Supporting moms in labor requires hella multitasking. Helping moms find comfort in their physical and emotional journeys during the labor process can take a lot from us. Whether you support mothers in the home setting or hospital setting. It still isn't home! Providing your own items for self comfort and well being during birth is not always possible, but should definitely be on the forefront of your mind before heading out to support a client. When we leave our homes, we never know how many hours a birth will take. We never know what hour we will return home be it the same day or the next. During a busy baby window, I find myself cooking Instapot dishes so that I can grab and go if I need to get out of the house fast.
Making sure you have a "soul care" bag in your trunk is always a good idea! As birth workers, our own comfort in a client's home is never a priority. And some homes aren't equipped with extra rooms and bathrooms to provide the birth team with moments of privacy.
Depending on your role in the hospital setting, comfort may look different or be totally nonexistent. If you're a midwife with a call room, you have the luxury of having a separate space to take care of yourself or even rest, depending on the activity on the unit. If you are a doula, you have NO accommodations outside of the visitors lounge or your CAR! Fun fact, as a solo, home birth midwife, I never hesitate getting a hotel room nearby, if the location was too far from my home. I know this is a luxury but it's one that helps me midwife well. A place that I can have my own bed, food and bathroom facilities.
So let's get into this bag!! Here is a list of items I try to have handy! I keep some of these items in the hidden compartment in the trunk of my car. Others are kept in my go bag!
Soul Care Bag Items:
water bottles/tea bags
snack bar/granola bars
2 pair of underwear
extra set of clothes (leggings/sweat/scrubs)
blanket, yoga cushions
extra chargers for phones /devices
Ashwhaganda tinture/white willow bark herb /motrin
vitamin c supplements
stress management support
YOU know what makes you feel good and supported. Pack your bag full of those things. Yes, this is yet ANOTHER bag added to the other 10 birth bags in your car, but you'll be so glad that you have it! This way you can grab some good food and head out into the birth streets, feeling prepared!