What do you wear during labor/delivery? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 04-25-2009, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having a hospital vbac and I am curious if I can figure out something easy and comfortable to wear that is not a darn hospital gown. Any ideas? Is it silly to wear something else - should I just wear the gown?
Obviously it needs to be something without pants or anything, but what?

Jill - 2.5 year old b/g twins and our new son (May 2009)
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#2 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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For my first birth, hosp w midwives, I was buck naked for hours...it felt right at the time. But if I felt a need to cover I would wear a long comfy t-shirt - maybe an old college t-shirt or something? Or a stretchy tank dress or t-shirt dress...you might even find something you feel good about in a lingerie/pajama store!

eta: I really like the idea of wearing something more "personal" than a hospital gown. My prenatal class instructor for my first was the one who made the above suggestions - she did note, it may get stained and you may not get the chance to wash it before stains set, so just be aware of that! I can't even remember what I had planned to wear...there was something...but I ended up goin' starkers! (And this time I'm just assuming I'll be starkers.)

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#3 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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I hated being in a hospital gown last time...too much itchy fabric! This time, I actually bought a spaghetti-strap jersey dress from Old Navy Maternity that's a little bit longer than knee length...I'm going to wear that with a bikini top underneath (for the labor tub) and I may hit a point where I just want to labor in the bikini top only. ;-)
I'm a big fan of the idea of wearing your own clothes too...I think it will help keep me out of a "patient" (sick) frame of mind and more in a mobile, "I'm just doing some hard work" state of mind.
Whatever you wear, don't be too attached to it since it might get all kinds of gunk and goo on it...I figured $25 for a dress wasn't too bad, even if it does end up being disposable.
good luck!

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#4 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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Check out this website: http://www.birthinbinsi.com/index.htm

I quickly tried on one of their skirts at my last midwife appt. It has Velcro down the side so it can be removed easily even with monitors or lines. My midwives have these skirts in their office that they use for some exams, etc and they said I can borrow it for the birth and return it. I'm pretty excited - not a hospital gown, and I save a buck or several! Now, for the top....

I like the idea of the tank top. Again, it comes apart from the side so it won't interfere with IV lines, BP cuffs, etc if you want to remove it NOW. I dont' want to spend $45 though. Maybe a totally cheap tank top that I won't mind cutting off?

I'm going for a VBAC as well. I know I might end up totally naked, but I'm usually fairly conservative and expect to start off pretty modest. However, I totally resent the psychological impact of being a "patient" in a hospital gown - not just me, but everyone who sees me. And, a hospital gown isn't even that user-friendly - you have a totally bare backside, but your front is completely covered. When they have to listen to the baby or adjust a monitor, you will have to have the gown pulled up past your waist. That's where the skirt is so nice.

HTH!

: DS - June '07 : DS2 - May '09 : (may be delayed a really long time!)
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#5 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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All 3 were born in the hospital, and with all 3 I was so hot that anything on me(except wash clothes dipped in ice water) was just not ok, so I was completely naked for all 3 births. I expect the same this time around.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#6 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PTmorgan View Post
Check out this website: http://www.birthinbinsi.com/index.htm

I quickly tried on one of their skirts at my last midwife appt. It has Velcro down the side so it can be removed easily even with monitors or lines. My midwives have these skirts in their office that they use for some exams, etc and they said I can borrow it for the birth and return it. I'm pretty excited - not a hospital gown, and I save a buck or several! Now, for the top....

I like the idea of the tank top. Again, it comes apart from the side so it won't interfere with IV lines, BP cuffs, etc if you want to remove it NOW. I dont' want to spend $45 though. Maybe a totally cheap tank top that I won't mind cutting off?

I'm going for a VBAC as well. I know I might end up totally naked, but I'm usually fairly conservative and expect to start off pretty modest. However, I totally resent the psychological impact of being a "patient" in a hospital gown - not just me, but everyone who sees me. And, a hospital gown isn't even that user-friendly - you have a totally bare backside, but your front is completely covered. When they have to listen to the baby or adjust a monitor, you will have to have the gown pulled up past your waist. That's where the skirt is so nice.

HTH!
They actually asked that you put the gown on open in the front at the hospital I delivered at (university of michigan in ann arbor michigan).

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#7 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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For my first birth, which was in a hospital, I went out and found a super comfortable dress. But, I found that I am most comfortable birthing naked. I was in and out of the tub and getting dressed was just too much. I was also very comfortable pushing naked.

I did like wearing the hospital gown some because I didnt worry about getting blood and all those wonderful birth fluids on it.

What about bringing a sarong/pareo/piece of soft fabric to cover yourself if you need to at times?

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#8 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:32 AM
 
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I can see how putting the gown on with the opening in the front will help with the access issues. They didn't do that last time in my hospital. I'll keep that in mind if I don't have my own clothes. I'll still feel like a person who has a medical problem, though! Thanks for the tip.

: DS - June '07 : DS2 - May '09 : (may be delayed a really long time!)
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#9 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 04:06 AM
 
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I found a comfy sports bra that doesn't have an "underwear" vibe to it. I was really picky about the color.. I couldn't visualize myself wearing grey or black in labor, and preferred not to have white. I ended up with a bright purple one. I figure I'll either wear lounge pants until I end up so far along in labor that I don't care about walking around naked, or, if I manage to not be lazy, I was thinking of picking out some kind of really lightweight fabric and making a super simple skirt. Basically a long piece of fabric tapered at both ends and I'd just tie it around my waist. it would be super easy. Cut and hem. I've never made anything like that, or seen a pattern or anything, I just visualize myself wearing that when I visualize myself in labor.

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#10 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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I also have the spaghetti strap knit dresses from Old Navy. I got them on clearance for $6 each I think! One is all black and one is red and cream stripes. I've been wearing them around the house the entire pregnancy since they are sooooo soft and comfy (I'm actually wearing one right now!) And the cups pull to the side perfectly for breastfeeding! I'll also have a sleep nursing bra to wear if I want to strip down during transition (like I did during my son's birth). I can wear the sleep nursing bra in the tub as well.

As a doula, none of my clients ever wear the hospital gowns. They all bring their own more comfortable, personal nightgowns. It helps keep you from feeling (and acting) like a "patient" when you remain in your own clothes.

Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
Mom to Conner (8/19/03) and Parker (5/23/09)::::
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#11 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 07:43 AM
 
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I have a bikini top and flowy skirt from Old Navy for the birth/labor tub, though I won't wear the skirt in there. And I also have a long tank top and a robe in case I get cold. Not sure what I'll actually end up wearing, as this is my first.

~Erin~ totally in with Olivia! 5/31/09
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#12 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 08:34 AM
 
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I wear the hospital gowns until I go home. I don't want to mess up my own clothes with all the blood and fluids.

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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#13 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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I bought a super cheap knit tank top dress off the Target clearance rack. It's soft, comfortable and if it gets covered with stuff that won't wash out, I'm not that attached to it anyways.
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#14 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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For the majority I was naked, just couldn't stand to wear clothes. When we left for the hospital I ended up putting on a sports bra under my clothes and wore that for the remainder of my labor and birth at the hospital while in the birth tub. This time around I'll most likely be naked.

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#15 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 10:05 AM
 
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No nothing for me! Labor makes me much less modest!
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#16 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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Both times I've been up at the hospital, the gowns haven't been so bad. Probably because they are pretty much new, it's a new hospital. I'd rather make a mess in their clothes than my own..lol

Afterwards though, I am totally changing into some comfy pajamas.
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#17 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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I could wear something like this. It looks comfy, I love the color and it's cheap, so I wouldnt mind ruining it.

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/produc...scid=654266002
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#18 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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I hated wearing the hospital gown with my first. I hated all the pics of me in it, and it was too tight around my neck. Just so undignified in general.

For my second, I wore a nightgown that went down to my knees, but it was just too long. This time, I'm wearing a maternity shirt, and I'm bringing a sarong and robe too.
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#19 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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I would not wear the gown. An old, comfy t-shirt is good or nightshirt. Eventually I wore nothing though

Annabelle Catholic wife to Jeff '92 and mom to Makaley 19 Arden 19 Anniston 17 Taegan 14 Balen 12 Kellen 10 Ellery 8 Innish 6 Eiley 4 Finnian 3 Esca 2 our 8th uc.jpghomeschool.gifwaterbirth.jpgIHhbac.gifbftoddler.gifvbac.gifand expecting sweet pea January 2014.

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#20 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 02:58 PM
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I have a an old shortish skirt made of swim suit material..not tight and its stretchy, easy to get off. I'll probably wear that when I am not in the tub or when I get sick of it. Then an older tank top with a bra in it that likewise I will wear until the tub/sick of it...Never having done this though I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up naked and didn't want to put clothes back on!
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#21 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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I just wear whatever I happen to be wearing when I go into labour and take my pants off before delivery.

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#22 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies! I like the idea of a little dress for cheap - I'll go check out the store this week. If I'm on an external monitor (I have to be on continuous external monitor) will it work with a dress like that?

Jill - 2.5 year old b/g twins and our new son (May 2009)
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#23 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Thanks for all the replies! I like the idea of a little dress for cheap - I'll go check out the store this week. If I'm on an external monitor (I have to be on continuous external monitor) will it work with a dress like that?
Don't know about the external monitor and the dress - but perhaps there is a similar two piece option you could do if it doesn't work? Like a skirt with a bikini top or t-shirt maybe.

~Erin~ totally in with Olivia! 5/31/09
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#24 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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What about a long nightgown that is front button? You could yank it up around your waist when needed and it would open for nursing.

I wore a sarong for Esme's birth. I was naked as a jaybird with Neva's birth. I wore the icky hospital gown with #1 and I hated it. Just wear what you are comfortable with and to heck with the staff if they don't like it.

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#25 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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With DD, I went to the shower to leak the water after OB broke my membranes. After that, I just stayed naked. I don't plan to wear much this time either. Maybe one of DH's old t-shirt.

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#26 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I just wear whatever I happen to be wearing when I go into labour and take my pants off before delivery.
Take pants off - check.
Actually, I remember a recent MDC homebirth story in which the labour went so fast, she did not take her underwear off and baby's head pushed the crotch of the underpants aside as it came out!

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#27 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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With DS I wore a stretchy waisted long skirt and DH's shirt whenever I went outside during labor and while I went to the hospital. Changed into the hospital gown in triage but soon as I got to my LDR room I ripped it off and labored naked. Had someone throw a blanket over me when a male doc came in, aside from that I didn't care in the least, and any clothes would have been too hot, restrictive, and tactile.
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#28 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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I had a binsi skirt and a maternity shirt and was very comfortable until I was ready to push. I couldn't get enough things off of me; everything felt restrictive. They had to hang my shirt & bra on the iv pole to get it far enough away from me.

Stinkerton 12/10/01 9lbs8oz, induced to c/s; Little Man 5/20/03 7lbs11oz, r c/s, fear of another labor; Jillybean 11/18/07 10lbs8oz 37cm head, induced VBA2C; and the Wee Beastie, 9lbs8oz, 35cm head, rpt VBA2C
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#29 of 32 Old 04-26-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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My doula suggested a large man's button-up dress shirt.

Functional, and maybe kinda cute, too!
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#30 of 32 Old 04-27-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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I just found stuff at Goodwill tonight! I found a maternity tank top and a large (non-maternity) skirt. The skirt is dark brown, so no big deal if it gets dirty, and it's a stretchy cotton knit. Kind of like a really thick t-shirt material. I HATE the hospital gowns and I figure if I want to walk around, even outside the hospital if it's a nice day, I don't want to be in a pair of DH's boxers. I think this will be pretty comfy until the end, when I usually want to be naked. And, I spent $4 total on my whole outfit, so if I just need to toss everything afterwards, no biggie.

I also picked up a 3 pack of cheapo tank tops at Sam's club. If I want to wear something in the tub, I figure I could wear one of those and still have one or two dry ones to change into if I get out.
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