needed deep listening. I needed a shame whisperer.

I had no idea how to access myself or the support my soul needed.

This is why I created Birth Your Truth.

It’s what I needed back then when I was all alone.

I grew up catholic and somewhere inside I felt I needed to be punished for my behaviour, so after this I went on to attract a punishing husband.

We live in a culture that barely recognizes the womb and women’s truths . As women we have collectively been socialized and over educated up into our heads.

We tend to ignore ourselves from the waist down, period.

We ignore our womb and pretend she isn’t there. We even medicate her in an attempt to control her. Lest someone become overwhelmed by her power!

Womb healing is essential for women and highly protective for our children because supported, loved and nurtured mothers are safer, happier and better mothers.

Our children don’t really go with what we say as much as they go with how we act and how we behave. Our children not only feel our wounds, they carry them in their heart soul space.

Our children live in our vibrational field.

Back then I was unable to cope with how I really felt deep down. I know now that that which we cannot be with, waits for us and essentially runs us; it owns us.

If we bring ourselves forth, if we have the courage to be with our true feelings, if we can face the carnage we feel in our underbelly, we have a chance at healing and creating a real and authentic life.

If we ignore our shadow selves they can potentially rise up one day and hurt us or others or even fester away slowly and destroy us from within.

Unmet pain can implode internally into lumps, bumps, cysts and illnesses or externally it can explode hurting ourselves and those we care most about.

I am passionate about creating a better world for mothers and their children.

I do my work for women, our children and the generations to come too.

Back then I was unable to deal with the enormity of my feelings, it was too big and too scary. I was a single parent living alone in a big city and I felt ashamed.

As a daughter of patriarchy I was trained to soldier on and keep going. The modern day version of this is to carry on and ‘suck it up’.

Hiding and sucking it up only led me to hiding my truth and exploding it out later hurting my child.

After my tipping point I was totally driven to heal. I had to do something that mattered to me, something that honoured my body and women’s life giving powers.

I spent five years in body based psychotherapy and began offering women’s circles. I started Sacred Woman Gatherings in Sydney in 2005.

After years training and working as a doula, child birth educator and eventually becoming a registered midwife in two countries I now have something unique to offer.

From my journey into the depths of personal darkness, new light and new life has come.

In 2015 I created Birth Your Truth to hold space for women to heal from unexpected or disappointing experiences of childbirth, miscarriage and abortion.

This work has been full of light, wonderful and life changing for me.

I have seen deep miracles take place, however I am not a healer.

I am a midwife.

I am with woman, holding space for her energetic, felt truth.

Many of the women I have seen have been hurt by the comments and actions of well meaning and highly trained health professionals who themselves do not have the personal experience, sensitivity, compassion or awareness of the real issues women face behind closed doors after procedures are done.

Every front has a back and oft times some health professionals are only trained to see the front issue (and treat it with surgery or medication) blind to the real issue underneath.

My gift is to see and feel the deeper issues.

I’m with Rumi when he said, “The Wound contains the Cure.”

I go a step further.

The Womb contains the Cure.

The Gentle Force

This week at the primary school where I work I spotted a policeman in the school grounds. I felt a brush of fear ripple through my fur, my ears pricked. I wondered what was up.

Surprise!

Constable Josh had come to talk with the kids. Relief! It was good news. The kids were squealing and squirming with excitement to hear what this man had to say to them.

A good man in uniform stood before us. I was touched by his kind presence. He was beaming gentle energy. The children were attentive, bright eyed and bushy tailed to hear what he had to say.

Constable Josh had come to speak to the kids about his role in the Police force. His role is to be there for children who need him. His role is to protect them. He answered lots of questions and dispelled many myths about police for kids and teachers alike.

He told the children what he does and doesn’t do and assured them that a lot of what they see on television and in movies isn’t real. For instance, he doesn’t carry a gun, and his baton isn’t for hitting people with, it’s for getting people out of cars and places if they are stuck. I felt deep relief to hear this.

He then took off his 10kg vest and showed the kids his torch, bullet proof vest, radio, taser, handcuffs and pepper spray. He answered lots of questions. He talked about choices and prison and jail, then he came out with something truly beautiful. I was so touched I had to write about it.

He asked the children if they knew the best tool the police have? He told them that the best tool the police have, they have too. He said that we are all born with this tool. None of the kids or the teachers could guess what it was.

Josh went on to say that the best tool the police have is their voice. A light went on in my head. I have been saying for years that the most protective and powerful tool a birthing woman can have is her voice. And here I was in another country hearing it from a policeman!

Our voice as mothers can protect us and our babies in pregnancy, birth and beyond. If we have our voice we can speak up and perhaps ask more questions and say no to anything that doesn’t feel right for us. If we can speak from our womb (from our deepest intuitive feminine), we can move confidently through birth and beyond it.

The image of the human voice coming out and forming a protective shield in front of a person now forms in my mind as I sit here writing this.

Yes!… our voice is protective. My spirit knows this to be true. It’s been a long and slow journey for me to find my voice.

When I saw acts of violence towards an Aboriginal man out the back of my family hotel business as a teenager, I said nothing. I froze because I witnessed a family member being brutal. I locked it inside a secret vault. I knew the family line was “If you see something bad, don’t say anything”. This message went in when I was five years old, it was here that my true voice went into hiding.

From a young age I kept many feelings hidden inside. I learned that there was no point speaking up because it wasn’t going to make any difference. I gave up. I developed a socially acceptable false self to survive my early environment of family, school and growing up catholic.

When I first experienced domestic violence at age 30 I said nothing. It went underground packed on top with shame. Silencio. Sitting in the classroom looking at Josh the policeman took me back to the day I took out an AVO, a violence protection order against my ex husband.

Josh reminded me of another beautiful policeman that came to my house many years ago when I needed it. To this day I can only describe it as a direct experience of the Divine Masculine. I felt a calm but palpable transmission of divine light emanating from every part of this man. It was ebbing out through a body of quiet strength.

There is an authenticity to the peaceful warrior that makes him truly powerful. This is in contrast to so much of what we see in the media and in movies growing up. I was not experiencing the divine masculine in my marriage at the time. The energy I felt from my ex husband was sharp, cruel, controlling and it hurt my soul. I was frightened and walked on eggshells … living in the hope he would change.

I stayed because he wasn’t like that all the time, however I was sexually hooked and hypnotized by his charismatic charm and generosity – when he wasn’t putting me or my friends and family down in some way. I was called a slut and filth. One day I found myself shaking in terror as I ran from my house to sit on the ground a few streets from my home.

Friends helped me pack up his stuff and change the locks. I give a big sigh of relief when I realize how different my life is today.

Today I live with a gentle, kind and generous man. A truly peaceful warrior. An awesome companion. My man is kinder, deeper and more patient than anyone I’ve ever met before. I am grateful for his presence every day and night. For the first time in my life I feel safe and protected in a partnership with a man. I am never harmed. I am held.

I used to have a lot of shame that I experienced domestic violence. Not any more.

I forgive myself for being unable to speak.

I forgive myself for staying too long.

I forgive myself for taking so long to leave.

I honour myself for getting out and staying out. Studies show it can take 17 attempts for women to leave an abusive partner before they leave for good. I really get this from my lived experience. I have no judgement. I’ve been there.

Somewhere deep down I believed that if I stayed and loved more it would all come good, it would get better.

Wrong.

I got a divorce.

Today, six years on, I live with a Divine Man. There is no abuse, no anger, no pain, and hurtful words are not said, ever. The trauma of living with the dark man is over. I have healed something inside me.

Over time, once I felt safe again I came to see the root of the abuser experience was my deep feeling of unworthiness and the hope that I could receive love by struggling for it. When my abusers were out of the picture I took up the mantle myself. At the heart of the matter was my own self abuse. I was cruel to me. And my pain spilled over onto those I loved. I was overflowing with pain and needed healing. Silver and New Zealand has been my healing.

Today, and every day, I am increasing my love for myself, saying kind things to myself and holding myself. Although I grew up in what looked like a loving family, I didn’t feel loved. The hardest part has been forgiving myself and finding compassion for myself.

I am grateful for Constable Josh, my AVO hero and my Divine Man Silver today because they have all been men who have shown me the face of the Sacred Masculine in this world.

The best part is that The Gentle Force is now inside me too, protecting me, staying by me and loving me no matter what. I woke this morning from a dream of a long train ride that was coming to its final destination. I looked out the window and the sign read God and Goddess.

As within, so without.

Nice and Good

One of the themes I grew up with growing up catholic and going to an all girls private school was that girls should be ‘nice’, ‘good’ and ‘clean’! Ha! I was a nature loving ‘tom boy.’

I was supposed to be ‘clean and good’ but in truth I was ‘wild and dirty’ from playing in the creeks and the wet mud after the rain.

I was awake early and off like a thunderbolt on my bike around the countryside on the weekends before Mum and Dad got up.

As a young girl I was curious, adventurous and very physical. I was an outside girl. I rolled down hills and swam with tadpoles. I learned when it was safe to be wild and when it was not. I learned when to smile sweetly and when to show my teeth.

I played in trees and travelled huge distances in my local terrain on foot and later on my red bicycle with my dingo cross kelpie dog Georgie Girl.

Consequently when it came to birth I was not compliant and I had a voice. I even said to my midwife as my daughter was coming out, “Don’t you pull my baby out of me!” She didn’t.

I was one of the lucky ones.

Too many women are still playing nice, good girl roles. We are too bloody compliant.

We apologize for everything, we mute our true voice and we are concerned about looking good.

We do what we are told and cannot ask for what we want and need.

I sometimes fall into this trap too, I have to admit.

What ideas about being a girl did you absorb growing up? Can you ask for support? Can you say NO? Can you tell someone to go away? Ask someone to leave the room?

The early patterns from childhood play out big time in our lives as women giving birth.

Early ideas from parents, TV and teachers may have submerged deep into us, and we have forgotten about them.

These old ideas can be controlling us without our awareness.

We have to stalk these predators. We must eliminate anything that no longer serves us today. It’s okay now to finally show our true colours, our grass stains and our deeper voice.

It’s a journey and I still sometimes struggle to say NO. I’m not perfect. I’m still learning.

As we mature we have the task of sorting the gold from the dirt.

We have to determine what we truly value.

We have to determine what we think and feel.

We have to determine what we want to protect and what we do not mind losing or giving up.

One thing for sure, as women, as mothers, we have to protect what we love.

Allowing ourselves to carve out our own ideas and values is an important part of becoming ourselves. Allowing everyone else to have their views is important too.

We are our own person and we can live, birth and parent the way we choose. In fact it is essential we do.

The world is starved for our truth, our long silenced loving, hot, deep, soft, wild, wet, fierce truth.

Yours and mine.

You matter.

Be heard.

Be real.

Be you.