As I am preparing for my next birth, I thought I would share what I carry in my doula bag.
With the years, I have learnt to minimize what I bring. I always have my bag packed and ready to go in our apartment entrance.
Being on call means that you can literally be called at any time and while most births take a while to get into an active rhythm, I have had quite a few clients have fast births. On those days/nights, you can see me run to the bathroom after the phone call, brush my teeth, refresh and run out of the door with a taxi already waiting, adrenaline rushing through my body as I ground myself on the ride to meeting my client...
So what do I have in my doula bag:
I always carry my 'magic scarf' as I call it which I can use as a rebozo to help with a baby's positioning and to alleviate discomfort in late labor.
A peanut ball, which helps with the opening of the pelvis when the little one needs helps engaging lower or if a client gets an epidural.
I have had two births recently with unsuspected compound presentation (that is when a baby engages with a hand close to the face - it can make for a longer birth...) and my clients were able to birth their baby without pushing for too long and without tearing, thanks to the peanut ball! ( it also works on the pelvic outlet)
I have a head massager thingy that I got from Muji I believe, which gives an awesome release of endorphins but I mostly use light touch massage throughout a birth with a combination of counter pressure later on.
Essential oils, as you can see I carry quite a few:
I don't bring a diffuser instead I put a few drops on a napkin or a washcloth so that we can get rid of it if my client does not like the scent anymore
Bach Flower remedies, I have used them for years in my personal life and in my hypnotherapy practice.
Sweet almond oil for massage on the lower back and hips or feet if my client gets an epidural (it can really helps with swelling and fluid retention in that situation, plus there are a few acupuncture points around the ankles that can be massaged)
Deep Blue rub from DoTerra. I have used it a lot on myself to help alleviate discomfort when I have my period or any kind of muscle ache. It smells amazing
I just discovered the ZENBands! They are soft, 100% cotton headbands with inserted flat, pillow speakers, designed to be comfortable while lying down or resting, perfect for a HypnoBirthing client.
For myself, I always bring a scarf that I can use as a pillow, a heavy coat that I can use as a cover (after a while without sleep your body cannot regulate its temperature and one can end up freezing), earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, snacks and water. And the most important thing, my compression socks!
Most of my clients have unmedicated births so I spend a lot of time on my feet and it would take me a long time to recover from a birth because of it. Compression socks are a life changer!
I remember the first few births I attended, I would come home barely able to walk because my legs were so sore and heavy.
I think that is it! really looking forward to this next birth!
If you want to learn more about what I mentioned you can find more infos in the links below:
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