As a doula, I'm there to serve you and your partner. I'll help you prep beforehand to iron out your options and what you'd like to see in your birth plan. The day of the birth I'll be prepped with a birthing ball and my bag. So here's the short and tall of what I keep in there:
- Three rice bags (microwaved, the heat helps with pain in your back and round ligaments)
- Ice packs (also helps with pain, but helps keep mom cool especially during pushing)
- Sarong/rebozo (can be used for tons of cool stuff, everything from massage, gentle belly binding, help with squatting/positioning. Also pulling on the the fabric can help with pushing.)
- Extra chapstick, hair ties, head band, gum and mouth wash. Just in case.
- A fine tooth comb, can be used on pressure points along the palm of the hand. Also for effleurage along the back.
- I carry only a few essential oils, but they're versatile power houses. I carry lemon, lavender, and peppermint. I don't like to put the oils on a mama, unless she uses them already. Labor is not the time or place to find out your skin breakouts with peppermint. Instead we can just put a few drops on a cotton ball or tissue. If the scent becomes bothersome we can easily and quickly flush it and the scent is gone.
- Lemon: eases nausea, can help to emotionally energize
- Peppermint: also helps with nausea, can help relieve a bladder by putting a few drops in to the toilet, can help with emotional balance.
- Lavender: relaxing, can help to clear the mind and any anxiety or stress.
- Tennis balls: used to massage and for counter pressure against hips and backs. We can use one at a time, or tie multiple in to a sock for a massage tool.
- Lavender scented massage oil, coconut oil for massage.
- Honey sticks (easy carbohydrate/glucose for when you need a boost, but may not want to eat.)
- Snacks and extra food
- Extra clothes
- Extra large menstrual pads, in case you need them after your water breaks or during transport.
All my items are pretty simple. I want to be able to pack my bag quickly and get to my client. I also want to say my most important tool are my hands. Counter pressure, double hip squeezes, massage, and simple touch can be comforting during labor.
What would you have liked to have had at your birth?