Postpartum Doulas: What's in your bag? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-07-2010, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm finishing three weeks of overnights, and gathering up some of the various things I have been using with this family and wondered; whats in your postpartum doula bag?

Mine:

Miracle blanket swaddling blanket

extra shirt in case I get puked on, lol

Breastfeeding answers book from la leche league
Happiest baby on the block book
Hale's book on medications and mothers milk
This isn't what I expected ppd book
sears baby book
tear sheets with thrush/mastitis/low milk supply protocols

local resource list which has: maternity support center/breastfeeding support groups, place to buy nursing bras(place that measures, etc), cranio sacral/chiropractic doctors that have extensive exp with newborns/nursing issues, massage therapists that have extensive exp with maternity/pp massage, dr's and counselors that have exp with ppd, reliable place to buy herbs/supplements

internet resource list for new bfing parents/ap families

GSE
gentian violet
small bottle white vinegar

ipod with speakers and white noise loop (from www.simplynoise.com)

very nice chocolate bars (very small ones) for new mama
cards (to congratulate on new baby/thank you cards at end of service; for longer term jobs...like when i work several weeks)

cards for parents to give to friends to refer my services!

__________________________________________________





Whew! It seems like a lot, but I have a nice big comfortable bag, and it's not hard to carry that with me.

I would love to hear what other people carry in their bags for ideas of things I need to add to my bag.

Heavily tattooed and Dready Mama to my girls. YES we are STILL NURSING! love to and
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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My ppdoula bag is pretty similar to yours! One thing that I always keep in my bag, though, is my moby wrap. Couldn't doula without it...when mama wants to take a nap or run out somewhere, baby stays sleeping in the wrap.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Great thread.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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Quite honestly I don't carry anything but hand sanitizer and something to do. Almost all of my jobs have been overnighters and many with twins families.

I only bring along things if the mom mentions she is interested in them. I usually find out what resources the mom has had access to - i.e. books, videos, etc and then let her know what I have. If she expresses an interest then I bring them along.

So far every family I have ever worked with has had their own swaddling blankets so I don't have to bring those. Also almost every family I have ever worked with has had babies on monitors so using wraps is not possible, but when the baby comes off of them I usually will offer to borrow one to the mother, but again only bring it if she is interested. Usually by the time the baby is off the monitor my time is basically up.

I really don't bring tons of "stuff" because I don't want parents to feel like they need "stuff" to be successful parents.

Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-08-2010, 03:21 AM
 
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Also almost every family I have ever worked with has had babies on monitors so using wraps is not possible,
What do you mean by the babies being on monitors?

I don't do overnights, just days. I don't bring anything unless I know there's a bf problem, then I might bring one of my reference books. I'd rather use their things with their baby.

Doula, CBE, Placenta Lady
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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I'm not a postpartum doula but what I've started doing on my postpartum checks is bringing one of my dolls with me. Instead of me demonstrating burping the baby, breastfeeding positioning, or whatever with their baby, I use the doll while the parent does it with the baby. We learn by doing and they're not learning if they watch me do it and the baby is tired or fussy when they do it, etc. Or they look at me like I did a miracle getting a burp out because I was holding the baby... I'd rather them have that first success!

Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to love.gif DD (9yr), DS luxlove.gif (3yr), & 2twins.gif UC twin DDs (5yr)

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Old 05-08-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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I have:

My big DONA resource binder, including handouts galore!
Local resources sheet
A folder for each client with notes on each visit
Mei tai and sling (I bring the Moby and Ergo if it's show & tell babywearing day, in which case I also bring a doll)
Purell
Lansinoh
Business cards and brochures

I SHOULD start bringing Dr. Sears and Breastfeeding Made Simple (once the new edition comes out with an index). And I love the suggestion about using the doll for demoing other things, too, so I may start doing that all the time.

I WANT/plan to get/should add:

The Hale guide
Happiest Baby DVD
Your Amazing Newborn DVD
Rescue Remedy drops/pastilles
Grapefruit seed extract
extra shirt, heh
good swaddle blankets (though I'm bigger on wearing than swaddling)
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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What do you mean by the babies being on monitors?
I tend to work with a lot of twins that were born as preemies so they are on machines that monitor breathing and heart rate. When something goes wonky with them the monitors alert. Sometimes the monitors will alert the baby to breathe again (they are very loud) and other times the babies may need stimulation to get going again.

Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-08-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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I only work days.

At the interview prenatally we talk about good breastfeeding books for them to own, and Dr Sears baby book.

I like to teach people how to swaddle, so I have them buy the big gauze cloths by aden + anais. They are so useful for tons of stuff.

  • A gift of 2 muslin bags filled with sitz bath herbs that I make myself along with a decorative label and description of the different herbs and their purpose. I boil water, steep the herbs and fill her peri bottle.
  • I bring a new parent resource list for the family.
  • My typed invoice for final payment.
I have two decades of professional breastfeeding knowledge stuffed into my head.
So they have me!
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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My sling and my slippers. I try to instil in my families that you don't need a lot of "stuff" to be a good parent.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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My sling and my slippers. I try to instil in my families that you don't need a lot of "stuff" to be a good parent.

I'm right with you about this.
I try to help them learn to use basics, things that double or triple their useage like the huge gauze squares, and not clutter their draws and homes with "stuff". Most of the time it's a loosing battle.

I blame the popularity of what seems to have become the mandatory "Registry list" . Retail marketing at it's very worst that this has become ingrained into our culture.

It overwhelms people, and only builds up a house full of elaborate clutter of stuff they use for a month or two.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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I'm right with you about this.
I try to help them learn to use basics, things that double or triple their useage like the huge gauze squares, and not clutter their draws and homes with "stuff". Most of the time it's a loosing battle.

I blame the popularity of what seems to have become the mandatory "Registry list" . Retail marketing at it's very worst that this has become ingrained into our culture.

It overwhelms people, and only builds up a house full of elaborate clutter of stuff they use for a month or two.
I so totally agree. When I had my own last two babies people were shocked that I didn't buy this new gadget and that new gadget and lord knows when they found out I was expecting a boy this last time they were shocked that I didn't run out and buy everything "boy" colored. My mom still complains that the "nursery" is pink from my dd. Reality is that it is pink because one of my older dds had that room and wanted pink - my two babies still sleep in my room LOL The "nursery" is just a dumping station for their clothes.

It always amazes me when parents rush out and buy everything thinking they need it all or they aren't good parents or they are depriving their kids. Your child doesn't need the wipes warmer, mobile, fancy diaper pail, swing, bouncer, jumper, and every other gadget out there to be happy. Yes sometimes some of those are nice, but they aren't essential to being a good parent!

Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-14-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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Just want to say, too, that if you are bringing lotions, poutices, creams or herbs to your client's house, you first need to bring a fresh, unopened package to each client...no sharing lansinoh or gse between clients (you should also be clear upfront with your client if the cream is a gift or something they can purchase from you), and secondly you run the risk of being accused of "prescribing."

It is better to make suggestions to clients (I like to give two or three options for any particular ailment) and then have them go get it themselves so it is their choice and their responsibility. If you are not aware of all the medications and allergies a mom may have and how the herbs you are using/suggesting may interact or interfere with those meds/allergies, you could potentially run into some serious medical issues.

I am even hesitant to give a mom any of those commercially available breastfeeding teas. They all contain fenugreek and if mom is taking any other medication, the fenugreek will interfere with the absorption of those other medications in her body.

I would also suggest dumping all the books and DVDs that no client with a newborn has time to read/watch, and just memorize all the good information for yourself to impart to them. If you need to bring along a breastfeeding reference, find a copy of "Pocket Guide for Lactation Management" or "Pocket Guide for Counseling the Nursing Mother." Keep the "extras" in your car if you want to access them easily, but don't bring a huge bag into the client's house where it may overwhelm an already stressed and anxious parent.

Just my two pennies.
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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This is a great thread.

A couple things I would add: moxa sticks (and candle, lighter, ash container) to do moxibustion on mama's back & belly. Also, a faja/rebozo for belly binding... unbelievably great help with achy hips or pubis symphysis, stabilizing the uterus for reduced bleeding and much diminished afterpains.

Michelle L'Esperance, Certified Professional Midwife ~ Warm Welcome Birth Services

Homebirth Midwife, Birth Doula, Postnatal Doula, Night Doula, and Doula Trainer

Northampton, Massachusetts

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Old 05-15-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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This is a great thread.

A couple things I would add: moxa sticks (and candle, lighter, ash container) to do moxibustion on mama's back & belly. Also, a faja/rebozo for belly binding... unbelievably great help with achy hips or pubis symphysis, stabilizing the uterus for reduced bleeding and much diminished afterpains.
Maybe I am a ding dong, but what would you do with moxibustion and wouldn't someone need training or further knowledge in this area?

Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-15-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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You're right, some training is called for. However, to do the 'mother roasting' treatment, it's fairly simple. It doesn't require knowlege of points as it would for use in induction, breech-to-vertex treatment, etc. The mother roasting simply is to warm and nourish the abdominal organs, relieve gas and cramping, and bolster her kidney energy.

If you have a knowlegeable acupuncturist who you work with, perhaps they would teach you. That's been helpful for me.

Michelle L'Esperance, Certified Professional Midwife ~ Warm Welcome Birth Services

Homebirth Midwife, Birth Doula, Postnatal Doula, Night Doula, and Doula Trainer

Northampton, Massachusetts

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Old 06-09-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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My sling and my slippers. I try to instil in my families that you don't need a lot of "stuff" to be a good parent.
I only works days and I don't bring anything with me. I do give a small gift on the first day and I always have my resource list with me b/c it's paperless (in my phone). I'll bring specific books, carriers,etc. as needed but I don't show up with anything in particular. I used to tote around a whole bag of things and 6 years later I've taken on your philosophy

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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NAK

When I was actively taking doula clients, I did 90% night work, and mostly with twins.

I'd bring:
-a sling for myself to use when needed
-a very small reading light so I could keep the room dark while keeping notes in the breastfeeding log, etc.
-a snack for myself
-a book for myself
-my blackberry (good for looking up things that come up and checking email while babies are asleep!)

I left my books at home. If there was ever an issue I didn't know about, I'd tell the mama I'd research it and let them know what I found the next day.

On occasion I would bring my lending library of slings/carriers in order to advocate babywearing if the client was interested. That way they could try them all out before spending the money to buy one.

Mama to two, and second-time surrogate. Expecting May 2015.
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