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What to wear for waterbirth?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm undecided on what to wear for my waterbirth.  Wearing nothing isn't really my style, I feel like I need *something*, but I'm not sure what.  Part of me says a black night nursing bra only, but then I worry about not covering my bottom half during labor.  May seem silly to some, but I am somewhat of a modest person in that regard.  So I thought about maybe wearing a longer tshirt, perhaps even underwear until I get close to pushing, but I thought maybe all the wet clothes clinging to me would be bothersome.


What did you wear, or what did you plan to wear?

post #2 of 29
With my first and second births I labored in the tub with nothing on. I had "lost my sense of social self" and it was most comfortable at the time. However, nearly all the pictures my DH and doula took at the births have me pretty much nekkid and I wasn't as comfortable after the birth sharing them, especially with extended family members.

This will be my last birth and we are planning a home waterbirth with a professional photographer to document. I plan to just wear a sports bra and figure that anything below the waterline will be sufficiently blurry as it was for my last two labors. I could not imagine feeling comfortable with underwear on in the water, especially to then have to think about removing them while starting to push.
post #3 of 29

With my first, I brought a sleep bra with me, but then forgot about it and just got in the tub.  With my second I asked my mom to go get a sports bra out of my room, but by the time she got back with it, I was in the tub and never bothered to put it on.  I have no pictures of my first birth, and with my second my mom was very tasteful and only took pictures with the baby in front of my chest, so I don't mind sharing them.


I never felt exposed on the bottom half, being in the water made me feel more covered, and honestly I really didn't care, even though I expected I would.

post #4 of 29

Lisa, I am like you and don't feel I could wear nothing.  I am not pg yet, but hoping to be in the next month or two, and I told my dh that I plan on using one of his t-shirts. He is in the Air Force and his PT shirts are soooo comfy! If we decide on a water birth I plan on just having a nursing bra because I don't like the idea of wet clingy clothes.

post #5 of 29

It's hard to predict how you'll feel once you're in labor--many mamas (incl me!) report losing any sense of modesty or embarrassment once real labor kicks in. I got super hot and irritated by my clothes and threw them all off during transition with #1, and spent the rest of the time (hospital birth) totally naked :)  #2 was a home waterbirth, and I took off my clothes to get into the tub, which felt totally right. As PP's have said, though, my only (mild) regret is that all of the photos and video of dd's birth feature my naked breasts, which limits how widely I can share them; next time, I might wear a bikini top or sports bra or something, just for the photos' sake. FTR, you can't see anything at all below the water/waist, and I'm not sure how one would birth in pants or even a skirt, particularly if you're in the water.

post #6 of 29

What about a swim skirt? That seems to be a good idea.. I mean, that way you have the freedom down there to birth the baby, but the clothing to be modest.

post #7 of 29

I wore an oversized t-shirt with my first son, it didn't constrict me at all. With my second  son, the plan had been to wear a vest/tank top type thing, but I never got into it and just laboured naked.


It really depends on how you feel when in labour

post #8 of 29

I wore a bikini top with a halter-neck. It was great to be covered, but didn't feel weird if it got wet like I imagine anything cotton would. Plus once baby was born it was easy to untie from around my neck for nursing.


As for the bottom half I didn't wear anything but if I were concerned about it I'd see about getting a skirt (bought or made) out of swimsuit or other quick-drying material. Sort of like those two-piece swimsuit skirt bottoms but without the underwear part? I would absolutely stay away from a cotton t-shirt, the clingy shirt would drive me nuts for one thing but if you're wet and end up out of the water you'll actually get cold faster. (I know this from the one time I wore a t-shirt over my swimsuit at the pool.) HTH

post #9 of 29

Bikini buttom?

post #10 of 29
Popular options I've seen:
Bikini Top
Sports Bra
Those belly bands used as a tube top - seemed quite comfy!!
Pajama gown
Towel draped over the boobies to keep them warm - like hand towel size works great!
Binsi skirt

The biggest thing is to have multiple items - most women get in and out of the tub, so the first sports bra gets wet and stripped off and then you want a dry one to put on. It doesn't take much to have 3-4 bras around in case you like them on.
post #11 of 29
I wore a halter style bikini top and was quite comfortable. I was fine with nothing on the bottom because between the giant belly and the water, there wasn't much to see. I love the labor photos that we took, and am glad I was wearing something.
post #12 of 29

You should wear whatever makes you the most comfortable. I have seen a wide variety of options, but the most important is that YOU are comfortable. I have done births where the mom stays completely clothed until she is pushing and that is just fine.


I am planning on wearing a tankini top. I am just most comfortable like that. The water gives a sense of privacy, so I don't feel like I will need a set of bottoms on once I am in heavy duty labor.

post #13 of 29
Yeah. I've done one birth that was totally G rated. She wore a shirt and skirt and birthed on her knees in the tub. We had agreed that she would move if I needed to see, but we did everything by touch. She didn't even expose her belly, as the long shirt covered enough that I could get the doppler under it, no problem. You could have aired that birth on prime time with no editing. Ta-da!
Most women choose something less restricting that a full outfit. But it all works. If you can't be queen for a day on the day you have a baby, when can you be? joy.gif
post #14 of 29

I had one homes water birth wearing nothing and like another poster said, in all the pics there were my huge, flopping breasts everywhere! Last time I wore a black sport type bra. I wasn't in the water that long before he was born, maybe 1-2 hours, I only got out once but the wet cotton was annoying. This time I'm thinking a swimsuit top maybe. 

post #15 of 29

I wore a black tankini top (in the largest size they sold) I had planned to wear the matching coverup skirt, but by the time I was in active labor I did not care about the skirt or a bare backside at all. All I cared about was getting that baby born.  The one thing I did like about the top though was that my breasts were supported which is more comfortable for me.

post #16 of 29

You can wear a nursing camisole or sports bra and shorts. That's what I plan to wear. When I'm ready to push, I'll just pull off the shorts. And a note about being modest about what to wear while laboring, alot of women lose inhibition while in labor, especially during transition and just don't care. With my first, I was extremely anxious about who saw my "stuff" and then when I was pushing, I didn't give a damn. lol

post #17 of 29

I am a modest girl, too. I had an outfit all planned out for my waterbirth. I had a couple of sports bras, and a skirt and comfy pajama type capris for when I wasn't in the pool. I ended up being completely naked. I wish I would have had the sense of mind to put one of the bras on, though, cause I have a lot of pictures I can't show anyone! But for me, it was just that I had to have my full concentration on getting through each contraction, and resting between. Clothes were the last thing on my mind! I am hoping for this birth to have a bra or bathing suit top at least so we can have pics to share:)

post #18 of 29

I'm usually modest but once in labor I don't care. I wore a tank top for a while until we got close to birth when the midwives suggested to take it off as it was wet and would prevent skin-to-skin contact with baby and cool baby down. I ended up moving on the bed on all 4s though when I gave birth ahem butt-naked ;). And nobody cared.

post #19 of 29

I totally understand about not wanting to be naked. I'm not a person who ever feels comfortable naked in front of others. People told me I wouldn't care when I was in labour and I remember rolling my eyes at them. However, when I was in labour, I didn't care. I sat on the birth ball in the shower, naked, all freaking day and didn't care who came in. I think I might have even used the washroom in front of the nurse without thinking about it.


This time around, I imagine I'll just be naked or in a bikini top/bra. I have seen a water birth though where a woman wore a short sundress-type top, but it did look cold and clammy and wet.

post #20 of 29

I had a bikini top that I bought just for my waterbirth.  I was laboring in a tshirt and shorts, and when I used the bathroom to pee, I took off my shorts and underwear and didn't bother putting them back on.  I went to climb into the water and asked someone to get my bikini top (I'd put it in with my supplies right next to the pool) and just switched.  I only have a few pictures but I'm happy I was wearing the bathing suit, I could share them with everyone!

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