Kit and Caboodle

As a doula we are often called out in the middle of the night. Women tend to birth in the small hours, very sensible too, you can get busy birthing your baby while the rest of the world sleeps and doesn’t interfere. This is heavenly for us (as soon as we have woken up enough and got excited!), quiet traffic, peaceful and calm atmosphere, no parking issues.

It does mean creeping out your own house without waking anyone (the 4 year old wakes when the cat twitches so stealth is imperitive) You need to get dressed quietly and quickly, no rustling jeans or coats. Soft clothes are the way to go.

I have a kind of doula outfit. My http://developingdoulas.co.uk course leader, Maddie McMahon told me she has a favourite pair of trousers she wears to births. She said, almost worridley, that she had no idea what she would do when they finally wore out. This stayed with me and when I bought similar trousers I bought TWO pairs. Proud of me Maddie? The woman is a wealth of splendid info, not just doula birth outfits. Have a look at her blog http://thebirthhub.co.uk

I also bought long sleeved t shirts and short sleeved t shirts. I layer them up. This is because labouring women like near arctic conditions as they birth their babies. Shivering, with a fan directed at you, to cool down melting mum while you massage her back/leg/foot is never easy. Of course, as soon as the baby is out the room get’s turned in to a furnace. No one want’s a chilly baby. And off come a few layers. Partners should take notes here. Maybe i’ll start packing a few extra t-shirts in my doula bag?

My doula bag is Mary Poppins like. I am going to actually need a carpet bag soon as I keep adding little bits. Packed to the rafters with battery operated fairy lights (ace when you don’t want the harsh hospital lights), clary sage, peppermint and lavender oils, massage oil, spiky pilates balls (massage for mum), TENS machine, flannels for compresses, muslin cloths, wipes for every possible use and snacks and drinks for us all. I still have things I want to put in, honey sticks, rescue remedy and a rebozo are just a few. What’s in your doula bag? Anything amazing that you couldn’t live without?