Christian Doulas

Doulas In Action

What to Carry in Your Doula Birth Bag

What to Carry in Your Doula Birth Bag
Doulas will find that some or all of these things useful to a laboring mom. The contents of your birth bags will, of course, vary. You'll stock your own birth bag with whatever is most useful to you in your circumstances. These supplies can be gained over a period of time, the only things you really need at a birth are your two hands and loving support, the “tools” just come in handy every now and then. Most doulas use a large canvas bag or a small to medium suitcase on wheels. It depends on how much you will be carrying and how you feel comfortable carrying it!

These suggestions were largely contributed by Connie Banack, C.D., C.B.E. and Joni Nichols Thank You!

* The Labor Progress Handbook 2nd Edition
* The Nurturing Touch at Birth: A Labor Support Handbook, by Polly Perez
* Special Women , by Polly Perez and Cheryl Snedeker
* Mother Massage , by Elaine Stillerman
* The Birth Partner , by Penny Simkin
* Breastfeeding, or Nursing Mother's Companion; (for mom)
* Midwifery Today Tricks of the Trade #1 and #2
* Optimal Fetal Positioning
* Back Labor No More
* Active Labor
* Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn , by Penny Simkin
* Easing Labour Pain
* The Childbirth Kit , by Hale and Chalmers

Cold packs
* Two cans of soda (to drink, for cold and as counter pressure)
* Ice pack
* Tupperware rolling pin (hollow, filled with ice and water)
* Ice wrap
* Cool "gel packs"
* cooling gel (also for massage)
* Cold pack-small cooler
* Ice in a small garbage bag, in a pillow case

Hot packs
* Rice/Flax sock, new one for each mom
* Rice Sock made specifically for the mom with her choice of fragrances
* Terry cloth removable covers for rice bags
* Heating pad (at home only)
* Hot water bottle with cover
* Soft-shell hot water bottle (such as used for headache)
* Towels out of the warmer or warmed with hot water (for moist heat)
* Small heater/fan (to warm babies or cool off room-- $49.99 from
* Improvements in Hanover. PA.
* Glass lined pump thermos (for ready supply of boiling water)

* Baby lotion
* Baby powder/cornstarch
* Massage cream
* Wooden "Happy Massager"
* Wooden massagers (various)
* Two tennis balls in a sock (two sets)
* Oil in small squirt bottles (massage oil, olive oil, canola oil)
* Massage lotion (unscented or scented)
* Electric massager (hand-held, pressure-activated, fairly powerful)
* Foam pool "Noodle" for counter-pressure (can be cut into 1 foot sections)
* Two small black combs (mom grips them for pressure to palms-gate control)
* Small paint roller (great for back massage)
* Tupperware rolling pin (hollow, filled with ice and water)

Aroma Therapy Scents
* Lavender – soothing, calming for tension/stress
* Jasmine – Uplifting, Balancing
* Orange – soothes, restores and uplifts the spirit
* Ylang-ylang – soothing, relaxing
* Rosemary – energizing, stimulating (should not be used in pregnancy or high B/P
* Bergamot – Calming, Balancing, tension/stress
* Vanilla – balsamic

* Hard candies
* Drinking cup with straw
* Bottles of water or water bottles to fill
* Fruit juice, coffee bags, tea bags (herbal and other)
* 2 Sealed cups, one with instant ice tea , the other with sugar packets (and a LARGE bottle to mix it all in)
* Fruit
* Nuts
* Mini bagels, frozen
* Bananas
* Raisins, dried fruit, fruit leather
* Whole grain breads
* Cashew butter (for the bread)
* Trail mix
* Yogurt
* Pretzels
* Baby carrots
* Crackers
* Cheerios
* Granola bars
* Power bar
* Small fruit-snack cans
* Crackers and cheese or crackers and peanut butter snacks

Personal & Other Helpful Items
* Client File
* Clip Board
* Extra Blank Paper for Labor Notes                                                             *'ll probably start mid-labor

 * I.D Badge
* Light Jacket Or Sweater
* Breath Mints
* Business Cards/Brochures
* Extra Money
* Bathing Suit
* Change of Clothes (at least a second shirt or set of scrubs)
* Brush
* Hair Ties/Scrunchies
* Pens
*Index cards for taking notes
* Camera
* Extra Batteries
* Gloves
* Chucks Pads (used at home, or in the car on the way to the hospital)
* Demonstration Tools – Example: Charts on labor progression, mini pelvis & baby
* Lip Balm (for you and your client. Use a new one for each client)
* Important Phone numbers (Ex. Back up doula pager number, instructor etc...)
* Tylenol (for personal use, long labors can lead to headaches)
* Bendable Straws
* Safety pins
* Contact lens case (if mom forgets hers and wants to remove lenses)
* Men's swimming trunks (if dad forgets his)
* Razor blade (cuts cord in an emergency)
* Written visualizations
* Stretchy newborn baby caps
* Postcards or pictures, for visualization
* Soapless Hand cleaner
* Toothbrush & Toothpaste
*A book/journal for your own personal reading, or some type of puzzle book, or hand craft work that you can do. There are times when only the Doula's presence is needed in the labor room, and she is not being asked to actually participate in any physical activities.”

with thanks to

Penny Simkin speaks about the use of and history of doula care

Immediate postpartum tea

POST PARTUM TEAS:  women need warming inside and out immediately after giving birth.  Prepare the teas in advance of the birth so that the herbs will have time to steep.  Leafy herbs should never be boiled, just pour boiling water over the herbs and allow them to sit. Barks and roots do get boiled.


Tea for primips:  Shepherd’s purse, motherwort and cinnamon.  One tablespoon of the two herbs in a large teapot (4-5 Cup).  One teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.  Pour boiling water over, cover and let stand 45 minutes.  Strain tea into a mug, put in a bendy straw and add some honey or maple syrup.  Stir well and serve once you’ve tested to make sure it’s not too hot to drink through the straw.


Tea for multips:  Crampbark and cinnamon.  Put two tablespoons of crampbark and a 2 inch broken piece of cinnamon bark in 5 Cups of boiling water.  Turn heat to low and let the two barks simmer for 45 minutes or longer.  Strain and serve as above.


It’s a good idea to get the mug, a spoon, the strainer, the sweetener and the bendable straw all together on the kitchen counter so that one of the attendants can get the warm tea quickly as soon as the baby is out.


with thanks to Gloria Lemay

Good advice: Get yourself a doula!

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       Christian Doula

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