A mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, an aunty, a shoulder to cry on and someone to celebrate life with, I live in my beautiful home in Maesycwmmer, in the South Wales Valleys, just outside Caerphilly.
Doulaing and enabling women to own their own power are my passions. I firmly believe that all women deserve to be listened to and treated with dignity and respect, in all walks of life. Pregnancy, birth and the post natal period, can be the most vulnerable, most raw, most powerful and most primal time of a woman’s life. The way we are treated at this time, how we birth and how we are treated while we birth and after birth, remain with us for the rest of our time on this earth and help shape our children, their children and the next generations.
My role is to support women and families, to help them achieve the births they want and deserve, wherever and however that is and to support them to have a joyous post natal experience and parenting journey and have set up a holistic pre-conception through to parenting hub, from egg collection, through your pregnancy, birth and into your parenting years I can support you.
I believe in choice and honesty, so that women can make informed decisions about their births and achieve the birth for them, at home, in hospital, vaginally or by caesarean birth. I have particular interests in twin and multiple birth, freebirth and gentle caesareans and have supported IVF and lone parent pregnancies.
Whether it is a first or a fifth baby, it brings me great joy walk alongside pregnant women while they take this transformative path, for a part or for all of the journey.
With four of my own children, my personal journey has moved through birth trauma to ecstatic birth.
I have personal and Doula experience of bottle feeding, tandem (and triandem) feeding, breast feeding, cloth nappies, baby wearing, natural term weaning and baby led weaning as well as one of my children being home educated.
An advocate of breast feeding as a biological norm, I do not judge those who do not feed this way. I aim to provide information that is lacking, my role is to support you in your feeding choices, without judgement.
As a doula I have worked with pregnancy and birth in many forms, at home and in hospital birth, from freebirth through to planned gentle caesarean and I work across a number of Welsh Trusts, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cwm Taf University Health Board, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. I also have experience of supporting twin pregnancy and birth and twins in the post natal period.
I knew before I did my Doula training I would ask Sam if she would be my mentor when I completed my course.
I can’t thank you enough Sam. …… she was able to have some control in a very clinical environment.
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.
I am so grateful to her for inviting me to her various groups and meet-ups, and in particular, for allowing me the use of her birth pool.
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.
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
I bought some birth affirmation cards via pdf and they are brilliant.
No silly phrases that annoy me like some other affirmations. Really great wording.
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.
I don’t think it is possible for me to put into words just how amazing it was to have Sam with me for my for my planned, hypnobirthing caesarean section. She was so calming and reassuring when I was incredibly anxious and stressed, especially going into such a highly medicalised situation.
Her support, both emotionally and practically, was simply amazing before, during, and after the caesarean birth and I instantly missed her when she had left us for the final time. I just can’t imagine going through the caesarean without her. Just her being with me and her presence alone was so calming, and even when I was in great discomfort post caesarean, just her being with me was a huge comfort. She was so tender and attentive to my new son and myself. It meant so much to me.
At the end of the session I felt like I’d made the right decisions during my pregnancy and it gave me confidence for my birth plans.
Sam’s confidence and relaxed, down to earth approach reaffirmed my belief that I can do this and I have done everything I can to ensure I have my positive birth.
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.
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.
It felt as though I had my mother there and that was really important.
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
Thank you Sam for your support on both my children, you were wonderful 🙂
Sam has a knack for being able to recognise the needs of the mother and unobtrusively meet those needs.
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.
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.
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.
All I can say is thank you!
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.
Luckily it (the birth pool) was easy to put up and take down afterwards and came with everything I needed. Would use again!
She is warm hearted without being sentimental, practical and real.
Sam gave me the support and courage to write a birth plan that would help me get the birth I wanted.
We hired a birthing pool through Samantha. My pregnancy was longer than expected and I contacted the company to explain I couldn’t return the pool in the time frame we had agreed. This was not a problem at all and I had the pool for an extra week free of charge. The quality was excellent and it was so easy – I would definitely recommend.
Never had a belly cast done before, and was so glad I did. I would wholeheartedly recommend Samantha, a warm, friendly, non judgemental lady, who listens and is there for you. Well worth all the services she provides and more.
Love Samantha. Love her work. Highly recommended for all pregnant mammas!
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
I am in Sam’s wonderful Facebook groups and I am so thankful I came across them.
I have gained so much from being in them and I feel like it is my little haven to come into, even just to have a read through of birth stories etc.
Such a knowledgeable and lovely lady, has provided me with invaluable knowledge, confidence and belief. Wonderful!
Sam was actually my doula and you can’t really get a recommendation than that! …… She is amazing.
The pack of 40 birth affirmations from Sam are more than amazing! My partner even recites the affirmations to me, we love them they are so positive and uplifting.
Sam has been a massive support to me and so many others in this absolutely insane time to be having babies. She has pulled together so much incredible information for women to make their own informed decisions around birth and is constantly empowering people to be able to advocate for themselves.
I could feel her joy during the whole process and this made labour feel as celebratory as the moment my baby was born.
Sam is an honest, caring lady. She is very passionate about her love of life and birth.
I can’t thank Sam enough for answering questions and giving support and just providing a listening ear.
Samantha provided me with all the information I needed to make informed decisions during my pregnancy and empowered me to be confident with making my voice heard.
I simply cannot speak highly enough of Sam, I can not recommend her enough, and I certainly cannot ever express my gratitude and love for this woman and all she does – not just for me but all pregnant women and their families.
Sam’s support and advice covered both ‘natural’ birth and planned c section as options, emphasising that both can be positive, and even healing.
As a mentee it instantly felt right, she is laid back, grounded and knowledgable and I’m so excited to walk the beginnings of my Doula journey beside her.
Her work as a doula goes beyond what you expect with her constant care and consideration for your personal circumstances.
Samantha has an approachable and easy way; which is relaxing, comfortable and grounding. Her in-depth and up-to-date knowledge is very reassuring.
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.
A trained breast feeding peer supporter, I have supported nursing strikes and relatching. I also have excellent links to other birth workers in our area and can sign post you to further support if needed.
Having supported loss in all its forms, I am able to hold and support you in trauma and grief and I have also supported rainbow pregnancies and births.
I love taking photographs and am a keen amateur photographer, (with a beautiful camera and lens), l have a real love of nature photography and photographing my children, for an additional fee I can incorporate photography into your package.
I can provide you with everything you need for your birth and newborn period, from birth pool hire and supplies, through essential oils and baby products, eco laundry, cloth and CSP, mooncups, cloth nappies and everything else you need. (Contact me for discounts and links).
In order to provide additional support to women and new (and not so new) parents, I co-admin a number of groups - details of which can be found HERE. Local groups have members from all over South Wales and the Home Birth Support Group UK is a national group.
I also run the South Wales Sacred Chant and Drum Group in my home village of Maesycwmmer, bringing my local community together.
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"