Wearing your own clothes, undergarments, and cloth in hospital - Mothering Forums
1 2 
Birth and Beyond > Wearing your own clothes, undergarments, and cloth in hospital
swampwitch's Avatar swampwitch 06:41 PM 08-18-2006
Our Bradley teacher, who is also a doula, recommended last night that we just use the hospital gowns since your clothing can get so messy during labor. Also, she highly recommended using the mesh panties and disposables that the hospital gives you since lochia is so heavy with large clots. Anyone with experience got an opinion here? I was thinking I'd take my own gown, panties, and cloth pads.

sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 06:43 PM 08-18-2006
Hospital gowns aren't known for being particularly good at covering *anything*.
katt's Avatar katt 06:47 PM 08-18-2006
I've heard the mesh panties are great. Expandable, breathable, and you don't have to worry about staining them.

The gown, whatever you're comfortable in. i'd probably want to change to my own clothes after labour (if i worn the Hospital gown) You may end up with nothing on at all if that is what you want.
boongirl's Avatar boongirl 06:47 PM 08-18-2006
I was glad to wear the hospital gowns and use the disposable undies. It truly is a mess, giving birth and the afterbirth bleeding. It would have ruined any of my clothes. My opinion is why would I want to wear my own clothes only to get them completely bloody? Why would I want to have to clean them? After childbirth, the easier you can make things, the better. Just wear what the hospital gives you and let them worry about cleanup. You won't really care about what you are wearing afterward anyway. You will more concerned about the baby and your well being. And, hospital gowns are easy to replace while you are in the hospital. If they get soiled, just ask the nurses for another one.

But, I would bring some extra pads, not the menstrual ones and definitely not cloth. Get some of the large, bladder control pads from the drug store. They are the only thing close to what the hospital will give you and you will need something large. The hospital pads I got immediately after child birth were huge, bigger than any menstrual pad. For at least a couple of days, you will need some HUGE pads. After that, regular large menstrual pads will be fine and I imagine that cloth will suffice as well as disposable.

Regular bikini underwear, which I prefer, won't do either. I had bought waist high cotton undies just in case and I was glad I did. I wore the large undies with super sized menstrual pads for a few weeks while I wore pads, healing. You should also buy some latex or equivalent gloves. They are great for filling with crushed ice to put between your legs. You can throw them out or wash them when you are done. Also, an inflatable cushion, available at a drug store or the hospital may give you one, is a god send.
boongirl's Avatar boongirl 06:48 PM 08-18-2006
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan
Hospital gowns aren't known for being particularly good at covering *anything*.
You can get two, one for front and one for back. That is what I did and I had no issues with privacy at all. They even gave me a hospital robe and socks.
alegna's Avatar alegna 06:56 PM 08-18-2006
I was at home, but honestly it wasn't messy...

I changed pads often the first couple of days, but you're up often anyway what with a baby that wants to nurse and all that peeing....

NaomiLorelie's Avatar NaomiLorelie 06:59 PM 08-18-2006
I definately reccomend the mesh panties. They work well and you WILL ruin your own if you use them. I bring my own robe but I wear the hospital gown too. They even gave me some really comfy socks.
alegna's Avatar alegna 07:03 PM 08-18-2006
Originally Posted by NaomiLorelie
They work well and you WILL ruin your own if you use them.
How odd... I didnt even stain anything.... at all...

mama_bee's Avatar mama_bee 07:03 PM 08-18-2006
oh man. i'd definitely wear whatever they give you. if you sit or lie down for any amount of time postpartum, especially nursing the wee one, when you stand up you'll GUSH blood. at least, the first 24 hours or so. it's horrendous and messy. i was so thankful i was wearing those mesh panties and a hospital gown. i changed into my own stuff the morning before we went home but by then, a heavy-flow pad and some snug undies kept everything under control.
atrain's Avatar atrain 07:07 PM 08-18-2006
I think if you wear your own you will be more comfortable. I do recomend the mesh panties, so breathable.
georgia's Avatar georgia 07:08 PM 08-18-2006
My clothes have never gotten messy during labor. I'm most comfortable in my own clothing, rather than an "institutional gown." You're not sick I would also use my own pads, because I can't stand the disposable style pad's chemicals. Best wishes on your birth
pageta's Avatar pageta 07:14 PM 08-18-2006
I think it's an "in your head" issue. Personally, I'm more comfortable using hospital supplies - I don't have to worry about staining them or losing them. The only clothes I'm bringing for myself and the baby are to go home in. I don't have issues with feeling like a patient if I'm wearing hospital stuff.

But if you think you'd be out of your element in hospital stuff, by all means, bring your own. Be prepared to keep track of it or be willing to lose some of it. I'm not saying you will lose it, but there is a chance.
Swirly's Avatar Swirly 07:22 PM 08-18-2006
Originally Posted by alegna
How odd... I didnt even stain anything.... at all...

I think you got lucky (be thankful!). With amniotic fluid leaking all during labor (stained with meconium) and blood coming out also, I stained everything I came near during labor. I brought my nice pillows from home (with nice, soft 400 thread count cotton cases) and they were all bloodied up. Afterward I used their mesh undies and pads (comfy and free), but wore all my own gowns.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 07:29 PM 08-18-2006
DD was born in a hospital, and I brought all my own pillows, blankets, food, clothes etc. I labored in a t-shirt until I got in the tub, and was just wearing a sports bra in the tub & to deliver in. My water didn't break until just before she crowned so there was no mess at all! After the birth, I put on the mesh undies and one of thier pads and then a pair of shorts I brought. I hated their mesh undies. They must be one-size-fits-all because they were constantly falling off and the pad was constantly shifting. I just used some old granny panties I had brought and didn't mind staining, but they didn't get stained at all. I used the hospital pads for maybe 3 days but I hated how they were so wide I had to waddle. I just used the long overnight maxis and they worked fine. I was glad I had my own clothes, I would have hated being in a hospital gown, especially since all the family was there and I would have been afraid of accidentally flashing body parts while moving around!
wonderwahine's Avatar wonderwahine 07:33 PM 08-18-2006
i used the mesh panties and their pads......but I wore my own nightgowns, i also had ds in his own clothes to.
coloradoalice's Avatar coloradoalice 08:00 PM 08-18-2006
I didn't mind using the hospital stuff for labor and for the day or so after delivery. It was nice to not have to worry about cleaning anything extra. I did wear my own nightgowns afterwards just because they were more comfortable for me. But the mesh panties and pads they provide, awesome!! I used them the whole time and took everything extra I could find in the room home with me!! (I figure you pay for it reguardless, mine as well use it!)
wonderwahine's Avatar wonderwahine 08:09 PM 08-18-2006
I did to.....those mesh underwear were great for the first day at home to.....after that i used my normal pads and maternity underwear, until the swelling went down then i had to go back to my prepregnancy underwear to keep my pads snug.
cottonwood's Avatar cottonwood 08:33 PM 08-18-2006
I think it's all about what you're most comfortable with.

I birthed at home, but of course a lot of people use disposables even at home. I used less and less disposable stuff with each successive birth. I don't like the look and feel of disposables at all, so for me it's a comfort issue. For my last (fourth) I used all cloth -- nightgown until I got really hot, my own underwear, towels, and cloth pads. I gave birth on top of a pile of blankets. For the first couple of days, I mostly just sat on towels (I really only got up to go the bathroom.) And then the cloth pads were sufficient. ETA: I didn't have trouble with staining, hydrogen peroxide is great for getting out blood.

You might find this relevant:

PGNPORTLAND's Avatar PGNPORTLAND 08:42 PM 08-18-2006
I never wore any gown DURING labor. I walked around in my clothes I came in with (comfy sweats) til the contraction got real hard then I felt like being naked and so I was naked until dd was born. then I was a little chilly so I put something on. The mesh panties are actually really cool. your vagina area will be sore and the panties are real comfy and they hold the giant pad in well. If you wanted to use your own pads, I don't see why not but they had these special pads that turned into ice packs that were very comforting to me. I stole the mesh panties and ice pack pads and took a bunch home.
wonderwahine's Avatar wonderwahine 08:43 PM 08-18-2006
all i know, is that the next birth I have, if i can't be at home, i will be wearing my own clothes again during the birth and pp......I might use their pads, i may use mama pads.

The mesh panties are actually really cool. your vagina area will be sore and the panties are real comfy and they hold the giant pad in well.
I second this, i loved the boy leg style of them, they didnt place any pressure on the sensitive areas, I had a 2nd degree tear, so that was especially important. They were also very comfy on my stomach, and I kinda credit the comfy support of them and bf to my quick shrinking of my belly.
Herausgeber's Avatar Herausgeber 08:59 PM 08-18-2006
I feel weird asking this ... but were all of you nightgown wearers in general? I don't even own own, and I've always worn pajama pants or shorts and a T shirt for sleeping. Should I pick up some cheapo nightgowns for laboring? Or are my PJs fine? I'm in a birth center, not a hospital.
wonderwahine's Avatar wonderwahine 09:05 PM 08-18-2006
I only wear nightgowns or nightshirts.....I have always had issues with wearing shorts/pants to bed. I had a nice nursing nightgown for in the hospital, since my milk wasnt in I wasn't leaking, so It was really conveniant for me and ds.
Pandora114's Avatar Pandora114 09:08 PM 08-18-2006
I'm a nakey sleeper :

I LOVED the mesh panties, HATED The huge diaper like pad.

I had a homebirth BTW, and the midwives came prepared with the huge pad and fishnet panties. ooh la la hawtness rawr!

Anyway this time I'm gonna decline the Moose pad and stick with CPF's stuffed into the now defunct Bummis Super prints. My premium CPF's are so ratty they cant be used on baby bums...and the Super print can't hold in urine anymore, but wont have a prob keeping blood in.
Full Heart's Avatar Full Heart 09:14 PM 08-18-2006
I buy mesh panties for at home but I use cloth pads and of course my own clothes since I have hbs. Never ruined any of my clothes. Although I did stain my mattress cause my matress pad slipped and we ran out of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide will get blood out of most anything without stains. My mom got some on a shirt at the last birth and it came right out.

ETA: My amniotic fluid has never stained anything either. I used cloth pads and towels last birth and I was leaking fluid everywhere. Didn't stain a thing. After 5 hbs the only thing with a stain is my bed (but its a great reason to buy a new one lol).
laohaire's Avatar laohaire 09:46 PM 08-18-2006
Originally Posted by alegna
How odd... I didnt even stain anything.... at all...

Same here. And I had fluid leak for 2 days before birth.
georgia's Avatar georgia 10:08 PM 08-18-2006
I sleep in a camisole and undies. I've labored in a t-shirt, half-bra (kinda like a shelf bra thing) and yoga pants the last two times Lost the clothes when I got into the pool, but I kept on my half-bra
wonderwahine's Avatar wonderwahine 10:13 PM 08-18-2006
I stained things during labor, but it wasnt from fluid! plus, I also had a 2nd degree tear. I was very glad for the hospital linens.
swampwitch's Avatar swampwitch 10:15 PM 08-18-2006
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
I feel weird asking this ... but were all of you nightgown wearers in general?
Maybe that would explain some of the differences. I sleep in the buff and usually wear thongs. However, I have grown weary of buying increasingly larger sizes, so mostly I go commando these days. Also, due to depo then nuvaring (love nuvaring and HIGHLY recommend it if you are going the hormonal BC route), I haven't had AF since 1998...so it's like learning how to deal all over again. Funny, I had just bought a divacup for the occasion of coming off BC, thinking I'd have at least a few visits from AF before getting preggers. Glad I bought the bigger size!
Joyce in the mts.'s Avatar Joyce in the mts. 10:33 PM 08-18-2006
May I point out on another note entirely, that wearing your clothing in a hospital birthing situation shows that you are not willing to lose your identity. We may not realize it, but when we ride in the wheelchair we place ourselves in a physically lowered and more vulnerable position literally, and by the same token when we don the good ol' hospital gown, we give up some symbolic power also.

Seems we never give this stuff a second thought, but I find it worth a second thought. We may not realize how we set and reinforce the tone in maternity care by symbolically agreeing tacitly to give up our power and identity at the outset: by wearing hospital gown and not walking in under our own power.

I am long past baby-having, but am a new doula and will be pursuing midwifery after a 20+ year hiatus to foster my partnership with my husband and raise my kids who are all grown now.

My advice: buy a few cheap and comfy nightgowns for laboring/birth- if they get trashed you won't care. Bring your own comfy things for afterwards and return home. Take advantage of the hospital's mesh panties and get some for yourself or use depends, which are very good too. Every woman's lochia flow will differ, so it's not surprising to see a whole continuum of experiences from really heavy and messy to light and manageable.

I hope there is some food for thought in my post.

Joyce in the mts.
wonderwahine's Avatar wonderwahine 11:05 PM 08-18-2006
i definatly agree joyce.....I felt horrible wearing that hospital gown, not to mention i was induced so i had an iv and constant monitors.......so it was very freeing and a big mood boster to me to shower after the birth and get into my own clothes. I guess I felt the same with ds and his own clothes to.....he wasn't sick, why should I put him in hospital clothes?
1 2