Doula bags aren’t just for birth doulas. If you want to work with postpartum moms when you become a doula, here are some essentials to keep on hand.
Birth doulas are known for their doula bag. When you become a doula through the International Doula Institute, you’ll learn that it’s very much like Mary Poppins’ magical bag. It contains everything you need to help a laboring mother feel comfortable and supported. As soon as your client thinks it’s empty – poof! – there’s more!
Did you know that as a postpartum doula, you can also have a magical bag? When you become a doula, you can help new moms have a smooth healing process by stocking up on a few essentials.
4 Items to Keep in Your Postpartum Doula Bag
Supplies for Padsicles
Yes, “padsicle” is kind of a strange word. But, trust me: after you become a doula and start making these for your clients, they’ll think you’re the cat’s meow. Padsicles are a simple way to soothe a sore perineum, and they couldn’t be easier to make.
There are only three things that you need: the largest pads you can find (generally, overnight pads work best), water, and a large Ziploc bag. Open the pads, wet them with a little water, stack them in the Ziploc bag, and toss them in the freezer. Within a couple hours, your client will be treated to soothing relief every time they need to change their pad.
There are other things you can add to your padsicles for extra relief, such as witch hazel or aloe. However, always make sure you talk to your clients about their preferences before blowing their minds with little postpartum miracles.
Healthy Postpartum Recipes
When you become a doula with IDI, you’ll learn that eating is an essential part of recovering from birth. As a doula, one of the best ways you can nurture your clients is by preparing nourishing meals for them. We worked with a registered dietician to create a list of healthy (and yummy!) meals that are tailored specifically to the needs of postpartum women. Keep these recipes handy! You can even put your own spin on them to suit your clients’ tastes or personal cooking style. When your clients sit down to one of your delicious meals, they’ll know that they’re in good hands.
Epsom Salts to use for a Sitz Bath
You will be there to help new moms take care of themselves when you become a doula. A great way to do this is by preparing a sitz bath for them. Sitz baths can aid the body’s natural healing process, soothe hemorrhoids, and give the new mother a chance to relax. All you need to do is add Epsom salts to warm water – ½ a cup if your client prefers using a traditional sitz bath tub (a small tub that fits over the toilet), or about 3-4 x’s that amount if she prefers using the bath tub. While your client soaks for 20 minutes, she’ll be assured that her baby is safe in your caring arms. As with the padsicles, there are other ingredients you can add to the sitz bath, but be sure to ask your clients about their personal preferences.
List of Local Resources
Having information about local resources – from pediatricians to IBCLCs, and local support groups – is crucial when you become a doula. Remember, doulas are not medical professionals. Instead, you will be an expert on what is normal. If anything seems abnormal with the new mother or her baby, you’ll want to refer them to someone who can help. They’ll already trust you, so they’ll know they count on you to send them to a trustworthy provider.
Of course, this list is just a start! When you become a doula, you’ll discover more amazing things to keep in your doula bag.
What is something that you like to have on hand for new moms, or something that you found helpful during your own postpartum time? Let us know in the comments.