I packed my doula bag today. My client's official due date is the 22nd of January, but if we go by her dates, it's the 15th. She's 100% sure of when she conceived, so I'd rather not take any chances. The 18 week routine ultrasounds can be up to 2 weeks off either way.
I'm not a big gadget fan when it comes to doula bags. I find that if you bring too many accessories, you tend to want to use them all even if the mom doesn't need them. In my experience, the mom gets forgotten amongst all the machinery and doo-dads. My goal is that throughout her labour she will feel that I am paying attention to her needs, rather than trying out whatever new doula fad is going around that particular month. I bring the necessary stuff, and even so, it seems really heavy and bulky to carry around! Here's what goes into my backpack:
*massage oils and massage tool (I prefer using my hands. It's warmer, and it grounds the mom)
*hot and cold packs, both microwaveable and the kind you crack to get the temp going
*rebozo (long scarf to help with back pain)
*fake flickering candles & holders
*deck of cards (it can get pretty long!)
*paperwork & birth plan
*The Birth Partner book by Penny Simkin
*enough food and cash for me to last a day
*change of clothes & toiletries for me
*other stuff if I think the mom might need it
The hospitals I work at already have showers, jacuzzis and birth balls. There are many positions and tricks you can apply using the walls, halls, stairwells, chairs, and the birth partner. I'm looking forward to this birth!