One of the very first things new doulas start to do (sometimes before they even sign up for trainings) is to brainstorm and start filling their bag of tools to use to help support people in labor. It's exciting! Like packing for a vacation! Google searches are made, Pintrest is scoured, lists are created and the purchasing begins!
So, after 9 years of attending births and countless doula bag rotations and changes, what can I offer you as a suggestion for what you need to bring?
Answer: A whole lot less than you think.
Part 1: THE BAG
I have an amazing ability to get bored with a purse or diaper bag after about 3.5 trips with it so I actually have 3 doula bags that I will rotate through depending on the month. The smallest one is a lovely blue woven bag that was a gift from my aunt on Christmas about 20 years ago. It was funky and lived in the closet until it called to me one day, begging to be brought to births... I usually tote this with me to births I anticipate will be quick... a second time birther at home, or something like that. The medium sized bag is the one pictured above and that is my standard bag lately. The "Big Kahuna" is actually a JuJuBe Be Prepared diaper bag that I love way too much to retire. I use it as my birth bag when I know I have a lot of people due and I anticipate possibly needing to go from one birth directly to the next without time to restock my bag!
Part 2: Stuff for you
What? You didn't think you'd need that much stuff? I will say that when I first started out, the majority of my stuff was for "them", but over the years, I started ditching weird massage tools and stress-squishy-balls and added in more snacks and a can of dry shampoo. Beware that this list is real and a bit TMI-ish... read at will:
Part 2.5: What do I wear?!
Part 3: Things for them:
Part 4: Tech for the Birth Worker
*a separate blog post coming soon!*
That's it. Honestly. Your hands will be stronger than any massage tool or fancy gadget. I never got coordinated enough to use the tennis ball in a tube sock, so I ended up tossing it and just using my fists. Here are some things to AVOID:
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