One of our wonderful doulas – Kylie Davies – was nice enough to share the contents of her doula bag. Every bag is just a little bit different and we love hearing from birth workers and what they find most useful. You can follow Kylie on Instagram at @Kyliejldavies
I have three doula bags. One for supporting births of my clients and the other for my prenatal visits. Lastly, a bag for myself!
My experience of being a birth and postpartum doula has taught me that all these bags are important, however the best tool I have is myself! My knowledge and experience and my hands!!
My birth bag consists of tools such as comfort measure reminder cards, which we discuss during a prenatal visit. I have found having a visual reminder of these for the labouring person and support person very helpful. I also have a birth ball and Rebozo to help aid in comfort as well as massage oil. During the early stages of labour a T.E.N.S machine can be a helpful tool in blocking or dulling the pain signals for some. I always have a unit in my bag. And last but not least I have the birthing person’s birth preferences. During a prenatal we have discussed the wishes and desires of what they would like their birth to look like and whether in a hospital or home these are helpful to have for all supporting persons to see.
My prenatal bag is full of goodies! From a newborn baby doll complete with umbilical cord, amniotic sac and placenta as well as a pelvis! I have these to demonstrate the journey of the baby during labour and delivery for a hand on experience. My pelvis is also an awesome tool to demonstrate the importance of positioning and how to open up the pelvis to give the baby as much space as possible to pass through, as well as demonstrating the double hip squeeze as a comfort measure to relieve back pain! I have lots of visuals and description posters on baby’s decent and positioning throughout labour and delivery as well as talking about all different pain relief measures. My prenatal bag isn’t just all things birthy, I also have tools to discuss baby care, how to diaper, swaddle and feed your baby. During a prenatal visit, which usually takes a couple of visits, we discuss birth and what birth looks like to that person and how they want that journey to unfold, whilst making sure we are prepared for the unexpected. A rehearsal of sorts!
The final bag! This is the bag where I have all the things that I may need to make sure I am at my best for helping to support others. I make sure I have a change of clothes, this may be necessary for a birth. I also have snacks and water to keep me energized as well as a blanket for those chilly nights. I always have my spare phone chargers too, nobody likes it when the phone runs out of juice!