"We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." - Laura Stavoe Harm

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Doula Bag

Here are the contents of my doula bag, packed today, for the home birth I'm on call for. Every doula is different, some don't take anything to birth, but I like to have these things with me in case I need them. I inevitably need something from the bag, sometimes lots of it!

So here's what we have:

  • A beautiful notebook - it makes me smile just to look at it! It has a magnetic closure to make sure that pages don't get crumpled. I use it to take notes during meetings with clients as well as to jot down important things during the birth.
  • Medicine - strictly for me, but there's nothing worse than having a banging headache from lack of sleep and nothing to take for it. So I have ibuprofen and generic cold medicine as well, in case I'm feeling a bit sniffly.
  • The Labor Progress Handbook - a fantastic reference book, which gives some great ideas for what to do if labour is not progressing as it should.
  • Hair ties - for me, if I'm going to be leaning over the pool or something, it's great to be able to tie my hair up. Also a large hair band that goes around the head in case the mum wants her hair back from her face.
  • Eye Mask - this can be such a great help if the room is brighter than the Mum would like. A feeling of seclusion and darkness can help restore calm.
  • Massage Oil - this is an invigorating completely natural massage oil, with an almond oil base. I love the smell, but it's not for everyone, so I also have...
  • Cocoa Butter Bar - very mildly scented massage bar.
  • Moisturiser - just a small tub of lotion for me to use on my hands if need be. I also normally have alcohol gel - mainly in case I have a cold or something.
  • Candles - just unscented tea lights to set the mood at home births, if that's what the parents wish.
  • Toiletry bag - basic toiletries for me, like a toothbrush, as well as a clean pair of underwear and socks.
I'm considering adding a pair of flip flops, I also need to buy some more hand sanitiser and another tennis ball - my last one has mysteriously disappeared! (No doubt into a child's toy box!) A tennis ball in a sock is great for lower back massage, and much easier on the hands of the massager. 

What are your Doula bag must-haves? Did your Doula bring anything to your birth that you loved?

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