I’m often asked what I bring to a birth. Below are a few things that I always make sure to pack in my birth doula bag, both to help myself stay energized and to ensure the laboring mother stays energized and comfortable.
Extra toothbrush and toothpaste - It helps to rest, wash your face, change your clothes and even brush your teeth to stay energized while attending a longer birth.
Battery operated candles - Most hospitals and some birth centers don’t allow an open flame. The battery operated candles help keep a highly desired, calming low-lit atmosphere.
Hot water bottle - If the mother is cold it helps bring warmth to her bed. Also, the hot water bottle can help soothe and alleviate a laboring mother’s pain on the lower back and hips during surges.
Lavender spray (lavender oil diluted in water) - I like to spray a little of this on a cold cloth that’s used to wipe the laboring mother’s hard-working sweat from her forehead, chest and neck. The smell of the oils can help relax the mother.
Other essential oils: Peppermint (for nausea), lavender (relaxation), eucalyptus (anti-inflammatory, decongestant, etc).
Two tennis balls in one sock - I use this to apply massage-like pressure on legs, hips and lower back during or between surges.
Snacks for laboring mother and me to stay energized - Honey sticks, chocolate, coconut water, nuts, fresh fruit (packed day-of) and water.
Extra change of clothes (underwear, socks, shirt and leggings) - For long-term support or in the possibility of getting dirty or wet.
Knee pad - For kneeling down while supporting a mother laboring in a tub.