They say you can tell a lot about a woman from the contents of her handbag, but what about a Doula's?
Here is what the three of us usually carry when we are on-call...none of the items are essential for Doula magic!
Sara's Birth Bag:
Heat pads/pockets to place on the lower back to give comfort during surges.
Essential oils- lavender to relax, peppermint for sickness, orange for happiness, clary sage to bring up contractions if labour has slowed down.
Flannels to soak in cold water to apply on women’s forehead to give some freshness.
Rebozo a Mexican big shawl for comfort during labour, supports the bump also used in the pushing stage.
Snacks- dates/chocolate/nuts/honey sticks or homemade treats.
Water bottle to keep me hydrated .
Tama's Birth Bag:
Rebozo - to help provide hands off physical support, release tension in her muscles and get baby earth side!
Heat packs - perfect to warm up mama’s back and help to ease any tension. Great as pain relief for back to back labours.
Essential oils - a mixed goodie bag of Doterra oils. The usual birthy ones are there; Lavender, clary sage and Marjoram. But my current favourite is Wild orange and it really has earned its place in my birth bag! Amazing to help give an energy boost during transition, or to uplift tired mamas.
Coconut massage oil - just incase mama wants a bit of massage to help her ride those waves. I usually add a few drops of an essential oil to it, depending on mama’s mood and stage of labour.
My corckcicle water bottle - I’m generally not a bit water drinker, but when I’m at a birth I seem to need gallons!! Reusable & keeps my water super cold which makes me happy when supporting births in toasty maternity units.
Coffee tea bags…yes its a thing! This doula cannot survive without coffee and instant just doesn’t cut it #coffeesnob!
Snacks! Quick, energy boosting, tasty treats (usually chocolate and dates) to keep us all going!
Camera - only when Mama wants her birth documented. Absolutely love birth photography!
Change of clothes - sometimes I get a little bit messy…but who hasn’t had someones waters break on them?!
Saffron's Birth Bag:
My Organicup - something about being around birthing women sometimes causes my period to come early. I ditched towels last year and now I wouldn’t be without it.
My One Green Bottle insulated flask - I’m not a coffee drinker but I seriously love tea! It’s warming, calming and perks you up when you need it. Boiling the kettle and preparing my tea is part of my little getting ready to join you ritual!
Stainless steel straw - staying hydrated in labour is really important and sometimes you find yourself in a position that makes it hard to drink. Straws are perfect for this and these are a great alternative to disposable plastic.
LED tealight candles - the soft light of candles can be really soothing but for obvious reasons there are no naked flames allowed at the hospital!
Poetry book - Something short and upbeat, that can be read aloud to clients to help them relax, or read to myself while I’m waiting in the waiting room or recovery.
Snacks - I could get called out at any time so I like to know I always have something in my bag in case the hospital shops/cafe are closed. I like things like Nakd bars and dark chocolate - something I can eat quickly and quietly (no crisps!)
Essential oils - I usually carry peppermint (good for nausea) and lavender (smells great)!