What do you wear during labor and birth? #I've got a question!#childbirth#clothing February 11 | Offbeat Editors @offbeatfamilies runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. Photo courtesy of Pretty Pushers, maker of somewhat cute birthing gowns. I'd love to hear about what Offbeat Families readers wore or are planning to wear during labor and delivery. My awesome friend Mo is going to make me a skirt or dress or something that will be comfortable and not outrageously expensive (just in case the blood and meconium stains don't come out :D) I'm just looking for style ideas, and I figured this was just the community to ask! -Katie We're betting some of you will have amazing suggestions in the comments… ready, set, GO! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Hear, hear: my experience as a deaf parent NEXT Textographer turns your words into your favorite photos Show/Hide comments [ 92 ] I spent most of my labor naked in the tub, if I wanted to get up to walk around I wore only a hospital gown. That way I didn't have to deal with laundry or worry about staining. 11 agree I ended up wearing a blue tank top and that's about it. Even though I gave birth at home I still didn't feel comfortable being completely naked. I wanted some coverage! 5 agree Bathing suit top (if you're modest and planning to labor in the tub or shower) and cheap skirt. That was my plan, but the baby was too fast! 3 agree I labored in a VERY large t-shirt that was a dark blue and underwear. It wasn't my style at all however, my father in-law passed away 14 months prior and it was his shirt. It really meant a lot to my husband and my mother in-law. For the birth I was naked. We had a water birth. This time, I plan on laboring in the same t-shirt and birthing in the water wearing a "sleep" style nursing bra. 3 agree I had a bra and hospital gown on. I felt weird ditching the bra so I left it on. 2 agree I have been trying to figure this part out. I am having a natural birth with many people in the room and I am super…shy ill say. I want my belly to be open for as soon as the baby comes for skin to skin and easy access to brestfeed, but I don't want to be nakie in front of everyone. Lol 2 agree i wonder….. are you sure you want a lot of people present? now, i am not dissing that choice at all; when i was 5 months prego i attended a close friend's birth (with like 6 other people) and she drew strength from our presence, loved sharing the experience, and wouldn't have it any other way. after witnessing her wonderful birth i thought i wanted something similar, but once i was in labor i had some major regrets. of course i love my family & friends dearly, but i found that their presence had me thinking and worrying about THEM! and i too, felt a little shy all naked in the tub. so this time around ( i'm 2 months along with my second child), it's just me, papa, the midwife and maybe a doula. 14 agree I had way too many people involved for my 1st birth experience: partner, mother, aunt, best friend, plus midwife and nurses. I love them all dearly and figured all the woman energy could only be positive. The problem was that I labored for a long time and everyone (besides partner and midwife) got worn out and emotional and ended up distracting me with their drama. It especially didn't help that my mother did not at all understand why I wanted to labor naturally. She endured for as long as she could before she yelled at my midwife to DO SOMETHING. Not helpful! This time around, it'll just be my partner, doula, and midwife and nurses. 4 agree Most doctors and midwives agree that the having one's mother in the delivery room is the most difficult. They have an instinctive desire to attempt to shield their children from pain. Even if that "child" happens to be a grown woman about to give birth. I had a very stern/earnest conversation with my mom when I was about to give birth in which I told her, "This is the most difficult and womanly thing I will ever have to do and I need you to treat me like a peer and not your child." She sucked it up and remained calm and supportive and was such a trooper. 19 agree I was in a hospital gown. But there towards the end, it was just kind of draped over me. 2 agree NOTHING!! I was completely naked the entire time (24+ hours). When I got up to walk around the birth center I put on a large pj shirt but the place was deserted due to the BLIZZARD outside so I could have stayed naked but it was freezing in the hallways. during prelabor (another 20+ hours) i wore a large fleece robe 3 agree I remember worrying about that. I had a wore a (size huge) silky nightie. It was weightless and short, didn't get in the way, yet gave me a little coverage, until I got to that "I don't CARE" stage of labor. (And I had a great birth!) 2 agree I labored and delivered in a hospital gown and socks. Throughout my stay I went through several gowns because of all the mess/fluids. I would do it that way again. I see no point in buying/wearing something special as it will likely get ruined. 8 agree I spent 36 hours of drug-free labor in a hospital setting (and another 8 hours tied to a bed after pitocin/epidural/etc interventions). I spent the first 24 hours or so in a pair of supersoft knit baggy gaucho pants and soft sports bra, with a cardigan/hospital gown/robe added or removed according to comfort. I also spent time in and out of the shower/bath – clothes that were comfy to get in and out of were wonderful! 2 agree I wore a bra and tank top under the stupid hospital gown thing for a day and a half (although, to be honest, I really only put the gown on if I was getting up to pee or something), up until it was decided that a c-section was happening. Post-delivery I wore comfy pajama-type clothes (tshirts, pajama pants, etc). I layered up and peeled them off as the labor progressed. I started in yoga pants and a sarong top with a sports bra. Later the pants, bra and panties came off in that order. I gave birth in the sarong. It worked great cause skin-to-skin was just a tug away. I have not birthed yet, but we plan to have an unassisted home waterbirth when we do plan to have a child. Only my husband will be accompanying me at our birth, but we will be recording the birth and posting it on youtube. I don't want to be exposed for all the world to see, so I want to wear my wedding dress, which is just an ivory-colored convertible maxi dress made from a very soft modal fabric, made by IsadoraClothing on Etsy. It's comfortable, gives great coverage wherever I want it, and any part of the dress can be easily removed or pulled aside should I feel the irresistable urge to get nekkid or I want to give skin-to-skin to my newborn. It can also be tied in a way to nurse modestly without covering the baby. (sort of like a "slurp n burp") It's also very forgiving on a less-than-perfect figure, so it would be perfect to wear all throughout my pregnancy, and afterwards! And it's machine washable! Modal doesn't stain easily either. 4 agree I debated this internally A LOT. After much discussion, both in my head and with mom friends, I ended up going with the hospital gown. I wanted to still feel like ME, so I wore really wicked socks which are a very key piece of my wardrobe on a daily basis. I ruined three pair… but it was worth it to have some part of my style intact. 2 agree That's one thing I forgot — I also wore my lucky socks, which are red and white striped knee-highs. 1 agrees I wish I could show you what I wore. If I could, I would give everyone a copy of the dress that I had cause it was perfect for laboring and post-delivery. (Delivery was in a tub and was just a really stretchy black bra.) But the 30-something hours before that, I wore a maxi dress. Notes on the style that made it awesome: The skirt was two layers. Bottom layer was about as thick as a well-worn tshirt, and the top was just paper thin cotton. It was very light to wear. Straps that fastened to the back with buttons so it could be undone if necessary. Deep V-neck, one side overlapped the other (like a wrap dress would) so there was enough give to make nursing access really easy. Every piece of the dress could be easily moved aside, which meant I could keep it on despite being checked on and monitored. And it being a really busy swirly black and white pattern meant it hid any grossness so I ended up wearing it for like… three days. 8 agree Lest you think I'm disgusting, the "grossness" was like food stains or whatever… I was lucky enough that I didn't have the huge clothes-ruining mess others had. 2 agree This information is so helpful! I'm also interested to know what people wore AFTER giving birth! 1 agrees I lived in my yoga pants for days. stretchy, soft, the most comfortable things I own. On top I stayed in a sports bra style nursing bra and a tank top if I got out of bed. I wore a hospital gown draped over me. I tore badly and bled quite a bit and am glad no one made me anything to wear for the event. The gowns were so comfortable, I didn't get dressed until I left the hospital. 2 agree This sounds almost exactly like my story. The only difference is I wore a huge hooded sweatshirt over my hospital gown. (After birth of course.) I personally think that whoever designed the gown I wore knew what they were doing. It had the holes for nursing and it was easy to just grab the bottom and throw it up out-of-the-way for the birth. Plus, I didn't even think twice about staining, that's what it was made for! 1 agrees With my first I went back and forth from tub to bed and wore a hospital gown out of the tub. With my second I was induced so I wore a hospital gown in the beginning once things got started I was in the tub and had nothing on for the rest of my labor (which was only about an hour) i wore a hospital gown for all four deliveries. when i was recovering for the first day, i wore a nursing hospital gown. afterward, i wore comfy pjs and a nursing shirt. i would put on a sweater if i got cold. it was comfy, i didn't care if it got stained, and i could nurse easily, plus take off and put back on my pants easily. i had a c-section for two pregnancies, so it wouldn't hurt my stitches. i did not care about fashion during or after. i was too tired and busy to care! 2 agree i wore my beloved blue-white-striped nightgown, which is essentially just a long t-shirt. for the first hours also underwear, sweatpants and a hoodie, after the tub just the shirt ^^ afterwards i hat a lovely little spaghetti strap nightgown- "easy to pop out the boob"-style… I labored in a oversized tank top, like one or two sizes too big (so it would fit my belly) and a sports bra. I had comfortable pajama pants on until about 5 cm. Then I took a shower and put on a robe. I don't know, as much as I am usually totally concerned with what I wear. I definitely could not have cared less, nothing was going to make me more comfortable. And I danced and walked until I pushed, so I felt like I needed some clothing… I guess the question isn't really about your style of clothing but more about your style of labor! 5 agree I wore this super comfy maternity dress from Old Navy. I bought it for looking cute and keeping cool in the summer months but it was far too nightgowny to wear out of the house. It was soft, sleeveless and just had a bit of elastic at the empire waist. While laboring on the toilet I just tucked the skirt up into the neckline, while pushing on my knees my midwives hoisted it up over my butt, and then when it was time to climb into bed with the baby, it was super easy to strip right off. I thought clothing might annoy me, but this dress was so light and soft I didn't even notice it. Also it's really stretchy so when I wore it in the following weeks, I just had to tug it down and whip my boob out for easy feeding! This is totally not an ad for Old Navy, it was just a really comfy dress. They have a lot in this style on their site right now. 1 agrees I loved all of old navy's maternity clothes when I was pregnant. they were the only brand that fit me and didn't make me feel like I had to be 40 to wear them! 3 agree I just checked out their website and got all excited about yoga pants for $13… Until they wanted to charge me $92 for shipping! Damn you international postage rates! Guess I'm just going to ruin the yoga pants I already have. I found this to, they're international shipping is outrageous. If you're in Australia, I used this website to buy stuff from them instead http://www.priceusa.com.au/ The process is a bit complicated, but the shipping ended up being about a third of the price, and since the Old Navy maternity sales were so good, I decided it was worth it. Genius! Although probably a bit late now given that bubs is due in a week. The outrageous shipping saved me from an impulse buy, but I'll keep that website in mind for future international online cravings. Thanks! 1 agrees I realise i don't know where you live but if it's Canada there is a Canadian Old Navy site. Make sure you type in .CA at the end to avoid crazy shipping costs. At the moment it's free if your spending over $50.00 I had planned so much before my labor and delivery, I had packed a cheap dress that tied around the neck, bought a new bikini top for my tub time, and brought a few sets of clothes for the days after. I ended up wearing a pair of stretchy yoga-style pants and one of my ex-husband's big shirts for the ride to the hospital, and was nekked after that. Thanks in part to my labor being so progressed by the time I got there, I just went into the tub nakkie and stayed that way. After the birth, with all the blood and everything, I ended up spending the rest of my hospital time in a backwards hospital gown so I could have easy nursing and skin-to-skin access. Definitely don't plan to wear anything you care about for the next week. No one tells you how much you bleed! 2 agree i wore an awesome soft stretchy nightie from target. i had an (unexpected) hospital birth, but i didn't want to feel like a patient, so i kept my clothes on. (this unnerved several nurses.) 1 agrees Heh. I was transferred from a home birth (preeclampsia) where I had been laboring in a long tube / summer dress. I stripped nude and gave birth that way, but all of the nurses kept asking me at least every half hour if I wanted a gown so "I'd be more comfortable". At some point between contractions I came around and told one of them that the gown had nothing to do with my comfort, that it was more about theirs and to stop asking me. I'm a little shocked at how weird they were about women who choose to labor nude. Especially since they knew I was being given magnesium, which increases perception of ambient heat. 3 agree thats interesting. My nurses looked at me like I was a silly person for asking for 2 gowns, one for the back and one for the front while I walked down the hall from triage to my room. Like, um, the night janitor doesnt need to see my ass… But once in my room I got nude. It was May, and warm, but when I started getting the shakes, I regretted leaving my warm robe at home. 3 agree Great question! I have been wondering this too, since I don't really want to be nekkid, but I plan on laboring and maybe delivering in the tub. I vote for the hospital gown if you are going for a hospital birth! Let them do the messy, messy laundry. 1 agrees I wore a bra, socks, and a hospital gown in labor. Not fashionable but I didn't have to wash it after… Post delivery I mostly wore maternity sweats – like matching ones/ hoodie and pants. I had a c-Section so i needed something with an adjustable waist, and was bleeding pretty heavily so I ruined one pair. Don't bring anything to the hospital that can't get multiple bodily fluids on it! 😉 1 agrees I wore the hospital gown, I gave birth last summer (which apparently was one of the hottest we've had in a while) So I wanted to wear as little as possible without being naked. being a hawaii girl and hating hospital gowns, i wore a sarong (aka pareo) that i tied loosely and covered me up (when i cared) but could open and drape as necessary … i chose one in my favorite soothing colors (blues and greens). 3 agree I gave birth in July in Oklahoma. It was 100 degrees outside so the air conditioning was overcompensating and it was about 55 in the delivery room. I wore a little nightgown from the junior section of Target that had a pink skull on the belly. About halfway through the labor my midwife suggested that I get in the tub for a while, so I was naked from that point on. The thing I'll remember most is not what I wore but what my husband and midwife wore. I was working so hard I enjoyed the cool temperature but they were freezing. So they both kept getting heated blankets from the nursing station and they each had one draped over them for the entire delivery! My husband had arrived in sandals so my midwife gave him some hospital socks to wear as well! I had Aidan in a tub, and wore a black maternity tankini. It was perfect for me. The black suit didn't stain, it covered enough of me that I didn't feel exposed, and left my lady bits open for business. We are planning a homebirth in March in California and I am not planning anything about what I will wear since I will have my closet right there. I am not modest, and it will only be my husband, midwife and her assistant, so I imagine that if it is comfortable temperature-wise, I will probably be nekked for the majority of the experience. We plan on taking pictures, but my thought is that if you don't know me well enough to see photos of me laboring and giving birth nekked, then you don't need to see those photos. It seems like such an intimate time to me — labor and birth — and I don't want to plan to wear something just so I am covered in photos/video that will be circulated later. Those whom we don't know well enough to share the nekked photos with will get the cleaned up baby wrapped in a cute blanket photos. 1 agrees During L&D I wore the hospital gown (induced at 42 weeks, ended up with a C-section 24 hours later) but after the first day of recovery I wore a nursing tank and yoga pants. I had a button-down shirt to put on when I found myself chilled, but when I was discharged it was 95 degrees outside and it was great to just have the tank and yoga pants! 1 agrees Nothing! I actually laugh now when I think how much time I put into thinking about what to wear during labor – if you knew me, you'd know I put exactly ZERO time into thinking about what I wear daily. And I guess there's a reason for that; when given a valid excuse (and hello, birth is a valid excuse for ANYTHING) I will always choose my birthday suit! I wore a hospital gown and found it to be a complete hassle as I moved around during labor. I was constantly pulling it up or out from under me. It did get really messy though, so I was at least glad I wasn't wearing anything I'd have to take home and wash myself. Hospital gown was fine by me. Too busy to care! After baby was born I wore a nursing tank top which was awesome. I had a homebirth and went into hard labor in the evening, so I was actually just wearing my usual nightgown — a knee-length ivory nylon slipdress that really doesn't conceal much of what it covers — through most of the night, even when I was laboring in the tub. Then when it actually came to the pushing stage, the midwife needed the skirt out of the way, so I just flung the whole thing off, which had the fortunate side effect of keeping all the birth-related goop off of it. After everything got cleaned up, I put on my big fluffy bathrobe, which was nice because I could easily pull it aside to nurse, and put it back to let people visit. I had been worried about my midwife and my mom and assorted others seeing my bits (in fact, I had told my mom I didn't want her there because of that, but I ended up inviting her anyway because she owns a TENS machine), but when the time came, it mattered precisely zero to me. I am kinda glad the only Y chromasomes in the room belonged to my husband and my baby, though. My childbirth educator was adamant about women wearing their own clothes during labor b/c she theorized that once a woman puts on the hospital gown, she starts viewing labor as a medical event instead of a natural life process and herself as a patient instead of a laboring woman. I went to the hospital twice so I wore two different cotton maxi dresses. One was an oversize beach dress from Target and the other was a maternity dress from Old Navy. Because they both had long skirts, I could pull the fabric up and off my legs when I was hot and let it back down when I was cold. Once I got to transition, I went naked partly so I could labor in a tub but also because I didn't want anything on. This surprised me because, as someone with an eating disorder history, I've never felt comfortable naked in front of anyone. But that day, I wandered around naked in front of 6 or 7 people and I didn't care! I'm due again in a few months and plan to use the same dresses. 1 agrees I wore a sports bra. I brought other stuff, but I was in the tub and then she was here lickety split, so the bra it was! I don't recall having any specific plan for what to wear – I'm not modest at all, so I probably expected to strip down at the birth center. But I ended up getting an infection as labor started and I was SO COLD (read: feverish) that I piled on the layers and sweaters and blankets. Once at the hOspital we discovered our formerly head down baby had rotated to a nasty breech, necessitating a cesarean, so I never got to test out what j would have birthed in given a choice! I had a homebirth. I labored for for first 7 hours in my thick bathrobe (and swept and mopped the kitchen floor to stay busy). Then, I got into the little baby pool we set up in the living room for the next 4 hours and was naked. That was it. I wore big tee-shirt style/material nighties for (most of) both of my births. Very easy to slip in and out of while having numerous showers. I did end up naked at the end with a sheet over my chest, just so that I could have easy skin-to-skin contact and a quick feed. The midwives loved them, one nightie had "Wild Child" with a cuddly teddy bear printed on it. The other had a dancing cow and "Shake it, Baby!". Post-births I wore oversized tee-shirts with low-cut necklines (easy-feeding), comfy breastfeeding bras, comfy undies and loose cotton pants. I was so freaked out about people seeing me naked that I had a whole system of modesty-preserving clothing in place in my labor bag to take to the birth center when the time came. My midwife laughed at this, but told me to bring what made me comfortable. It took about two contractions before that modesty went out the window and the carefully planned labor tub attire was forgotten entirely. I went naked and genuinely didn't care. It was the only time in my life that I have felt comfortable naked in front of anyone other than my husband. I promise you, when the time comes, the clothes you're wearing will most likely be the last thing on your mind! 2 agree Birth number one(birthcenter)I was a big planner and bought a black A shirt (tank top) to wear in the tub and yoga pants. I did end up using both. Birth two(birthcenter) I made no plans and ended up birthing next to the tub in my bra lol. Birth three was at home and knew whatever I wanted at the time I had available I ended up wearing one of my many camis into the tub. No real planning there I just wanted in now! As a doula I say bring whatever you think you will feel comfortable with all the while knowing you may change your mind entirely What did I wear during birth? You'd have to ask my fiance cause I stopped caring once those contractions got bad enough. I vaguely remember having some sort of outfit planned… but I very quickly came to realize that no one cared what I was wearing, least of all me! Between climbing in and out of the jacuzzi tub and having my lady parts checked a zillion times, whatever I came in wearing got vetoed one by one and I ended up in just a hospital gown, i think. Honestly I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I can't even be sure. In any case, it's not like I would have brought the outfit home and cherished it always – that's what I had the baby for! I wore a hospital gown during labor and delivery, as well as the entire time I was there. Well, until I put on my clothes to go home. I had bought a nice set of pajamas to wear around while I was there, but I felt like crap he next few days because I lost a bunch of blood and had a spinal headache. I didn't have any ambition to get real clothes on at all. As a friend of mine says, you know a lady is really in labour when she suddenly can't bear to be clothed. I felt so hot during contractions that I didn't even want to put clothes on to transfer to hospital, but conceded to wear a light cotton wrap dress for the short drive. Once we got there the first thing I did was to rip if off and have my husband sponge me with a cool damp cloth. Later on, during the quiet, calm of pushing, I did get a cold spot on my lower back. I was squatting and my dear friend had to hold a little towel on this one square of my back, but I felt too hot if was any higher or any lower than that specific area. I really can't imagine labouring in clothes. It just seems so cumbersome but, if that's what's going to enable you to drop your inhibitions then go for it. I reckon, if I had been so inclined, my wrap dress would have been the item of choice. I certainly found that it had nice easy access for nursing the next day. I was in an out of a tub once labor got going, so I didn't wear much of anything. I sort of half put on a hospital gown sometimes, but during labor what I was wearing (and who saw what) was about the farthest thing from my mind. I labored in a big red flannel maternity shirt that had belonged to a Burning Man campmate & friend of mine who is the ultimate mama and her daughter is the reason my husband and I are together. She passed it to my best friend and also camp-mate who also wore it the first few months of her daughter's life… a year later it was mine. Then I passed it on to another camp-mate. Our camp is getting bigger and bigger… (and we all have girls! ) Once I got in the tub, though, I was au natural and pretty much stayed that way for about 3 days after Ruby was born! LOL! i rocked a bed sheet, wrapped around, toga-style. 1 agrees I got naked to get into the birth pool (I'm still amazed at how quickly the embarrassment vanished!) and then stayed in the nip for 10 hours until the Niblet was born – perfect I brought a bunch of stuff to wear for labor/delivery and the stay after the birth, but just ended up wearing the hospital gowns provided, and even the stretchy disposable hospital underwear for after. I wore my own socks. I thought it would matter to me wearing something "normal" but it turns out I just didn't care, and didn't need to pack so much stuff. I was so focused on my relaxation that I didn't notice a lot of what was going on except when important questions came up. My baby was breech and no one knew, so I had an unplanned surgical birth. It was better at first to just toss the gown in their laundry basket instead of taking it home. the last couple days in the hospital, I liked wearing my own gowns. Argyle socks. Nothing else matters. But I wore argyle socks. 4 agree Yay – this was my question! So yes, I had my baby last August, so I'm reading all the responses with my chunky 6 month old Frankie nursing on my lap, but oh well – it's still fun to hear everyone's choices. For me the question wasn't so much about modesty, but about working hard to not feel like my labor and delivery was a medical event (as one of the other commenters had mentioned). It was a busy summer, and "awesome friend mo" spent more time helping us finish our basement than sewing, so the skirt we had planned never panned out. I ended up choosing a light, stretchy cotton knee-length skirt from old navy maternity and a basic ribbed maternity tank. It was comfy for the first 8 or so (largely uneventful, induced) hours of my labor, but as soon as things started to kick into gear I was in and out of the tub and was naked from there on out (i.e. the next 19 hours). Except, of course, for the wild and energetic charm necklace my girlfriends had made for me from my blessingway. Post-delivery I had a nursing tank and gaucho/yoga style pants plus a zip-up hoodie for when I got chilly. I'm so glad I had "me" clothes, especially for recovery, so that I didn't have to feel medicalized in the hospital gown. 2 agree I think i'll just have a sarong tied around me, easy access and comfortable. I don't like wearing clothes at the best of times (at home!) so i don't think i'll be too concerned about showing my bits and pieces! And i only plan on having my husband and midwife present, and maybe my mother or sister if he needs a break, so i don't think i'll care! Nothing but socks When in labour I could care less about who sees what. I could be in the middle of a crowd but I just have a primal instinct to strip off! I started off in a hospital gown + cheap robe I'd gotten for laboring in/to walk the hospital halls. Once I hit transition (at 6 cm), I was suddenly burning up & spent the rest of labor & delivery naked. After my baby was born, I took the greatest shower of my life & spent the rest of my hospital time in nursing tanks with yoga capris. I probably had a sweater, too, in case the room got cold. A week before I gave birth I went to the thrift store and bought black stretchy sweat pants/yoga pants and loose thin drapey t shirts for postpartum. Giving birth I wore the hospital gown and my necklace from my blessingway. If you're reading this and thinking of what to pack, warm socks without any elastic cuff would be a great idea to bring. I packed mine, but in the wrong bag. I wore a sports type bra and a short thin house coat as it was summer time. The house coat was really great because i didn't have to pull it over my head at any point and it could accomidate the monitors( clearly I have a hospital birth!). Actually now that I think about it I have one arm out for most of the time because of the IV I had for the drip. I gave birth in a hospital, so I wore a hospital gown. When I was laboring at home, before we went to the hospital, I'm pretty sure I was wearing some cotton drawstring pants and a maternity t-shirt. Seriously, don't wear anything you don't want ruined. In DH's words, "I have never seen so much grossness come out of my wife." (he was talking about the amniotic fluid and later the afterbirth- not the baby!!) When I went home, I wore a jogging suit and a maternity top. I finally stopped wearing my maternity jeans a few weeks later and broke down and bought a pair of jeans in my post-partum size, but I probably would have lived in yoga pants longer if we didn't move across the country when my son was 3 weeks old. (I know, it was CRAZY!!) I wore a nursing sleep bra and nuthin else. I still wear that bra. So comfy! I just wanted to say that it's awesome reading everyone's replies. I've been thinking about this because my baby is going to be born in a hospital but I abhor hospital gowns. Which is hard because I know I'll have an IV. Looks like I'm either going nekkid for the whole thing, or I'll be in clothes that I don't mind throwing out when they get stained. Maybe I can get crafty and alter some old clothes so I can get them on and off without disturbing an IV? As a medical professional, it's pretty easy to switch the IV around, even if you're not wearing a hospital gown. you could wear something button/zip front to make it even easier. But I wouldn't let that limit what you wore. I mostly labored at home (didn't realize it at the time). When I finally broke down and asked my husband to drive me to the hospital (the OB on the phone had told me earlier in the evening that I was probably in false labor…I was clearly minimizing my symptoms) I wore an old pair of yoga pants with a stretchy waist band as well as a t shirt with the word "PAINFUL" on it (it was an work joke, but totally appropriate). I think I put a gown on when I got to the hospital…but really, no memory of it. All the nice little things I packed in my bag, yeah, didn't use a thing. Probably because I had transitioned in the car and was 9cm when I got there. I'm kind of embarrassed at the ridiculous amount of time I've spent thinking about this exact question! First of all, I have enormous boobs so the thought of having them free and wobbling all over the place grosses me out. Second of all, I've never been comfortable with my body (I'm somewhat "plus sized") so the thought of people seeing me naked for many hours in particularly unflattering positions is quite unsettling to me. Ideally I was looking for something that would give bust support, have easy lady bits access (so dress or skirt), no problem to throw out after, and could be whipped open in a second for that precious skin to skin contact. I'm 33 weeks now and in my labour bag I've packed a long maternity tankini for the shower and bath and I figure if I end up having an epidural I'll wear a nursing sleep bra and a hospital gown (they may be ugly but their well designed!) Though who knows, maybe at the time I wont care at all and spend the whole thing in my birthday suit! 1 agrees I birthed in my birthday suit. I wore a spaghetti strap nightgown with a big shirt on top (when I got cold) for my walks around the hospital hallways. When I was in the tub (which was A LOT) I was nude. http://www.flickr.com/photos/katmountain/4617520818/in/set-72157624083495442/ I started out in a long tank top dress from Le Chateau along with socks and a bra. I think that all lasted about an hour and half until I didnt care anymore. After that it was a hospital gown, I had to be monitored at all times because my daughter was so overdue, so the gown was really the easiest option. I got sent to the hospital unexpectedly, so I arrived in jeans and a t-shirt. I'd packed a great dress to wear, but as soon as I got there, they insisted that I take everything off, jewelry, bra, socks, everything, and put on a hospital gown. I wore gowns for 2 days, and ended up stealing my husband's pajama pants for the remainder. Dress never came out of the bag. lol Good grief! This question never occurred to me during either of my pregnancies. Both my children were born in a hospital, both times I was in a hospital gown. Had a hospital gown not been available I'd have worn a men's XXXL t-shirt. I birthed in the buff but AFTER the birth I wore my husband's cotton (black) boxer-briefs for days (they look kind of like biking shorts, but not as tight). Perfect for the huge pads I was wearing, and way less constricting than my own undies. 1 agrees For some of my labor I wore a duck towel. It helped me keep my humor. The rest of the time I was naked. I'm a naked person even when I'm not in labor, though. 1 agrees I am definitely NOT comfortable being naked in front of everyone and given how much the boobs have grown already in only three months, its also physically uncomfortable for them to be completely unencumbered. I bought a cute sports bra at Target and am planning a water birth so hopefully my nether-regions will be kind of eclipsed by the water/pool…but when you're in the throes of labor you won't care. Everyone saw my business with my first birth. While planning out my home birth, I specifically bought a cool, short tie dye skirt and a black sports bra for the occasion. My thought was not about being modest for my family or midwives present, but for the birth video. Funny how when the contractions hit full force and NOTHING and I mean NOTHING helps, the idea of putting on the planned attire goes right out the window. I ended up completely nude. 1 agrees Since I am NOT a modest person (still wear an itsy-bitsy bikini to the beach), I wore underwear and a tank top, which after a few hours on the birthing ball, got taken off to feel less scrachy bits. We were at the hospital and my whole family was there (mom, dad and brother, plus baby daddy). Poor dad and brother will never forget a naked sister/daughter giving birth. HAHA. They're better becasue of it, I like to say. 1 agrees I wore a birth binsi (http://www.birthinbinsi.com/index.htm) which I loved, and a night-time nursing bra (very comfortable). It was great! just the right amount of comfort, privacy, and easy access. For my first I was in the hospital. I wore a black, stretchy maternity skirt and tank top in the beginning. Halfway through I ended up naked and stayed that way til the end (and after). For the second I was at home and in a birth tub. I wore a bathing suit top the whole time and that's all. I wore a sundress. Short and stretchy. Nothing fancy in case it got fluids all over it. It was also a multi colored red flowers so I didn't look/feel like I was walking around with stuff all over me (although I probably was) :). It was easy to just pull down the top to nurse one the baby arrived. In not very modest usually but personally felt more comfortable having a little coverage and support of my much larger than normal breasts and ailing privates from visitors, family and medical staff in and out. It's important to do what makes you feel most comfortable. Take a nursing bra and a few comfy items that are easy to put on and take off to the hospital. Also socks in case you get cold. If your labor is long you may go through a couple outfits. Again it's about you feeling comfortable. Comments are closed.