Sometimes it can seem like Doula’s are the Mary Poppins of the birth world. Not just because of our lovely singing voices but also because we tend to have everything a labouring mom and her partner need right in our bags! While it is tempting to say we bring “everything and the kitchen sink”, we prefer to stay away from that phrase and bring only the things we know will be helpful.
Even with our bags, at the end of the day our main 3 main tools are our hands (nothing like a 30 second double hip squeeze or massage), our words (keeping mommy motivated and her partner informed) and our energy (keeping a calm safe space for the birth room). These three things play a huge part in having a successful and calm labour and delivery. The items in our bags are simply great and helpful additions, not only for an expecting mother but also for Doulas if the labour ends up being longer than usual.
Here is a list of what we carry to a birth and how they can be useful.
-Water bottle (hydration for a long day or night)
-Small bag snacks (to maintain energy and blood sugar levels)
-Mini toiletry bag (nothing worse than a Doula with morning breath ;))
-Phone charger (for us and in case you forget yours)
-Note pad (writing down little things we think you might want to remember)
-Client File (The file that contains your information as well as multiple copies of your birth plan to give to hospital staff if needed)
-Honey sticks (simple sugar to give the expecting mother energy)
-Rice bag or heating pad (keep cool or warm up for lower back, legs and neck)
-Gardening mat (used for Doula or partner for massage on ground or while expecting mother is on birth ball – this helps for knee padding)
-Hair combs (Multi use, great for labouring moms to keep in their hands below the finger line just before the palm as an acupressure point for pain. Also some women love for their hair to be combed lightly to release tension and relax them – we do that!)
-Hair ties & clips (in case you get hot and want to keep your hair out of your face or off your neck)
-Flameless candles (set the mood and atmosphere)
-Lip chap (Birth rooms get dry and dehydrating, so you may need to add moisture to your lips after potentially long hours in the hospital)
-Bendy straws (you never know what the hospital will have in stock and we want to be sure you can take a quick sip anywhere and in any position if needed)
-Rebozo (Long scarf that helps to lift and reposition a labouring moms belly for better positioning, support and comfort)
-Essential oils (Oils such as lavender, peppermint, frankincense etc are all great to use for calming, relaxation or concentration for labour and delivery)
The items listed below are some fun additional items that can be requested but also can be found at most hospitals in Canada.
-Tens Machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulant – is a method of pain relief involving the use of mild electrical current)
-Exercise balls or Peanut balls (great for positioning and bouncing to open up the hips / pelvis)
As your Doulas, we strive to bring you the highest level of comfort and ease during your labour and delivery. We know that you will have a beautifully packed hospital bag, but we also know that you can’t remember everything (Baby Brain is real!), so we do our best to bring items we think you might need or want!
What items would you like to see included in our bags? Did your Doula have anything out of the ordinary at your birth? Let us know in the comments below!