“What should I have in my doula bag?”
As seasoned doula trainers this question presents itself at nearly all of our labour and postpartum doula trainings.
Feeling prepared to support clients helps to build confidence, but will also build trust from your clients and longevity as a doula.
We often speak of ‘assertive language skills’ at Doula Canada, and having a rock’in doula bag is a perfect example of showing off your assertive professional preparedness in any situation!
Here are our Top 5 Doula Bag items for any labour or postpartum doula on the go:
- Fuzzy socks. Plain and simple. Regardless of the environment you are supporting clients, having a pair of super cozy socks that you can pull out and on is a great addition to your doula bag. Clients will remember that feeling of having you pull them on for them after welcoming their baby, or during a long feeding session. Plus, if you need a change of socks in a pinch (hello, spontaneous rupture of membranes all over your feet!) then you know there is an extra pair in there with your name on them!
- Affirmation cards. We are big on positive power at Doula Canada and an interesting deck of positive affirmation phrases or words is a perfect way to change a “not-so-sure” into a “sure-I-can.” We asked our Doula Canada members to come with the phrases and words on our Doula Canada deck, but there are many awesome options out there that may call your name. Pull them out during a clients labour to practice present moment thoughts, or introduce them to clients during postpartum transitions. Believe you can…. and you will!
- Roller Ball or Tennis Ball. Nothing fancy here. Having something that can smoothly move beneath your hand while offering a client some gentle touch/ massage will provide comfort for all parties involved. The less expensive option is a 4 pack of tennis balls that can be disposed of, but we really love the rollerball options often found at larger department stores or fitness stores ($8-$15 generally). Find something that fits snuggly in the palm of your hand and allows for movability and washability (sanitizing after use is an important step to take after each client use).
- $20 in funds. There is nothing more frustrating than finishing an all-nighter support with your client and then finding out that the hospital debit or parking lot machines are broken. Having a spare $20 in your bag to call a cab or find a location to make change is key! There may be times as a postpartum doula that you meet your client in a location outside their home (i.e. doctors office) and need money for parking or coffee (perhaps your debit card was left at home!). Having an additional few dollars stowed away in your doula bag is a great way to ensure you get to where you need to go 24/7.
- Something of power. What brings you energy or reminds you of why you started this compassionate journey to support others? We often think of doula bags and think “what can I bring for my client,” but taking care of you is important too! Perhaps you have a Mala, a picture, a stone from a beach, or a mantra that you can put away in your bag for those moments you need a boost. Our Director at Doula Canada has a heart-shaped stone she once pulled out of Lake Superior. The stone has been pulled out and pocketed during long births or difficult experiences. It has been held by dozens of clients who have also felt connected to this simple, yet powerful “tool.” What brings you clarity, strength, and power? THAT is a perfect thing to include you your doula bag.So, there you have it, our Top 5 Doula Bag Items we wouldn’t be without.Leave a comment with items you love to have in your Doula Bag. We would love to hear from you!