Here's another #worlddoulaweek #photochallenge. Let's talk about my doula bag. A source of mystery and curiosity for clients and new doulas alike. Useful tools, inventive resources, and of course honey sticks and bendy straws. Here's a look inside my doula bag.
Bag: Vera Bradley Travel Tote-I love this bag. Perfect size, not too big like their overnight bag, but not too small like the one I use for my appointments. There are alot of interior pockets, a zipper, and one outside pocket.
What's in there?
- Candy, Granola Bars & Mints-Sometimes I (or the birthing mother) need a sugar boost or a blast of fresh breath
- Essential Oils and Cotton Balls-I don't apply EO's to birthing mothers, but I have them if they'd like to use them. I mainly put a few drops of lavender and/or citrus on a cotton ball and put it in a baggy (or an emesis 'vomit' bag) for them to smell. I'll also put a few drops on a wet cloth and as I'm fanning them with cool air, it releases a fresh calming scent.
- Emesis Bags- I have a few of those blue emesis bags from the hospital just in case we have a vomit emergency during the trip to the hospital or at a home birth.
- Pen & Notepad-Great for taking notes at a birth.
- Charger and Phone-Kind of obvious, especially if you're on call for other births-you'll want to be able to stay updated and contact your backup if necessary. I have a wall charger and a pocket charger. Your phone is also good for taking notes, timing contractions, etc.
- Honey Sticks-Great for mom to get a boost of energy, especially before pushing.
- Bendy Straws- Whoever invented this is a genius, and moms love these during labor.
- Massage Tools-I have two massage tools. I don't use them often (I use my hands more), but they're great when a partner or family member wants to help out. They use the massage tool while I do counter pressure.
- Hygiene Bag- I have all my personal hygiene items in here. Extra mints, band-aids, chapstick, tampons, nursing pads, deodorant, hair ties, bobby pins, lotion, and probably a pen. I hide pens everywhere.
- Extra Clothes-I'll usually try to keep a set of extra clothes in here. I've never had to use them, but I'm positive the one time I don't pack them will be the one time I need them.
- New bobby pins and hair ties-For the birthing mother. New chap stick is useful too.
- Baby & Pelvis-I love my baby! It's such a great visual for my clients if we're talking position or station during a birth. I like to remember to put this in my prenatal bag as well for my prenatal appointments.
- Business Cards-Never miss an opportunity to hand these out! Nurses and doctors, family and friends will be impressed with you. Make sure if they want to contact you, you give them the means to.
- Money-A few dollars or some change just in case you have a long birth where you or the birth partners are starving and need to visit a vending machine.
I've actually found I don't use a lot of the items in my doula bag too often. There are a few things that I'll always use, but then there are times I hardly peek in there, except maybe to grab a pen. Each birth is different. Every mother's needs are different. I like a lighter packed bag if possible, so I try to keep it only to the things I use regularly.
Have fun packing!