Measuring tape: I use this to measure fundal (the top of the uterus) height. This helps me assess how well baby is growing, and if the baby's growth is what I would expect for gestational age. Did you know that after 20 weeks gestation, fundal height usually corresponds to how far along the pregnancy is? For example, at 36 weeks gestation, I would expect fundal height to be right around 36 cm.
Fetoscope: This is a stethoscope that is specifically used to hear a baby's heart beat. It looks a bit different from a stethoscope. I use a Leff style fetoscope. I have tried other styles but this is the one that works best for me. I prefer to use the fetoscope instead of doppler because I can hear baby's actual heart beat and not a digital replication.
Doppler: I do carry a doppler as an option to hear baby's heart beat. I usually can't hear with the fetoscope until around 18 to 20 weeks gestation, however I can hear around 12 to 14 weeks with the doppler. I carry it so there is the option to hear the heart beat before 18 weeks, or if it is hard to hear with the fetoscope later in gestation which can happen depending on baby's position. It is also handy if a client wants to record the heart beat. Since there isn't a lot of research of the effects of doppler during pregnancy, I prefer to keep doppler use at a minimal level.
My Hands: While not technically in my bag, my hands come with me to every prenatal. My hands let me feel how baby is positioned, how baby responds to the stimulation of being palpated and if baby is growing. It is so sweet to get to know so much about baby before he or she is born and I love it when baby kicks or pokes at my hands during palpation.
My most important tools: I feel my most important tools are my hands, my intuition and my client's intuition. Having my hands on baby at each prenatal enables me to check in with baby. Clients are the experts in how their baby is doing so I want to understand how they feel baby is doing and assess how that aligns with what my intuition is telling me.