What’s in Your Doula Bag?

May 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm (Uncategorized)

doula bag 004My clients are always interested in what I’m going to bring to their birth.  I thought I’d do a little inventory of what’s in my bag right now, what still needs to go in there, and what my favorite things are to use at births.  And if any other doulas or midwives are reading this- let me know what’s in your bag, too!  What’s the one thing you wouldn’t want to be without?  What’s the most helpful at your births? I hope to expand my bag just as I expand my knowledge- by sharing with other birth professionals so we can all serve women better. 

Mamas, too- let me know what helped you the most at your births.  What would you have wished your doula had that she didn’t?

Here’s what I carry:

For mama-

  • Organic sports drink- usually lemon flavored so as not to interfere with homeopathic remedies.
  • Some hard candies for energy and to sweeten mama’s mouth if she throws up.  Lately I’ve been using pomegranate candies, and everyone loves them.
  • A few granola bars.
  • Flower remedies: at present, I have Bach’s Rescue Remedy, Aspen (for unnamed fears), Impatiens (for impatience), Chicory (for letting go) and Perelandra’s ETS plus (another rescue remedy-like solution)
  • My 30c homeopathy kit and a few 200c remedies.

    doula bag 002

    homeopathy kit

  • Massage oil
  • Arnica oil
  • St John’s wort oil
  • Lavender and peppermint essential oils (careful to keep them separate from the homeopathy)
  • An unopened chapstick, unscented.
  • Hairbands
  • 2 large wooden combs (for gripping during contractions)
  • A wooden toy (see picture) that’s soothing to play with.
  • Playing cards.
  • Lansinoh.

    labor toy

    labor toy

  • Organic alcohol wipes.
  • Hot/Cold pack and cover
  • Books: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth (better at resolving disputes with caregivers than talking from the doula) by Henci Goer, Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Childbirth by Richard Moskowitz, and the Labor Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta.

For me:

  • A few sandwiches
  • Water bottle
  • A clean shirt
  • A watch
  • Pen and notebook
  • A knitting project, just in case
  • Some cash
  • Cell phone and charger

If I had to choose one thing I couldn’t be without, it would be the massage oil.  After that, I would choose my homeopathy kit (if mama likes homeopathy- some clients don’t), and the wooden toy.  I used the toy at my last birth, and the mom just twirled it and twirled it through contractions.  It was very calming for her. I still want a nice rebozo and a TENS unit.

Even though I carry a lot with me, and sometimes use a lot of what I bring at births, I still feel that my hands and to a lesser extent my voice are the only things I really need.  With those, I can massage, do reiki, calm a mama and hold her up, and the rest of it is mama finding her own way as I watch her in wonder.

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3 Comments

  1. Adrianne said,

    Great post. I hadn’t thought of a toy, that’s a great idea. I carry and love tennis balls. I find they a great help to put pressure on a laboring mom’s back if she is in a position where I can’t reach. I hope your birth today goes beautifully!

  2. mayarivirginia said,

    This morning I could have used some tennis balls- mama was lying in bed and wanted pressure on her sacrum. I used my fist, but a tennis ball would have been a lot easier. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Stacy said,

    I know this post is from last year, but it has been very helpful! Can you tell me where you got your labor toy? It is very cool and looks like a great way to get through contractions. Thank you!

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