Getting Naked with the Midwives - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 01-13-2010, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you having a homebirth or who've had a home birth- how do you feel about this?!
Tonight I was at a birthing class w- one of my midwives and I was thinking about this. I actually really love to be naked (TMI!) and do so as often as I can- but only by myself and with my husband. In the privacy of our private home!
So I was thinking- because of this I could really see myself wanting to be naked while giving birth- as I like the freedom it feels in my body to not be restricted by clothes. But then I think- if there is anyone else there other than me or my dh, I tend to want to put on clothes. And even with the midwives- they are fine and all- and I know for them it is no problem. But for me- I would think I would want to at least where a shirt or something.

Which sort of brings me back to some original thoughts I had on this subject- inspired by my mentor about birth- a great midwife herbalist Jeannine Parvati Baker. I saw her lecture once and regarding liking your midwives she said- would you want to take a shower with your midwives? Meaning- birth is an intimate and sexual type experience- and she basicallt ended up advocating for UC based on the fact that one can feel much more open with only their true intimate people around.
Anyway- I have heard some say that when you are actually in Labor you just don't care.
MEaning- being open and naked with the midwives becomes not that important in the moment.
So what are others' thoughts or experiences with this? On both being naked and also just feeling open- with the midwives around.
My midwives, again- are fine- nice and cool and all. But I don't necessarily feel intimate with them. SO that is the brunt of my question if that makes sense!
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#2 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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Well, I've never had a homebirth...but with my first I did shower in front of the nurse - the running water helped the contractions. The nurse had to be right there in the bathroom with me in case I looked like I was going to fall or needed help or anything. And honestly, I didn't really care at that point who saw me naked.

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#3 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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In my experiance by the time I was in full out active labor I didnt care who saw me nekked It wasnt even a blip on my radar at that point. I did have a sheet draped over my back from time to time but wouldnt have cared if I didnt.

This was a birth center birth with my ds.

 
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#4 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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I've never really wanted to be naked in front of my midwives, but I've never really wanted to be naked in birth....I have a stronger need for privacy/modesty/whatever you wanna call it than a lot of people. I've always worn a maternity tankini for the birth, labored a lot in water, kept a lightweight robe handy if I wanted to get out and walk around, and when I felt pushy, removed the bottoms and left the top on.

But honestly, I didn't feel inhibited by other people....being bare from the waist down didn't bother me, didn't even cross my mind. I probably wouldn't have cared if I was naked completely, but it wasn't necessary to remove the top, so I didn't. But TBH, I probably would have left the top on even if I'd been totally alone. Just the way I am.

I have no clue if that even comes anywhere close to actually addressing your question!

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#5 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
In my experiance by the time I was in full out active labor I didnt care who saw me nekked It wasnt even a blip on my radar at that point. I did have a sheet draped over my back from time to time but wouldnt have cared if I didnt.

This was a birth center birth with my ds.
That was about exactly my experience! I was naked the whole time in the birth center - in the tub, pushing on the bed, etc. You are just so focused internally during labor, the nakedness just never even occurred to me (until pushing maybe, when a bunch more medical types seemed to appear out of nowhere - but that won't happen in a homebirth!)

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#6 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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I agree with the previous posters. By the time I started working through my contractions, I didn't care who saw my naked (I had two midwives, my mom and MIL at home with me). You are in a quiet place, working with your body, so you don't really care about nakedness at that point.

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#7 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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I was completely naked from the time I got in the tub to labor until I washed up about one hour after delivery. I did have a blanket somewhat on me while giving birth and afterwards with DS on me. This was in the hospital.

At home, I don't know how naked I will be yet. It will depend if my dad is around or not, he might be to watch DS. I still plan on being mostly naked though. Probably a bra and a robe if need be. I have a feeling the bra would bother me though.

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#8 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 03:08 AM
 
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It's true -- after a point, you really are too busy to care.

And the midwives don't care, either. Although, as a prude, I am less likely to strip or consent to vaginal exams in my home -- I actually feel more comfortable in a clinical setting.

I'd been debating a tank top for the sake of being able to share any pictures later on, but I read that baby might be more eager to nurse if mom's chest smells like amniotic fluid...

This third birth was my first actually nekkid one (after a point, you may also be too busy to bother taking clothes off without prompting) -- and it felt so much better. This time, I felt that I didn't give away any of my power or decrease my own experience by assuming what anyone else might prefer.

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#9 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 03:17 AM
 
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I assume I will be naked, or very close to it, and I'll be in the hospital! With DD I started stripping down in the waiting room because they were trying to get a room ready for me. My parents were there, strangers were there...I forced myself to be "modest" for their sakes. I remember peeling off the layers...first the jacket, then the sweater, then my shirt. I had a tank top with no bra. My poor dad got VERY nervous that I was going to take that off too, since I kept saying I was hot!

I wouldn't really worry about it. You'll do whatever you feel comfortable with at the time. Right now if I think about being naked in front of my doula, it seems a bit strange. But I know when the time comes, I will probably not care.

Sabrina loving wife to Nate , frazzled mom to Gabriella (1-23-07) and Robert (2-9-10) My bed and heart are overflowing!
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#10 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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With my first baby I was definitely more modest...didn't want anyone seeing me naked. I don't remember what I was wearing by then end (if anything :s) but I know afterwards I kept wanting to cover up. With my second babe I felt like I had every doctor and nurse and their trainees in the room. I started out in my pj's and sports bra....and by the end I was naked. I could have cared less....it really didn't bother me this time around. I was having a baby, and I wanted it out. My attitude was, 'If you didn't like what you saw, leave the room!' lol
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#11 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 03:29 AM
 
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DDDC

I love my mw and I'm definitely more comfortable with her this time around (we're using the same one as we did with DDs birth this time). But if you asked me this last time, it would have been like saying "would you feel comfortable butt naked in front of your aunt or in front of your MIL?" My answer would have been a strong no.

Anyway, the mw got to my house last time when I was in the shower and around 6 or 7 cms. She got me out of the shower a put a towel around me, but as soon as I was dry, I didn't want anything on me. It didn't even occur to me that I was naked and might not want to be. lol Also, during transition, I was having so many hot flashes, alternating with cold sweats, that clothes (anything, even a sports bra) would have really pissed me off.

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#12 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 05:15 AM
 
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I'm with (almost) everyone else. There's a really good chance that you just won't care. In fact, it'll be the farthest thing from your mind.

I gave birth to DS in a hospital and I was naked from the moment I got into the tub until about an hour after he was born (so from, say noon to 5pm). And it was soooooooo not an issue (and I'm someone who's very, very private usually!).

At that point, it's all about getting the baby out, not who is in the room with you. And you know? They've seen it all before, anyway....
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#13 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Katie34 View Post
Anyway- I have heard some say that when you are actually in Labor you just don't care.
MEaning- being open and naked with the midwives becomes not that important in the moment.
It probably depends on your personality, but that was true for me. I had only met the midwife who delivered my first one time, and I had no reservations about stripping down as soon as I got to the birth center. I think when you are in labor you will know what's comfortable. For me it was no clothes - they were too distracting. The midwife, however, blended into the background so I really didn't even notice anyone was observing me naked.

Chai, DS (3/05) and DS (2/10)
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#14 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 11:48 AM
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I'm a weirdo. I FULLY cared about the naked thing. I stayed as covered as possible for both of my other births. I had a friend make me a birth skirt (Binsi inspired, sort of) and plan on wearing my go-to tankini top with it.

I hate being naked in front of anyone but DH. I said before, I'm weird tho.

-zak- Mama to three fantastic sons - 2005, 2007 & 2010 and expecting a daughter February 2012!

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#15 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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I am normally VERY modest - when I had my first baby, at home, when it was time to get in that tub, nothing was stopping me! I quickly stripped and never thought about it again....and actually, I think I stayed naked from then until about 3 days later, lol!

: mama to 3 sweet boys, 10/21/03, 2/23/07 and 1/20/10
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#16 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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For my birth, I wanted to be clothed. However, I am a person who just doesn't do naked very often. I was in stretchy yoga pants, a tank top and a long sleeve tshirt that came off and back on depending on how I felt at any given moment. When I got a check or something, I would take of my pants and undies, then put them back on. I was also a lot more comfortable with that and a pad while I was leaking fluid during labor - I would have hated to just let it drip or something - that would have been odd. When it came time to birth, off came the bottoms and away we went. I figure it will probably be pretty much the same this time around.

ETA - I didn't keep the clothes on because I was being modest or embarrassed, it's just how I was comfortable. I know a lot of people say they totally strip when in labor, but I just never felt a need to. I would have been okay doing it if I felt that I wanted to. I really just wasn't that aware of the state of my clothing or who was or was not in the room.

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#17 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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I don't even wear skimpy clothes normally - even around people I know well! But when I was in labor, I ended up completely naked, and this was with midwives that I had only met once before in my life. It doesn't hurt to have something to wear, but if you don't care when the time comes, don't worry about it.
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#18 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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I did my early labor with just my bathrobe on and it was open most of the time. Once I started to transition, the robe came off (I dodn't even remember that part) and the fact that I was naked didn't even occur to me.

I suggest you have some comfy things picked out, top, bottom, robe, but more than likely it will all come off without you even thinking twice.

One son , 3 years old. One husband, nine years of love. Expecting A Girl Feb 25, 2010
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#19 of 29 Old 01-14-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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Pretty much what everyone else has said...I am usually very modest but you can care less once you are in the thick of it......my experiences have all been hospital and I did have all these medical personnel around me near the birth and I could care less.......

Mom to 5 little angels in Texas and expecting another blessing in Summer 2012!!:

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#20 of 29 Old 01-15-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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My last birth was my first homebirth. By the time my mw, mom, and doula were present, I didn't care the least bit. That was a pain like no other and I couldn't even think about clothes. I was in a birth pool. I do remember being in the center of the pool on all fours pushing while everyone was around the outside, and I felt like a flipping barn animal on display. I just remember that it felt animalistic and strange. At one point, the assistant was like, "The head looks great!" and I was like, "Um, actually, that's a hemorroid." Embarrassing! But part of birth I guess.

This time we will have a lot less traffic in our home. I am hoping to UC up until the actual delivery, alone. I want to spend time laboring alone without so many people around, so that may affect things. I just want backup in there to help catch the baby, but I want to do it alone. Not embarrassment, but rather I felt everyone was a distraction and a point of nervousness for me. Messed up my focus.

 

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#21 of 29 Old 01-15-2010, 05:29 AM
 
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I'm a fairly modest person (not a fan of bikinis or plunging necklines), but to me, birth nudity is different than most other nudity. It's not nudity that I mind seeing at all, nor do I mind my husband or children seeing it.

Also, while I wouldn't be the type to walk around the locker room naked and just talking to my friends with it all hanging out, I'm generally okay with changing in front of other women. While I wouldn't want to take a shower with my mother, we've both been naked/undressed in some way in front of each other as adults, and it's never been a big deal to me. That said, here was my experience:

With DS1, I totally thought that I would be rather modest in labor. I had planned to get a sports bra to wear in the tub, especially so that we could have PG pictures...well, I never got around to getting that sports bra, and when we got to the birth center, I ripped my clothes off and jumped in the tub (I had been having pushing contractions for over 40 minutes, and was holding the baby back; not fun!). I still laugh about it, because there were three people there who I had never met- the assisting mw (who just happens to be my mw this time!), her daughter, and my doula's daughter (who I had actually just met the day before). I didn't care one bit, I just wanted the baby out, and I didn't want any restrictions in the process.

With DS2, I was wearing a nightgown, hiked up around my waist...and slipper socks. It was REALLY cold in our house, as our heater was out of commission at the time, and even though I probably would have stripped under other circumstances, I just wanted to be warm if I could. I had the shakes really badly. I crack up at the pictures though, especially since one of the socks was on upside down.


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Originally Posted by veganfox View Post
I agree with the previous posters. By the time I started working through my contractions, I didn't care who saw my naked (I had two midwives, my mom and MIL at home with me). You are in a quiet place, working with your body, so you don't really care about nakedness at that point.
Totally OT, but I wanted to say yiassou, fellow Greek (I just saw your siggy)!

Crunchy wife to my high-school sweetheart, mama to DS (10/23/05) , DS (11/22/07) , DD (3/9/10) , and DS (5/26/12),  and three babies in Heaven.
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#22 of 29 Old 01-15-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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not in this ddc but wanted to share.

when i went into labor and i was having my baby... modesty flew right out the window. i was way way way more concentrated on getting him out than caring what anybody saw. seriously, anybody could have came along and i either wouldn't have cared, blatantly ignored them, or overall didn't realize their presence.

that being said, i am super modest. i am the kind of girl who isn't fond of exposing even the slightest bit of cleavage, as i like to feel concealed and not be gawked at from all angles. - giving birth... it really does make such a huge difference, concentration totally diverted from everything else.

while pregnant, being naked was a bigger concern to me than possibly... er... going #2 during labor.

he's here; kaine (11/9/09)
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#23 of 29 Old 01-15-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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when i was in labor the part of me who cared if anyone saw me naked totally disappeared, too. i think i would have walked up and down my street naked. I just did. not. care.
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#24 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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DS was born in a freestanding birth center, but I'll still answer. I started out with a tankini top on and before I knew it I was buck naked and didn't have a care in the world! Those contractions can make you forget anything. LOL. I have the same midwife this time, except for a homebirth, and I'm sure that I"ll be nekkid in record time.

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#25 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 04:15 AM
 
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i think i would have walked up and down my street naked.

Crunchy wife to my high-school sweetheart, mama to DS (10/23/05) , DS (11/22/07) , DD (3/9/10) , and DS (5/26/12),  and three babies in Heaven.
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#26 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I was butt ass naked and I LOVED birthing unrestrained. I am not realy modest to begin wiht and I figure the MW has stuck her fingers inside me so what is being naked?

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#27 of 29 Old 01-19-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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even after my son was born, I didn't care. the poor nurses would be like, "Miss, your gown is open in the back again!"
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#28 of 29 Old 01-19-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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even after my son was born, I didn't care. the poor nurses would be like, "Miss, your gown is open in the back again!"
This was how I was, too! I remember the midwife kind of yelling at nurses to get the door closed as quickly as possible after the birth - can't remember if I was being stitched up or delivering the placenta...anyway, I was like "Yeah, whatever I really don't care at this point," and she replied, "Yeah, but that feeling goes away."

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#29 of 29 Old 01-19-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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I thought I wouldn't want to be completely naked. I figured I would wear a big shirt most of the time. I started labor fully dressed. When things started getting more intense, I put on a nightgown. The moment the MWs said I could get in the tub, I was out of that nightgown as fast as possible. Dh had a robe at the ready and I wasn't interested in it at all. It is really pretty amazing how your perception of nudity changes completely when you are in labor.
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