BIRTH KIT: what's inside my Doula bag?
THINGS INSIDE THE BAG OF A SYDNEY BIRTH DOULA
My Doula bag comes with me to every birth. It’s packed and ready to go near my front door at all times. While it’s filled with physical items that I use a lot at births, it obviously doesn’t contain the knowledge or information from my education and experience… nor the emotional and spiritual connection I’ve built with my clients.
That being said, I spent quite some time searching for the perfect bag and chose a Disney themed, carry-on or “overnight” sized luggage suitcase with wheels. I like the thought that it helps me bring “a little bit of magic” to every birth – and my clients often smile about this when they see it (which never hurts to add some extra light hearted humour to build the oxytocin in the room).
The items in my kit are not just for my clients, they are also for me. As the length of time I’m with them for their birth is unknown, I plan to potentially be away from home sometimes overnight, or even a couple of days. I divide my bag up into mini internal compartments of zip up cosmetic or pencil cases to help make it easy to find what I need when it’s needed. Not every item is used at every birth… it varies depending on the needs of my clients.
So… what’s inside my birth doula bag?
What do I take to a birth?
Essential oils: selected specifically with birth in mind, and chosen to help with energy, exhaustion, labour intensity and more…
Homeopathy kit for midwives and birth doulas
Massage oil: my “relaxing into labour” blend, infused with essential oils
Massage tools: for both my thumbs and a full hand grip to push acupressure points
Orgasmatron: head massage tool that sends shivers over your whole body (the other end can also be used to push acupressure points)
Combs: for mum to grip into her hand during a contraction… a counter-irritant for pain and a form of reflexology (the other end can also be used to push acupressure points)
Rebozo (and a Sarong) for comfort measures and Spinning Babies techniques to use during labour to help bubba be in a better position for a smoother birth journey
Spare batteries: these have come in handy when a tens machine has run out, for diffusers or several other items
A diffuser for essential oils – though I don’t use this very often and prefer to put the oils on a tissue that mum can smell. It’s easy to throw away and get a new scent if she changes her mind and no longer likes it, or if she needs to relax rather than be re-energised and vice versa
Tea light candles to help with the atmosphere in the room
Blue tac (and sticky tape): great to stick up birth affirmation cards, birth plans and if the plug in the bath has a leak, it helps to seal around it
Full change of clothes (including a zip up hoodie, track suit pants and gym pants, t-shirt, wire-free bra, underwear and socks)
Toiletries – including a toothbrush, face and hand cream, lip balm, nail file (I seem to break a nail at every birth!), paracetamol (just in case!), hair elastics, eye drops (as the hospital air can be drying) and more…
Mobile phone charger (though if my clients have an iPhone I can help charge their device too)
Food – fresh fruit that I grab from my fruit bowl on the way out, bliss balls, muesli bars, nuts, protein snacks, dark chocolate, Berocca, assorted tea bags and coconut water
Small change – helps to visit a vending machine when the café is closed at 3am
In my car or hand bag I often carry some extra items around… they typically are things I already have on me, or don’t fit in my birth bag, and are sometimes provided by the hospital, or my clients buy/rent it themselves. For example:
Hot water bottle – hot all hospitals allow the use of this, and some provide heat packs. I often suggest to my clients to bring their own, as it can be great for the lower back during labour
Birth ball / Fit ball and exercise mat – can be great to labour with at home and in hospital
Tens machine – amazing distraction from the intensity of labour… I strongly suggest to my clients that they rent one of these, and most of them love it. NB: it cannot be used in water
My phone: I take photos during the birth for my clients with my mobile phone
Drinking water bottle (for myself that I can refill as required – it’s important to stay hydrated!)
Spare rubber shoes that I don’t mind getting wet if I’m supporting a client to labour in the shower
A couple of plastic bags – to put wet/dirty items in
Easy to find items
Most hospitals have ice machines and disposable gloves. I often put ice cubes inside the gloves and help place them around the birthing mums neck, forehead, shoulders and back. Sometimes sucking ice cubes is a great distraction from the labour itself too
The hospital linen cupboard: often I gather extra towels to make getting out of the bath or shower easier, extra blankets/sheets for comfort when labouring (eg between mums knees if she is lying on her side, or at the base of a birth ball to stop it from rolling away), and pillow cases make for great eye masks when folded up (should the need for sleep arise)
Hope you found this interesting. Is there something else you think I should bring with me? Feel free to comment below or send me a message. Amanda x
About Essential Me
Hi, I'm Amanda. I support women and couples during their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey as a Doula, Ka Huna massage therapist and Pilates instructor. I'm Based in Sydney and would love to help you. Please check out my Top 10 Tips for the best possible birth experience here. I'd love to meet you for an obligation free interview to see if you feel we're the right fit. Contact me here. Thanks, Amanda x