My Ongoing Doula Journey – Training and Conferences.

My Doula Journey – Training and Courses Attended

Attending a Doula course is the start of an ever evolving journey. I completed my Doula UK Training with Conscious Birthing in March 2014 and completed the Doula UK recognition process in September 2015 (Post Natal) and December 2015 (Birth). I am also a trained Breast Feeding Peer Supporter.

Courses and Conferences Attended
Doula UK Conference 2018 – Supporting Survivors

This event explored how doulas and other birth and postnatal workers can support survivors of trauma and abuse, and each other. Talks from

  • Kicki Hansard – When Survivors Give Birth
  • Jo Dagustun – Spotlight on Better Births
  • Suzy Ashworth – your doula business
  • Bridget Supple – trauma and brain connections
  • Hilary Lewin and Joy Horner – survival toolkit for doulas
  • Rebecca Schiller – human rights in childbirth Riga Forbes – mindfulness for self care
  • Maddie McMahon – infant feeding support and doulas
  • Dr Mari Greenfield – trauma in birth
  • Mark Harris – the partner’s role
  • Mr Raja Gangopadhyay and Dr Diane S Speier – Holistic Strategies for Protecting Perinatal Mental Health.
    plus a performance of ‘WILD’ (a Birth Project production), and poetry from Dzifa Benson
Doula UK Conference 2017 – Positive Birth Supporting Families

Doula UK 2017

Including talks by Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery and mother of the natural birth movement and founder of The Farm Midwifery Centre in America.

All Wales Student Midwifery Conference 2016

All Wales Student Midwifery Conference, where I got to listen to some amazing empowered speakers, chill with some of the other Doulas from the Welsh Doula Network – Doula UK and meet with the likes of Holly McNish, author of Nobody Told Me, Mark Harris, author of Men, Love and Birth, Gill Bowden of Aims, Johanna Rhys-Davies of Birthrights, and La Leche League, Kate Evans, author of Bump and the Food of Love.

I had a lovely time networking with a whole host of new midwives, birthworkers and midwives to be.

Supporting Every Birth

with Michelle Every. This course helps me further my work with loss in the childbearing year and gave me more knowledge to benefit the work I already do in supporting women who have experienced the sadness of miscarriage, still birth, termination, birth trauma, an unexpected end to their breast feeding journey and other losses related to the child bearing year.

Doula UK Conference 2016

Including talks by Elizabeth Prochaska , barrister and founder of Birthrights and Mia Scotland, Clinical Psychologist and workshops for birth professionals on perinatal mental health.

Trauma and Rewind Technique :

with Alex Heath. A 2 day birth trauma therapy workshop “Traumatic Birth Recovery“, to help further the Birth Trauma, Reframing and Debrief Services I provide, enabling women to find peace with their births and enjoy a more positive experience next time through the use of the Rewind Technique.

Acupressure and Aromatherapy in Child Birth and Pregnancy

with Elizabeth Russell of Global Heart Holistics, a workshop to promoting the safe use of essential oils and acupressure in pregnancy.

Seeding the Biome

University of South Wales Midwifery Society, arranged  a showing of Microbirth at their opening, to assist women who want to have a gentle or more family centred caesarean birth. This fascinating film discussed the importance of the “good bacteria” involved in birth and in establishing gut health. 

I also completed an online training course to further my knowledge of this important area.

When Survivors Give Birth

with Penny Simkin –Understanding and Healing the Effects of Trauma and Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women.  

This course deepened my foundational knowledge for understanding and healing the effects of childhood sexual abuse on childbearing people

I am really excited to have attended this course, run by the mother of Doulas, Penny Simkin, who came from America.

Already experienced in the impact of abuse supporting Survivors, I feel this course is of massive benefit to women in South Wales.

Post Natal, Twin Support, Bridgend, South Wales

I don’t think we would have survived the early days and weeks with twins without her. She was a really good fit for our family and was really easy to have around at a time when we were vulnerable.

Bethan and Peter Cole
Mother Blessing, Cardiff, South Wales

Sam facilitated my Mother Blessing and it was an amazing day. I had a lot of ideas and Sam took the time to listen and talk though them all with me and help me create a really magical day.

RR Cardiff
Consultant Led Birth (In The Snow) – Royal Gwent Hospital

I couldn’t have gotten through the birth of my second child without Sam. She came out during terrible weather in the snow, when I needed her most, pitching up on my sofa overnight not really knowing if he were to arrive that night but just in case

Lauren Edwards
Creating Your Positive Birth Day, Cardiff, South Wales.

Love Samantha. Love her work. Highly recommended for all pregnant mammas!

Amy Burrage
Post Natal Support, Bridgend

All I can say is thank you!

Tania Leanne Trebble
The Doulas Doula – Freebirth, Pontypridd South Wales

Sam was actually my doula and you can’t really get a recommendation than that! …… She is amazing.

Ellie Horrigan
Home Birth, Cardiff, South Wales

Sam has a knack for being able to recognise the needs of the mother and unobtrusively meet those needs.

Kristina Young, Cardiff
Vaginal Birth After Caerarean Turned Elective Caesarean, Caerphilly, South Wales

I really felt that Sam was a safe pair of hands for all of us and she helped make the pregnancy, birth and the initial time with the newborn more comfortable and relaxed

Marc Issacs
Home Birth, Caerphilly, South Wales.

Her work as a doula goes beyond what you expect with her constant care and consideration for your personal circumstances.

Emma Burns
Freebirth, Pontypridd, South Wales

There was nothing Sam would not do to help, she was an amazing support to us, a great photographer and like an old friend as we all sat in front of the fire after Honor’s birth, sharing tea and softly chatting until the sun came up.

Zoe K
Homebirth After Miscarriage, Neath, Abertawe Bro Morganwwyg University Health Board

I can’t thank Sam enough for answering questions and giving support and just providing a listening ear.

Kirsty Smart
Solo Parent Birth and Post Natal Support

It felt as though I had my mother there and that was really important.

Amazing Online Support

I recommend you to everyone – mother, grandmother, aunt who is going through what should be a beautiful event but so often becomes difficult. Even straight forward births are frightening the first time.

Teri Browett
Preparing for Pregnancy and Online Post Natal Support, Penarth

Such a knowledgeable and lovely lady, has provided me with invaluable knowledge, confidence and belief. Wonderful!

Fauvette Lillie
Creating Your Positive Birth Workshop/VBAC

Samantha has an approachable and easy way; which is relaxing, comfortable and grounding. Her in-depth and up-to-date knowledge is very reassuring.

Lynn Gazal
Caesarean Under General Anesthetic Post Miscarriage.

Sam is an honest, caring lady. She is very passionate about her love of life and birth.

Rhian Gregory
Home Birth, Newport.

She was massively helpful and at the birth it was fantastic to have a calm presence to hold my hand, provide assistance and general be a fantastic pillar of support amongst the bedlam.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean, Caerphilly, South Wales

Samantha Gadsden, I now have the birth plan in place I wanted but did not have the confidence or knowledge to fight for on my own. Thank you so much xxxx

Rachel Elizabeth
Post Natal Support, Wenvoe, Near Cardiff, South Wales

That evening, in bed, feeling calmer, I felt the milk come in. As I was able to sleep more soundly, knowing that Sam was watching the baby.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean, Merthyr Tydfil.

I can honestly say that since meeting Sam and the lovely women at the Positive Birth Meeting, I have been much more in control of my anxiety and have enjoyed the pregnancy more.

Lisa Barry
Birth Trauma, Reframing, Cardiff, South Wales.

Sam is non judgemental, open, honest, passionate, very well educated in all things pregnancy, childbirth & beyond and I would highly recommend her to anyone having any worries, doubts, anxiety or stress about giving birth.

Amy Burrage, Cardiff.
My Daughter’s Caesarean Birth, Cardiff South Wales.

I can’t thank you enough Sam. …… she was able to have some control in a very clinical environment.

42 weeks plus homebirth, Rhondda, South Wales.

During labour and the 3rd stage I unfortunately had midwives who weren’t au fait with homebirth or physiological third stage and Sam was there, championing my rights and supporting my partner through some of the tougher parts. I love that she so fully respected my choices and demanded everyone else present to as well.

Kate B
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean, Caerphilly, South Wales

Sam gave me the support and courage to write a birth plan that would help me get the birth I wanted.

Fran Thomson
First Time Mum, Natural Homebirth, South Wales

I could feel her joy during the whole process and this made labour feel as celebratory as the moment my baby was born.

anya szura
Positive Birth, Cardiff.

Sam’s support and advice covered both ‘natural’ birth and planned c section as options, emphasising that both can be positive, and even healing.

Bethan Collins
Waterbirth, Freebirth, Pontyclun, South Wales

Samantha was like a guardian angel – constantly there but rarely seen. Her presence was very reassuring, a calm, wise presence at the periphery of the action.

Pollyana and Alistair Leaver


Samantha Gadsden walks with women on their life’s journeys. She is an experienced Doula, based close to Cardiff in South Wales, mother to 4 children and wife to Eddie, more information can be found on her facebook page, Samantha Gadsden Doula and her website, Caerphilly Doula.

If you are interested in writing a guest blog or sharing a life or birth story please feel free to contact her HERE.

“Your Journey, Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth"

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