I will forever remember the day that I finished my doula training and that feeling of excitement and being ready to change the birth world for the better. I was also nervous.
I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to make every birth, but especially my VBAC births, as special and successful as possible.
Fast forward, to today, with hundreds of VBAC (and non-VBAC) births under my belt, I wanted to share the top 10 essentials in my doula bag.
This is likely one of my all-time favorites in my doula bag. It is good to use for coping, support, helping those sweet babies engage, and even rotate into a more ideal position. Here is a great post on how to use rebozo during labor.
I have found over the years that the way a space feels really can make a difference. I love setting these little candles around the room or space to help bring a cozy feel. One of my clients recently shared that she used one of the candles as a focal point during contractions and that it helped her immensely.
3. TENS Unit
TENS Unit I did not add TENS Unit to my doula bag for a while, but after I did I had serious regret of not getting it sooner. TENS Unit is pricey but absolutely worth it. Posterior clients seem to love it the most. Once in a while, I have a client who doesn’t love it, but that is rare.
As you know, it can be challenging to get much into your system during birth. Chewing is a task in itself. I always carry these honey sticks in my bag in case my client needs a little pick me up. They also help if she hasn’t eaten any good nutrients in a while to fuel energy.
The magic comb trick has become one of the most popular ways to cope during labor. This pack is super inexpensive and comes with a few in case your client accidentally breaks it or it gets left behind. My clients love squeezing the combs in their palms during contractions, and some enjoy their hair being brushed.
Affirmations are huge, especially in that more active stage of labor. I will sometimes bring these out and place them around or even just put them in front of my client and have her read them out loud with me. It is very powerful to have a laboring mama hear herself saying these words.
This speaker is an inexpensive item but can bring such power to a room. Often times clients put together playlists, but their phones are just too quiet. I have been bringing this speaker to births for years and It’s been used at almost every single one.ProTip: If the client doesn’t have a playlist, feel free to use the one we put together here.
Fair warning: not everyone likes essential oils (and some providers or places don’t allow them). However, I find that they work sooo well for so many women when they need a pick-me-up.
- Peppermint for nausea
- Lemon for a pick-me-up
- Clary sage for when there is a lull in labor
- Eucalyptus for when a client seems stuffy or needs a pick-me-up
- Frankincense for when things are getting intense or her mind is traveling. It’s a great one to help her re-ground.
- Lavender for calming stress away
ProTip: Drop whatever essential oil is appropriate into a cold wet towel and swing the towel back and forth in front of your client. It’s easy to remove the towel quickly if they don’t enjoy the smell anymore.
10. Snack Pack & Water Bottle
LAST but not least, a snack pack and water bottle for YOU. I can’t tell you how many births I attended where I didn’t feel like I could slip away. I was starving and dehydrated. I got this little bag so I could have some snacks with me at all times. This water bottle has been a lifesaver to ensure I stay hydrated and high energy for my clients.
I will leave you today with this affirmation and a reminder:
We’re so grateful to be on this journey with you!
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