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The Birth Activists

The Birth Activists

By Becki Scott & Samantha Gadsden
Pregnancy, birth and baby topics with birth activists, Samantha Gadsden, Becki Scott and guests
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March With Midwives - The Voices of Midwives
In this podcast, the second of the March With Midwives episodes, I am joined by Milly Morris, Maryla Crosski and Elsie Gayle - all midwives - who joined the Steering Group of the MWM campaign to have their voices heard and to raise the voices of midwives suffering in Maternity Services across the UK right now. Nationwide vigils are being organised for Sunday 21st of November at 2pm. Join our national Facebook group here and find your local vigil: Read the MWM manifesto and access loads of resources here: Follow #MarchWithMidwives on social media to see what people are saying! Follow MWM on social media here: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
November 11, 2021
March With Midwives UK - The Beginning
In this special episode, I talk to fellow Doulas Maddie McMahon, Verina Henchy and Paula Cleary about the grassroots movement that is making waves in the birth world, March with Midwives UK. Nationwide vigils are being organised for Sunday 21st of November at 2pm.  Join our national Facebook group here and find your local vigil: Read the MWM manifesto and access loads of resources here: Follow #MarchWithMidwives on social media to see what people are saying! Follow MWM on social media here: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
November 09, 2021
S2 E13: Birth After Caesarean
The last episode in this series covers the controversial topic of vaginal birth after caesarean. Louise tells her birth story of having a home waterbirth after two previous caesareans and Rosalie talks about how she opted for a freebirth after a previous caesarean. If you are considering your options after a caesarean birth then this episode is sure to inspire you! Check out Louise's birth story blog here: For support and information when considering a home birth, check out Sam's Facebook Group here:
July 05, 2021
S2 E12: Supporting Disabled Families with Lucy Baena
In this episode we chat with Lucy Baena, a doula and disabled parent, about ableism in maternity services. Lucy is so insightful and eloquently summarises the disparities and discrimination within the maternity & health services when it comes to being disabled and pregnant and a disabled parent. If you would like to share your story as a disabled parent with Lucy, please contact her by email: Go check out Lucy on social media here:
June 18, 2021
S2 E11: The Queer Parenting Partnership with Maeve & Jacob
Sam and I were very lucky to be joined by trans-parent, Jacob, and his 'pocket midwife', Maeve in this episode. Jacob talks candidly about his experiences as a pregnant trans person and about the birth of his first child. Maeve and Jacob are two members of The Queer Parenting Partnership who support LGBTQ+ people from conception through to pregnancy, birth and parenting. A bit more info about TQPP: We run regular antenatal and postnatal classes, details and booking information is available on our website at We also have a free monthly zoom meet up for families. We are now launching our training for professionals: "Providing perinatal care for people of all genders". We are taking bookings from the autumn and will also release some dates for individuals to book on to. We are on facebook, twitter and instagram as @parentingqueer
June 04, 2021
S2 E10: 'The Poetry Doula' Kati Edwards
Kati Edwards aka ‘The Poetry Doula” joins us in this episode with an exclusive first reading of her new spoken word piece, 'The A to Z of Childbirth Activism'.  Kati is also a hypnobirthing teacher, a doula and an international speaker helping parents-to-be to really understand their birth options so they can discover what path is the best for them. She helps people create great birth experiences. The birth of Kati’s 2nd child featured on the groundbreaking BBC1 documentary ‘Childbirth All or Nothing’ and she has appeared on BBC 5Live and BBC Family and Education discussing how doulas can help people give birth after previous traumatic experiences.
May 21, 2021
S2 E9: Birthworkers for Human Rights with Allison Tate
Allison Tate (she/her) of Birthworkers for Human Rights (previously known as Doulas for Human Rights) joins us in this episode to talk about birthwork in the US, racial disparities and birth activism during the pandemic. Allison is a Scottish, holistic, spiritual, birth and bereavement birthkeeper, birth rights activist, birth advocate, birth educator and energy worker, living in Florida.  She provides trauma informed support for births in all trimesters, all outcomes and for all birthing people.  She holds herself accountable for addressing white supremacy, racism, inequity, disparities and obstetric violence in reproductive care, for reducing harm, trauma and perinatal illness and for facilitating change.  She can be found across social media platforms @backtobirth @birthworkersforhumanrights  Birthworkers for Human Rights: Back to Birth:
May 07, 2021
S2 E8: Autistic and Pregnant with Stacie Pollard
Stacie is a parent who navigated being autistic and pregnant during the pandemic. She joined us to tell her story. Stacie found Sam's Homebirth Group really helpful - you can join the group here: You can buy Sam's birth affirmations here:
April 23, 2021
S2 E7: Autism Awareness Month with Lana Grant
April is Autism Awareness Month and, in this episode, we are joined by Lana Grant, author of "From Here To Maternity, pregnancy and motherhood on the Autism Spectrum". We talk about the difficulties and discrimination autistic women and birthing people face when pregnant and accessing maternity services, including how the pandemic has impacted their rights. Lana is a Specialist Advisor and advocate for people with autism and their families. She has worked within the field of autism for nearly twenty years and specialises in autism and females. You can find out more about Lana here.
April 09, 2021
S2 E6: Wait for White with Amanda Burleigh
Amanda Burleigh, midwife, joins Sam and Becki to talk about cord clamping - a very informative episode you won't want to miss! Amanda started campaigning for optimal cord clamping in 2005 with the Wait for White campaign. After years of practicing immediate cord clamping as a midwife, Amanda realised that there was no evidence to say this was safe for baby and, on the contrary, she found research which shows immediate/ early cord clamping deprives the baby of 30% of their blood volume and could cause harm.  Find out more about Amanda and the #WaitForWhite campaign here:
March 26, 2021
S2 E5: The Raham Project
In this episode we talk to Safura and Faiza, founders of The Raham Project. The project is dedicated to supporting maternal mental well being for mothers and their partners of ethnic minority backgrounds.  Here is a link to the FIVEXMORE '6 steps' as mentioned in the podcast: Follow them on social media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
March 12, 2021
S2 E4: Aimee Hamblyn: Spiritual activism - Love in the Birth Room
Sam and I are joined in this episode by the lovely Aimee Hamblyn. We discuss the sacred work of the Doula with Aimee and touch on subjects such as Religion, abortion and being queer. We just LOVE how Aimee refers to birthwork as 'Spiritual Activism' and we all enjoyed delving into this deep, meaty subject. We are sure you'll love this episode as much as we did! Find out more about Aimee on her website here: Follow Aimee on instagram @aimee_hamblyn Check out Aimee's spiritual work on Facebook @loveconnectiontransformation - she has a NEW course running this summer! Aimee is also a Developing Doulas Course Leader and is training new Doulas this summer, check out the course here:
February 26, 2021
S2 E3: Sheena Byrom - No introduction required
In this episode the lovely Sheena Byrom joins us to talk about midwifery, maternity services and the current challenges midwives are facing working during the pandemic.  Sheena was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to midwifery, and received an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Midwives in 2015. In 2016 she was delighted to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University. You can find out more about Sheena on her website: Sheena has written several books: Catching Babies, her midwife memoirs. She jointly edited The Roar Behind the Silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care with Professor Soo Downe OBE. She joined forces with Soo again with Squaring the Circle: researching normal birth in a technological world which was published in June 2019. Sheena and her daughter, Anna, set up All 4 Maternity, the home of The Practising Midwife publication - find out more here: Follow Sheena on social media @sheena_byrom
February 12, 2021
S2 E2: Fat & Pregnant: Michelle's Birth Story
Michelle (AKA Limerick Doula) was part of our podcast episode back in June of last year talking about plus-size pregnancy and birth (which you can listen to again here). Michelle joins us in this new episode to tell us about the birth of her daughter, Iris and her upcoming book, Fat Birth. Get yourself a cuppa and make yourself comfortable - This is a beautiful birth story... Follow Michelle on instagram here>> @fat.and.pregnant If you have a plus-size birth story you would like to submit for inclusion in Michelle's new book, please do so here
January 29, 2021
S2 E1: Labour of Love with Sallyann Beresford
The first podcast episode of 2021 is here! In this episode Sallyann joins Sam and I to talk about her book "Labour of Love: The Ultimate Guide to being a Birth partner". The role of the birth partner is pivotal to a person's birth experience whether you are husband, wife, partner, mother, sister, friend or doula!  You can find out more about Sallyann and her work as a Doula on her website here: Checkout Sallyann's new podcast here:
January 15, 2021
S1 E18: ** CHRISTMAS SPECIAL ** Watch us on YouTube!
This year saw the creation of the Birth Activists podcast amid a global pandemic. Sam and I recap on the podcast guests of 2020 whilst we enjoy a festive tipple.  You can also watch the video recording of this podcast on YouTube here!
December 24, 2020
S1 E17: Social Services - Abuse of Power with Neil McEvoy AM
In this episode, we are joined by the Leader of the Welsh National Party, Neil McEvoy AM, to talk about the issue of parental alienation and the abuse of power perpetuated by social services. Neil has well and truly earned his place on The Birth Activists podcast! His activism work has caused great controversy and he has been personally targeted because of his willingness to speak out against injustice. You can follow Neil on social media @neiljmcevoy Find out more about Neil here: Links referenced in the podcast: **This is marked as explicit cos Sam only went and dropped the 'F' word! 
November 12, 2020
S1 E16: Why Babyloss Matters with Kay King
Kay King joins us in this episode to discuss her new book 'Why Babyloss Matters' and her work as an Advanced Grief Recovery Practitioner. *TRIGGER WARNING* In this episode we discuss sensitive issues such as abortion, infertility, miscarriage and babyloss. Visit Kay's website and buy the book: Find out more about the Grief Recovery Method here:
November 07, 2020
S1 E15: AIMS - Working hard to make improvements to Maternity Services
Sam and I are joined by Verina, Emma and Maddie who all devote time to volunteering for the charity, AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) in varying ways and are passionate advocates for choice in and improvement of the UK's Maternity Services. Since the 1960s AIMS have campaigned tirelessly for improvements to the UK's maternity services, as well as supporting women and families directly through their helpline, and sharing information to pregnant people and health carers with their hugely informative books, Journal and website resources. AIMS works towards better births for all by campaigning and information sharing, protecting human rights in childbirth and helping women to know their rights, whatever birth they want, and wherever they want it.  Verina Henchy is a Doula and Homeopath based in Rutland. You can find out more about Verina here: Emma Ashworth is a British Doula and Birth Activist based in Spain. You can find out more about Emma here: Maddie McMahon is a Doula, Doula Trainer and Mentor. You can find out about what she does on the following platforms: / / /
October 30, 2020
S1 E14: Komal Odear - Pregnant in the Pandemic
In this episode, Sam and I talk to Komal, a first time expectant parent based in Northampton (my neck of the woods). She has been campaigning about the restrictions on partners attending scans and is now facing the prospect of spending a great deal of her labour alone, without her partner. Please think about signing Komal's petition here: If you are based in Northamptonshire, please consider giving feedback on maternity services to the Maternity Voice Partnership (MVP) via this survey
October 16, 2020
S1 E13: Amity Reed - Overdue: Birth, Burnout and a Blueprint for a better NHS
Amity Reed joins us in this episode, on the eve of her book release! "Amity Reed became a midwife to serve women, but the reality of working in over-stretched and underfunded NHS maternity services soon shattered her illusions. She’s not alone – for every 30 midwives that train, 29 will leave the profession. Overdue is both the devastating personal story behind the statistics, and a call for change in the NHS. Real-life stories capture the moments at the heart of midwifery: life, death, birth, tragedy and joy, and are embedded in a clear-sighted examination of what is working – and what isn’t – in maternity services. The result is a book that asks – and tries to answer – questions that are at the heart of many people’s working lives: how can we follow our calling, provide for our families and keep ourselves healthy, if the workplace and its systems are working against us?" Buy the book here:
October 02, 2020
S1 E12: #ButNotMaternity with Holly Avis
Holly is a mum to 3 boys, living in Northamptonshire, who started a petition to allow partners in to hospitals when she faced the prospect of being without her husband, Ricky, when she needed him most. We talk to Holly about the #butnotmaternity campaign and her experience of being pregnant and birthing during the pandemic. Sign the petition: Use this open letter as a template to write to your MP:
September 14, 2020
S1 E11: Breastfeeding Grief and Trauma with Prof. Amy Brown
Professor, author and breastfeeding guru, Amy Brown, joins us for this episode to talk about Breastfeeding Grief and Trauma following the release of her book, Why Breastfeeding Grief and Trauma Matters. We are HUGE fans of Amy here at The Birth Activists and it was so lovely to chat about this subject which is particularly close to Becki's heart. Becki has personal experience of breastfeeding grief - Read her blog here: Visit Amy's website here: Buy Amy's books here: Follow Amy on facebook: Follow Amy on instagram:
September 10, 2020
S1 E10: Bonus Episode - Doula Rant!
What are Becki and Sam ranting about now? Find out on this bonus mini podcast episode....
September 02, 2020
S1 E9: Researching Mothers, as a Mother - with Laura
In this episode, Sam and I are joined by Laura to talk about her work with refugees and asylum seekers, and in particular the research work she has done interviewing 'displaced' mothers. We tackle sensitive issues such as racism, racial bias and colourism. Here is a link to her research blog: Laura co-founded MEAD (Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Diversity Research Group)://,-ethnicity,-race-and-diversity-research-group Laura collaborates with Oasis Cardiff: - Oasis Cardiff is an non profit charity that aims to help Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Cardiff.
August 27, 2020
S1 E8: Maddie McMahon - In the Eye of The Storm: Ocular Melanoma, Maternity Care and Me
In this episode, Sam and I are joined by Maddie McMahon - Doula, writer and Breastfeeding Counsellor. Maddie talks about her blog, 'In the Eye of The Storm: Ocular Melanoma, Maternity Care and Me', and how her recent experience receiving cancer treatment opened her eyes to similarities with maternity care. Follow Maddie's work here: - Doula preparation course - Extension course for birthworkers with emphasis on building your business - Maddie's blog - Maddie's doula site - Cambridge Breastfeeding Alliance - Maddie's Miracle Charity
August 17, 2020
S1 E7: Childbirth Choices Matter PT2
In this episode Sam and I are joined by Kemi Johnson and Michelle Quashie to discuss the Childbirth Choices Matter campaign further.  Kemi is an Independent Midwife and Hypnobirthing Instructor. Visit Kemi's website here: Michelle is a doula and the founder of the Women’s Voices Conference.   Support the campaign by making a donation here:
July 21, 2020
S1 E6: Childbirth Choices Matter PT1
In this episode Sam and I are joined by Jacqui Tomkins (Chair of IMUK) and Kay King (Campaign Manager of Childbirth Choices Matter and the National Coordinator for the White Ribbon Alliance in the UK) to talk about the current campaign to produce an insurance product for self-employed independent midwives.  Find out more and donate here: Please share the podcast and the crowdfunder and help support Independent Midwifery to remain a choice for expectant parents, your children and your children's children! 
July 10, 2020
S1 E5: Plus-size Pregnancy & Birth
In this episode, Samantha and I chat with fellow doula, Michelle, and plus-size mum, Sarah, about what it's like to be labelled with a high BMI during pregnancy and how this can impact on your birth choices.  This episode comes with a *TRIGGER WARNING* of obstetric rape and violence, sexual assault and infant death. Michelle is owner of Limerick Doula Services in Limerick, Ireland - check out her website here. She is a plus-size mum of 4, and at the time of the recording she was expecting number 5! Michelle also runs a private body-positive facebook group entitled 'Fat and Pregnant Community' - please contact Michelle directly to learn more. Sarah is a mum of 2 living in Cardiff.
June 25, 2020
S1 E4: Paula Cleary - The Accidental Activist
Sam and I are joined by fellow doula, Paula Cleary, talking about the trials and tribulations of being an activist for birthing women and people.  This episode comes with a TRIGGER WARNING for sexual abuse, domestic violence and obstetric violence and as such has been categorised as EXPLICIT. We also talk about self care as birthworkers when handling traumatic cases. Find out more about Paula on her website here and visit the Birth Place Matters website which has been pivotal in Paula's activism journey and hugely beneficial to many women and birthing people.
June 10, 2020
S1 E3: Katie Olliffe - Optimal Cord Clamping - Why Is It Still A Question?
Samantha and I chat with fellow doula Katie Olliffe about the benefits of optimal cord clamping and the controversial subject of intact resuscitation. You can find out more about Katie on her website here or follow her on Facebook here. The Wait For White website is a great resource for further information on optimal cord clamping.  Also, here are some useful AIMS articles about Neonatal Resuscitation and Delaying the Clampers. As usual, full permission has been given to share the information discussed in this podcast.
May 29, 2020
S1 E2: The Role of the Doula
Today, Samantha and I talk about what is and isn't in the remit of a doula and how this is often misinterpreted or misunderstood by healthcare professionals. Becki Scott is a doula and holistic therapist living and working in Northamptonshire - you can find out more about her here Samantha Gadsden is a doula in South Wales - you can find out more about her on her website here. Samantha runs the national Home Birth Support Group UK on Facebook. She has also set up a paid Facebook group (Freebirth And Emergency Childbirth Support Group UK) specifically for those people considering freebirth or looking for resources when a baby is likely to be BBA (born before arrival).
May 19, 2020
S1 E1: Freebirth & Coercion in Birth
Becki Scott chats to Samantha Gadsden about the rise in women and birthing people considering freebirth during the pandemic. Becki is a doula and holistic therapist living and working in Northamptonshire - you can find out more about her here Samantha is a doula in South Wales - you can find out more about her on her website here. Samantha runs the national Home Birth Support Group UK on Facebook. She has also set up a paid Facebook group (Freebirth And Emergency Childbirth Support Group UK) specifically for those people considering freebirth or looking for resources when a baby is likely to be BBA (born before arrival).
May 06, 2020