As a postpartum doula, your primary role is to provide support, guidance, and care to new parents during their postpartum journey. Whether you’re staying overnight or providing daytime care, being well-prepared is key to ensuring a smooth experience for both you and the family. Here are some essential items you should pack in your overnight bag for an efficient and comfortable night shift:

  • Headlamp (red light): A headlamp with a red light setting is a must-have tool for any overnight shift. The soft red glow is less disruptive than bright white light, making it easier for both you and the baby to stay in sleep mode during nighttime care. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that the red light can stimulate melatonin production, aiding in sleep and relaxation.
  • Extra change of clothes: Always have an extra change of clothes on hand in case of unexpected spills or accidents. Babies can be unpredictable, and being prepared with clean clothes ensures you can stay fresh and focused throughout the night.
  • Blanket and pillow: Your comfort is just as important as the baby’s, so pack a cozy blanket and a supportive pillow to help you rest during breaks. A good night’s sleep during shifts can make all the difference in your performance and overall well-being.
  • Snacks and water bottle: Staying nourished and hydrated is essential for maintaining your energy levels and focus. Pack a variety of snacks to keep you going through the night, as well as a water bottle to stay hydrated.

  • Phone charger (with a longer cord): A long phone charging cable is a practical addition to your overnight bag. It allows you to keep your phone charged and within reach, even if the nearest outlet is far from your workspace.
  • Book or headphones: For quiet moments during breaks, bring a book or headphones to listen to your favorite music or podcasts. This can help you relax and recharge for the next shift.
  • Sound machine: A sound machine can be an invaluable tool for creating a calm and soothing environment for the baby. The gentle, consistent noise can help lull the baby to sleep and block out other disruptive sounds.

  • Gloves and mask: Prioritizing hygiene and safety is crucial when caring for a newborn. Pack disposable gloves and a mask to protect yourself and the baby, especially when handling feedings, diaper changes, or other tasks.
  • Infant carrier: An infant carrier can be a lifesaver during nighttime care. It provides you with the flexibility to soothe and carry the baby hands-free, allowing you to move around the home while keeping the baby close.

Incorporating these items into your overnight bag can enhance your experience as a postpartum doula and ensure you provide the best possible care to the new family. By staying prepared and prioritizing your own comfort and well-being, you can make the most of your night shifts and contribute positively to the postpartum journey.