I'm working as a doula, which means I am attending births and providing postpartum care for parents. Most of my focus is on laboring mothers; as you know, labor isn't always predictable! Just like moms who are waiting for labor to start at any minute, doulas are also just waiting for that phone call. I have to be ready to grab my bag and hit the door the moment my client calls. It's easier to have toiletries and other essentials in my doula bag and it's a lot like having a labor and delivery hospital bag! When she calls me, I can grab a bag and hit the door.
What's Inside My Doula Bag
I try to break down what I pack in categories - that way, I can be sure to replenish certain things that might deplete from my bag - like snacks or bottled water.
What I Pack In My Go-Bag For Myself
- Extra Change Of Clothes - sometimes this job gets messy!
- Charge Cords - I bring Android and iPhone chargers, just in case.
- Charge-pack battery - With a full charge and ready to go!
- Treats for nurses and doctors
- Business cards
- Snacks and water - Try to stick with high protein snacks for long-lasting energy.
- Birth plan, notes from family
- Journal and pens or pencils - I take notes of the birth for posterity.
- An extra layer for warmth - Hospitals can get cold!
- First aid and medicine
What I Pack In My Doula Bag For The Birth Partner
- Bottled water
- Energy drinks - Sometimes labor can be a marathon, so keep their birth partner going with a pick-me-up!
- Change for the vending machine - Because they might need a few moments for themselves and a little snack.
- Extra earbuds
- Chapstick - Hospital air can be really drying, so this is helpful for everyone to have!
- Toothbrush and paste, mouthwash - Just in case they forgot!
Helpful Things To Pack For A Mom In Labor
- Labor affirmation cards - These can be such an uplifting aid for a weary mother!
- Cozy socks for mom
- Mini shampoo and conditioner bottles - Because they might want something a little nicer than whatever the hospital offers.
- Unscented lotion
- Unscented massage oil
- Hair clips and ties
- Bendy straws - It's easier to drink water and liquids out of bendy straws than cups when lying down.
- Handheld fan
- Ice bag/Hot water bottle - So handy for the lower back!
- Massage tools
- Cool towel - My cool towel keeps my client feeling cool for hours with just one soak!
- Honey sticks - These are a great way to keep your client's energy up without breaking a potential "fluids only" rule during labor.
- Earplugs - So mama can drown out the rest of the world and focus in on labor.
- Rice pack - These can be heated or cooled! Since I sew, I like to make one for each client to keep.
To Create A Cozy Atmosphere In The Hospital Labor Room
- Portable speaker - This helps create a mood with music to help center and calm the laboring mother.
- Christmas lights - Again, all about setting a quiet and peaceful mood. Shut the curtains, turn off the overhead lights, and get cozy!
- Wrap/Rebozo - Rebozos can help moms stuck during labor to "loosen up" so their labor can progress!
- Peanut ball Or Birth ball
- Ball pump
- Flameless candles
- Mini cooler - Fill this puppy with ice chips and keep your beverages cool!
Okay, maybe all of this doesn't fit in one bag! But I keep some of it in my car, ready to fetch in minutes if my client asks. Most hospitals have birth balls nowadays, so the balls I take are just backups. Doulas have to be ready to help in any situation - even if that help is just holding someone's hand. When I pack everything back into my bag afterward it may seem lighter, but I'll be taking so much more home in my heart!
What would you carry in a doula bag? Tell me what to pack on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #PackMyBags.