Maintain privacy with a swim skirt at water birth

(106 Posts)
Thinkmummy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:08:01

Just wanted to pass on my findings to other mums to be wanting a waterbirth. Now I probably won't care about covering up in the middle of labour, but just in case I wanted something to wear in the birthing pool. I'm going with my maternity tanking top and this swim skirt I found on sports direct

. It has no crotch so ideal for the job and a bargain at £5 they do cheaper ones for £1.99 if you're not fussed about colour. The waistband in stretchy so have just gone a size up from what I normally am. Hth x

Fairylea Tue 02-Oct-12 14:11:46

This is the most bizarre thing ever.

If you're giving birth you honestly won't care if they entire England football team saw your vagina.

It really isn't worth worrying about. SurelyIt will be blurred under the water anyway ???

needanswers Tue 02-Oct-12 14:12:57

I was about to say you won't care!! And the warm water on naked skin is very soothing

Herrena Tue 02-Oct-12 14:13:47

Oh, this makes me laugh. Is it your first baby?

I really don't intend to sound so patronising, but I think I flashed top and bottom to about 50 people (NOT conservative estimate) during my first labour and honestly didn't notice at the time!!

Only flashed 6 or 7 at the next labour though wink

If this makes you happy then go for it smile

jkklpu Tue 02-Oct-12 14:14:25


Wolfiefan Tue 02-Oct-12 14:15:27

Haha! I always strip in labour!

Thinkmummy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:16:12

May be a bit obvious then that I'm a first timer and you ladies are speaking from experience. I just thought it would give me a little more dignity but like you say I probably won't end up caring anyway but for that price at least it's there if I feel I need it especially in the first stage of labour.

I wouldn't have cared if the entire population of great britain had seen my bits during my first labour, as long as they got her out.

Who are you covering up for? I mean the midwife etc is going to have to look-and internally examine you. I don't see how a swim skirt can prevent that.

That said, if that is how you are comfortable, good for you.

Anypointinseeingdoc Tue 02-Oct-12 14:17:20

Aww, bless, I remember when I had dignity too.

Fairylea Tue 02-Oct-12 14:17:21

With my first baby I had 7 people in the room, legs akimbo with them poking me about trying to ascertain if I was fully dilated.

Even with my elective c section with ds 4 months ago I had about 8 people wandering about while they popped a catheter in. No one batted and eyelid. And for the record I'm as bald as a Christmas turkey down there.

MousyMouse Tue 02-Oct-12 14:17:21

maintain? privacy? during labour?
grin grin grin

SavoyCabbage Tue 02-Oct-12 14:17:47

I bet you end up chewing it off with your teeth. It will be riding up and, well, it will never be where you want it to be.

Blu Tue 02-Oct-12 14:18:32


You will be screeching 'get this bloody clingy annying cloth off me NOW!'

Who do you think will be there apart from your midwife and birth partner? (often the baby's dad). Have you invited Hello magazine?

Herrena Tue 02-Oct-12 14:18:36

Go with whatever makes you happy for the first labour you'll be too disillusioned to bother for the next one

Oh and do leave the bloody Enya CDs at home!!

needanswers Tue 02-Oct-12 14:18:51

If it makes you more comfy - go for it!!

I loved my water birth - it's soclovely once you hit that water smile

Blu Tue 02-Oct-12 14:20:51

Seriously, OP - giving birth is a dignified process in and of itself - you are a woman, giving birth - what would you need to hide? Give birth with pride!

Congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck.

A different perspective - my MIL was present for a significant part of my labour. I was interested in maintaining my privacy.

Thinkmummy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:23:22

Reading your comments makes me relax a lot more about being naked. smile the closest I've got to a birth is watching it on these documentary program's, understandably they tend to be more covered up on there. I was thinking that's the norm! Talk about being naive.

ShirtyKnot Tue 02-Oct-12 14:24:54


HalleLouja Tue 02-Oct-12 14:25:06

Dignity. I will let you know when I find mine.....

heliotrope Tue 02-Oct-12 14:25:24

I fear it will float on the top of the pool anyway so people still see your bits. On the other hand why not start off with something to wear, especially if you have to get in and out of pool.
There was that amazing (lucky!) lady (the fashion designer one) on One Born a while ago who had her special bikini and made it all look elegant.
Personally I stripped off and jumped in. Have very rude photos to prove it as DP went a bit OTT with capturing every angle and moment of baby's exit (was on all fours in pool)!

OpheliasWeepingWillow Tue 02-Oct-12 14:25:38

The thing is, you can prepare as much as you like but you won't know until you are actually in labour. I say buy or do whatever makes you more comfortable now and if when you are giving birth you want to do it starkers or wearing a housecoat then that's fine too.

hellymelly Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:03

honestly dignity goes out of the window. By the time several different people in the room had tried (and failed) to find my cervix, with others looking on, my dignity was long gone. On the bright side it does give you a good "couldn't care less" attitude for breast feeding when out and about!

needanswers Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:30

As the midwife was saying - you can get in the pool now - by the time she got to "pool" I was already stripped and in there - leaving a trial of clothes behind me!!

That made her giggle - she turned round to finish her sentence and I was gone smile

Fairylea Tue 02-Oct-12 14:27:28

You'll be fine smile honestly you just totally zone out and don't give a flying monkeys what's going on.

As for a mil at the birth as one poster said .... omg must be on better terms with yours - that would be enough to make me cross my legs forever !

sweetkitty Tue 02-Oct-12 14:28:54

I'm a naked birther too. I remember with DD2 practically running upstairs between contractions which were about a minute apart, stripping, lying on the bed and shouting at the MW quick examine me now. Spent most of that laburnum on all fours on my bed pulling the headboard off.

Dignity and childbirth do not belong in the same sentence. Honestly you will not care, speaking as the woman who got a Brazilian a week before the birth so I would look nice, I'm sure the doctor who did the stitch up job cared.

I say buy it if it makes you feel more comfortable. In the event you'll probably end up stripping off but for a fiver, why not? I ended up naked except for my bra, and that only stayed on because I couldn't figure out how to get it off in the short gaps between contractions. Never in a million years did I think I'd want to be starkers! Good kick with everything OP

jeee Tue 02-Oct-12 14:29:51

When I gave birth I liked to make sure I was covered right up until the pushing bit. I was as high as a kite on G & A, and I still made sure my very large T-shirt was well pulled down.

Hope you have a fabulous birth OP.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 02-Oct-12 14:30:01

You know what, I thought I wouldn't care about people seeing me naked - am generally not that inhibited. But in the event, I did - was fine until towards the end when things got a bit panicky and more people came into the room. I felt really exposed and vulnerable, and it affected my contractions too, they started tailing off.

So get your swim skirt if you think it might help - you may not give a shit, but it's good to have options.

There's nowt dignified about childbirth. Its hard to maintain dignity when people keep fidding about in your chuff to see how dilated you are.

Your nether regions are on display and a skirt would just get in the way. I didn't have a waterbirth and just wore a Tshirt on top as I felt chilly in the delivery suite.

Hope it all goes smoothly smile

ProphetOfDoom Tue 02-Oct-12 14:32:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 02-Oct-12 14:35:47

Where would it go? On your head? confused

As an aside, those OBEMs where the mothers wear bikini tops - do they do that because of the cameras being there, or is it normal these days?

DilysPrice Tue 02-Oct-12 14:38:36

People at your birth normally fall into 3 categories: your DP, who has presumably seen it all before, midwives and obstetricians who will be peering up your fanjo on a regular basis, and the lovely lovely epidural man, who you won't want to see your fanjo but won't be there for a waterbirth anyway,

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 02-Oct-12 14:38:47


Still want to know if bikinis are normal these days though.

Does anyone remember that special birth DRESS someone was peddling a while back?

If it makes you feel any better, I remember learning in history at school that in pre-revolutionary France, the Queen had to give birth in front of the general public

Fizzylemonade Tue 02-Oct-12 14:41:28

I had a beautiful maternity nightie that I planned to labour in, got to hospital, it all went very pear, got rushed to delivery suite, was wearing just a normal maternity top & bra and nothing on my bottom half.

Was bleeding so had a maternity pad put between my legs by my lovely midwife whilst I was on gas and air.

Had a male midwife insert a clip onto ds1's head as they kept losing the trace but actually he was in distress. Then as I didn't progress/baby in distress a whole wrath of people came into the room with the consultant. I was on all fours with my arse in the air grin

Eventually had emergency c section, picture this, midwife shaving me bald, DH removing my toe nail varnish whilst I hastily signed the consent form all happening at the same time.

My wish of a serene water birth never happened. Ds2 was elective c section.

Ah dignity, what is that again?

Pickles77 Tue 02-Oct-12 14:42:12

Oh my days, I panicked for months about this and my bikini line. The truth? I ended up naked, then with a hospital gown. I did not give a shite, I really didn't even care when the consultant I found really attractive saw me, I cared even less when my birth partner informed me exactly what he'd done down there. Talk about ice breaker.
Seriously you will just want it out!!

Fizzy, I'm really curious, why did he remove your toenail polish? Is there a medical reason or did he just decide it looked a bit chipped? grin

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Oct-12 14:50:15

Before giving birth it was a long queue of people interested in between my legs. Then I had a c-section where apparently they shoved a suppository up my arse and I didn't even know about it!

Then after the birth there was a long queue of people interested in my boobs (helping establish breastfeeding). No one cared about my bits any more but I understand for those who had tears, regular displays were still required.

You hand your dignity at the door on the way into the hospital and pick it up again on the way out. It's bizarre but that's how it felt.

Am I the only one wondering what this crotchless swim skirt has actually been designed FOR? Surely people don't swim in them?
Admittedly I've not clicked on the link as I'm at work and am afraid of what might happen!
Incidentally, I also think OP should get this if it makes her feel more comfortable. Each to their own and all that.

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Oct-12 14:51:17

I think they remove nail/toe nail varnish as the colour of your nails is an indication of your blood circulation when you're having a c-section.

noble - perhaps you should nip over to the "tiny tips for giving birth" thread to suggest that it could be quite a good idea to remove nail varnish at around the "packing the hospital bag" stage?

GoblinGold Tue 02-Oct-12 14:56:20

I've water birthed. In the nip. By the time I was in the water I didn't want to be bothered by clothes, but if it make you more comfortable go for it. The midwife will need to be able to see how dilated you are and whether the baby's head is crowning so she may need to pull up the skirt if it gets in the way.

I'd be inclined to take a sarong that you can tie round you for after you get out of the pool. I did have one but forgot due to being bombed on G&A and endorphins so ended up naked until I got my shower.

Pandemoniumwearspurpleshoes Tue 02-Oct-12 14:57:16

For my water birth I was planning to wear a tankini top, and a long t-shirt to protect my dignity (yep, first timer). I did wear the tankini top, but wasn't the least bit bothered about having nothing on my bottom half until I'd given birth and left the pool, the pain and emotion just took over.

The real loss of dignity for me was the stitches - legs akimbo in stirrups, at least four midwives/students involved, I found it more traumatic than the birth! And there was a suppository involved too.

Enjoy your water birth op, I had a great experience smile

NorthernGobshite Tue 02-Oct-12 14:58:16

Sorry, just laughed out loud at idea of privacy during childbirth!!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 02-Oct-12 14:58:48

LetThere, I imagine they are worn over swimsuits.

They'd hide your bikini area out of the pool, and once you were in the pool nobody would be able to see much anyway.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 02-Oct-12 15:00:13

How would it stay on over a labouring belly though?

noble - aha! And I agree that is a useful birth tip for the other thread

Asmywhimsytakesme Tue 02-Oct-12 15:00:50

Really don't worry - water pools are great. I went in to the water naked and gave birth naked.

No need to have any worries because at the time - you really won't care!


CailinDana Tue 02-Oct-12 15:01:57

Having fabric floating around in the pool would be really annoying I think. Starkers was the only way for me!

MerylStrop Tue 02-Oct-12 15:05:30

I've had 2 labours (1 elective CS in between) and I wore a nightie the whole time.

No way would I have gone naked. Yes I did care.

I think once you are in the water you will feel nice and private anyway.

Nail varnish is removed as sometimes it can prevent the pulse oximeter (which ascertains heart rate and oxygen saturation of the blood) from working properly. It shouldn't all need to come off - as long as you've got a couple of 'clean' fingers and toes.

Badgerina Tue 02-Oct-12 15:10:43

I'm a naked birther too.

However. Each to their own hmm

I also think that there is still dignity to be had whilst being naked. I don't agree that women lose their dignity in labour. I've been birth partner for quite a few women, all of who gleefully stripped off, all of whom looked beautiful and awe-inspiring during their births.

I think it's the duty of the midwives and birth partners to maintain the sense of dignity for the woman, by respecting her body and her privacy.

Much has been done over the centuries to erode the sense of dignity around birth, but it IS there. Even when naked. I've seen it smile

CailinDana Tue 02-Oct-12 15:13:59

I agree with you Badgerina. I don't feel I lost my dignity at all when I gave birth - despite being naked, covered in blood and amniotic fluid, and pooing all over the floor! Losing dignity implies embarrassment and shame, and I definitely didn't feel that at all. I just had different priorities above being nicely turned out when I was in labour. I was caught up in the experience (and under the influence of G and A) and did whatever it took to feel in control and comfortable. I listened to my body and managed to bring a baby into the world, healthy and happy. It was a fantastic, if painful, experience and in no way undignified.

Jins Tue 02-Oct-12 15:14:06

I'm not a naked birther. I was glad of my old shirt smile

Each to their own but I wasn't comfortable with being the only naked person in the room.

OP you do what makes you feel at ease

hugoagogo Tue 02-Oct-12 15:15:08

Lots of people don't seem to care how many people see their nethers during labour, but everyone is different and I don't feel it is fair to suggest that the OP is silly for worrying.

I was never for one minute not bothered who saw my bits during my labours.

If you think the skirt will make you feel better, then go for it. Good luck.

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Oct-12 15:18:41

Have added nail varnish tip to other thread.

I'm just impressed that anyone has toenail polish on come labour time. I'd forgotten what my feet even looked like by then!

RonettePulaski Tue 02-Oct-12 15:19:24

I honestly can't remember what or if I was wearing with either of my births confused

fotheringhay Tue 02-Oct-12 15:25:33

It's all part of the mental preparation. I love feeling in control, so I spent ages organising my hospital bag. Some people need that more than others, especially going into a situation where anything could happen.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Oct-12 15:28:32

Brill post Badgerina

I agree, I never felt any loss of dignity in my labours. I had brilliant carers and birth partners.
(though I did a smidgen when having a catheter inserted with my elective CS. I was crying a lot)

GoblinGold Tue 02-Oct-12 15:39:10

I would say though, that my water birth was actually very private. It was on a MLU and there was just me, DH, MW and (for the pushing bit) a Health Care Assistant (who was absolutely bloody fantastic).

The lights were dim. It was all very dignified. My language perhaps less so. grin But not all births involve everyone and their dog fiddling with your fanjo though that was what happened at DC1's

fotheringhay Tue 02-Oct-12 15:46:04

Agree it's not inevitable to lose your dignity. Certainly lost quite a bit of privacy though! Course, that's what you're there for, so it feels natural, like opening your mouth at the dentist grin

Badgerina Tue 02-Oct-12 17:11:47

fotgeringhay I think you've hit the nail on the head with your distinction between "privacy" and "dignity" smile

wheresmespecs Tue 02-Oct-12 17:35:38

Issues to do with dignity or privacy or whatever you prefer to call it are a question of individual preference.

Who tf is anyone to judge someone else for what they SHOULD or SHOULDN'T wear during their own labour??

For people (like me) who have a history of sexual abuse, or sexual assault, being able to to choose what and how you do or don't cover up matters. A lot.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Oct-12 17:41:47

From only 1.99 if you feel like you may wish to cover up, buy one and take it. If it irritates you you've not lost much money. Its not like those v v expensive dresses which were basically hospital gowns in nicer colours. They seem like a waste of money.

And I never got naked for birth. I had a hospital gown (provided by the NHS) as I'd run out of clothes due to being in hospital for days beforehand.

frankie4 Tue 02-Oct-12 17:50:43

I was also not a naked birther. I wore an old long baggy t shirt and kept it on during my whole labour. The earlier stages of labour I wanted something on as I just didn't feel comfortable being totally naked with so many people coming in and out of the room. By the end stages I couldn't care less what I was wearing!!

So keep the clothes on, and you might want to take them off later during labour.

AnitaBlake Tue 02-Oct-12 17:57:39

I remember getting the giggles because the rather nice medical student could see my bits when they pure up in stirrups to break my waters (along with about tenth others) and they put a little towel across my knees so I felt more dignified!

Badgerina Tue 02-Oct-12 18:37:53

specs I agree on the judging thing. It's very personal - each to their own.

Your personal situation is an especially sensitive one. I hope you are able to feel safe and protected during your labour/s.

We are all allowed to disagree with each other though. All we can do is speak from personal experience really smile

HmmThinkingAboutIt Tue 02-Oct-12 18:57:58

I despise the way women howl and laugh at leaving dignity at the door.

Its actually quite offensive to women who are very concerned and it is important to. Its almost as if, you should 'woman up' and accept indignity without question. Fine if you are ok with that, but thats not the case for everyone, and if someone feels better for having clothes they should not be ridiculed or have people belittle them (that includes pointing out they are a first timer).

A touch of sensitivity doesn't go amiss.

DilysPrice Tue 02-Oct-12 19:06:19

But realistically Hmm, everyone who enters the room is going to be peering at your genitals with the possible exception of your DP who has presumably seen them before. Under the circumstances modesty is objectively a weeny bit foolish.

I speak here as a clothed birther who did most of my first labour in a rather fetching Blooming Marvellous maxi-dress until the midwife forced me out of it as she felt it inappropriate.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Tue 02-Oct-12 19:10:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.


ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 02-Oct-12 19:22:19

What happened there? Are you okay Hmm?

wheresmespecs Tue 02-Oct-12 19:26:40

off off topic, sorry, but for the record Badgerina, I had an ELCS for primary tokophobia.

Luckily I was treated with a lot of sensitivity and respect. No one 'forced' me to do anything - which was exactly what I dreaded from HCPs.

I think there are many ways of supporting vulnerable women during labour - telling them they will be forced to expose themselves, that they will have no or little say over who does intimate examinations and that they will be so beside themselves that they will lose all control or no longer care about their 'dignity' does not help. At all.

I use the word 'dignity' in inverted commas because that word shouldn't be belittled when you are talking about abuse survivors. Yes, it can mean different things to different people. Fine - but to me, it means control over who touches me, how I am exposed and simply a feeling of being safe and in control. The opposite of helpless humiliation, if you like.

AliceHurled Tue 02-Oct-12 19:33:37

I agree with the last posters. Plenty of women have life experiences that make privacy important to them. It's not ok to ridicule that. Steps can be taken to help. For example, I'm not having internals. Women have choices and rights with regard to all that. You do not lose your rights and have to submit to anything.

Thanks to the posters who talked about dignity as against privacy. Very helpful

lalalonglegs Tue 02-Oct-12 19:40:50

Alice - I'm not in any way questioning your choice but how do the midwives know how far you have progressed without internals?

HecateHarshPants Tue 02-Oct-12 19:48:55

dignity? When did you acquire this taste for luxuries? wink

I stopped checking who people were in the end. For all I know, the janitor had his hand up there grin

Seriously though, of course you're anxious, it's an anxious time. But just keep telling yourself that it's for a good reason and it'll all be ok - and they have seen so many bits that they couldn't care less grin I'm reminded of that scene from friends "I'm a waitress." "Ok, all right, well aren't there times when you come home at the end of the day, and you're just like, 'if I see one more cup of coffee'..."

Let them know how you feel and ask them what they can do to help you feel more comfortable and private. Do what you need to do to make sure you're as happy as you can be.

And I strongly recommend the gas and air! grin

AliceHurled Tue 02-Oct-12 19:49:00

Part of the answer is they use other signs. Part of the answer is why do they need to know. Iirc there is a thread talking about it on childbirth at the moment as I was looking at stuff about it earlier, and imagine it was here. Someone had linked to a discussion in a student MW forum where they were discussing the literature on all the different ways. But more fundamentally, the reasons for knowing are also questionable. There are definitely threads covering that here. I'm not being awkward not going into more detail just don't want to derail and am meant to be cooking tea

YUNoSaySomethingNice Tue 02-Oct-12 19:50:06

I had a few complications after birth and when the DR asked if he and, literally, a whole room full of people could have a look I told him that at this stage I honestly didn't give a s#*t anymore. They all had a good laugh........and a good look. IMO giving birth breaks down any inhibitions you may have.

ShesAStar Tue 02-Oct-12 20:32:37

I have had two home births - both in birth pools and I would have felt really uncomfortable being naked. I wore a long, tight, black vest top which felt completely normal - I didn't even notice it whilst giving birth. I also felt I kept my dignity at all time during both births (maybe I have a lower standard of dignity than most?!). If you wear that skirt it might make you feel very in control of your dignity (you choose if you are naked or not) and I'm sure you will have other things on your mind than the feeling of the fabric. If it does get on your nerves just take it off. Good luck with your birth.

Badgerina Tue 02-Oct-12 20:51:05

specs I think your definition is very similar mine smile

I'm glad you were able to get the care you needed.

As for intimate examinations, I honestly believe that VEs that are performed without consent are tantamount to abuse in themselves. It is NOT ok to examine a labouring woman without consent.

Getting back on topic, there's no way I could wear the skirt thing, but if it makes someone out there feel safer/more private, then that's bound to ease the labour process isn't it smile

lalabaloo Tue 02-Oct-12 23:05:54

I think you have to do what makes you comfortable about labour and birth, I didn't want to be naked. I changed into a nightie nearer the end (can't remember what I wore for the rest of labour) My birth felt dignified, everyone was respectful of me and asked permission for any examination. I wasn't sure what I would want in labour but it is certainly easier to take clothes and not use them than it is to spend your labour wishing you had got that skirt to cover up a bit more

DolomitesDonkey Wed 03-Oct-12 05:46:25

Ai never lost may dignity, simply hitched my cocktail dress up to may knees and never even dropped may canape or my Anya clutch.

Seriously though, I'm one who is extremely cautious about who gets to see me naked and am not happy about it. Until the day itself when I marched (although that's quite a word for what I did) down a hospital corridor with my hapless husband carrying my yellow handbag and him whispering "I can see your bum" and me screeching "I don't fucking care who shares my minge". Ah, magic moments.

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 03-Oct-12 05:55:06

Dont worry, OP, I was determined to have more dignity and self control than anybody else and decided I was giving birth in a black dress rather than a nasty old hospital gown. I really dont know what got into me!!

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 03-Oct-12 06:00:44

I was really worried about the whole privacy issue, and never felt overly exposed. Honestly, you get used to it. Good luck.

mumtocuddlebundle Wed 03-Oct-12 06:31:55

I think I'd have been keen to wear something like this if I'd had a water birth. I've had 2 babies. Both times only midwife saw (dh stayed at head end). If you are using birthing pool I expect you might be getting in during earlier stage before contractions get incredibly painful. And for the moment where you climb into pool I'd definitely like a bit of dignity. You can always take it off.

DowntonOut Wed 03-Oct-12 06:46:16

I can't see any reason why you couldn't wear normal comfy clothes throughout the first stage (it can be quite long and involve travelling to hospital and walking through corridors there) I had a baggy t-shirt and leggings and was still wearing those until about 7cm. Then I stripped my bottom half and ultimately the lot came off. A light bathrobe might be nice for an active birth on dry land if you are concerned about privacy. But with a water birth no one can really see your submerged nethers anyway.

Starshaped Wed 03-Oct-12 07:10:47

I'm not a naked birther either. I was quite happy for any old medical bod to have a nose at my cervix but had no urge to remove the top half of my clothes. I kept a short button up the front nightie and nursing bra on throughout.

OP - go for the swim skirt if you fancy it. No harm in having it just in case. For what it's worth, I would wear a tankini if I had a birthing pool as being naked in front of the
Midwives and doctors would be way too stressful for me!

EdMcDunnough Wed 03-Oct-12 07:14:20

Oh I hated being naked during mine (second). I don't think I will ever feel OK about all those people seeing me naked. (close friend, two midwives, doula - no one it should really matter with, but still)

I think I'd feel too restricted in anything remotely tight, but thankyou for sharing the idea OP.

I plan to wear an old cotton nightie that comes down to about mid thigh...and keep it on this time! I think I only took stuff off to get into the bath, before, and then I got out and went straight into transition and didn't manage to put it on again before he was born blush

newby2 Wed 03-Oct-12 08:33:14

DolomitesDonkey- you made me laugh so much. SImilar experiences here which I can now see the funny side of- ending up naked on all floors crawling around a packed post-natal ward at 8am calling for a midwife as I couldn't stand up straight to press the buzzer and about to pass out. Every traumatised man, woman and their dog saw my naked back-side or front bottom that day depending on their view.

ThinkMummy- I'm on your side, do anything thing to claw back your self-respect. If that means a crotchless knicker shirt then go for it!

Casserole Wed 03-Oct-12 10:25:18

grin @ Dolomite

OP, here's the thing. You probably won't care who sees your minge on the day, as long as you can get in the pool / have the good drucks / get this bloody thing out of me*

But you might. And in any case, in the run up for your first, it will probably make you stop worrying about it if you have options. So if buying the skirt brings you a bit of peace, buy it. Shove a big T-shirt in there too. If you want to use them on the day, it doesn't matter.

Best of luck, however you end up being attired wink

*delete as appropriate

maxbear Wed 03-Oct-12 15:55:25

I think birth can be a dignified process but sadly often isn't. I didn't feel that I lost any dignity with my three waterbirths, they involved nakedness, a bit of noise, maybe a tiny bit of poo, a lot of love, suppport and respect. They were fantastic experiences for me but as I am a midwife and my friend delivered me I know that I am in an unusually lucky situation (without having to pay for it.) The most undignified bit for me was the belching whilst contracting over a sick bowl with dc1. blush

As a midwife I would say that some people would not feel comfortable being totally naked in a birth pool and why not spend a small amount of money if you think it will help. You can always take it off if it doesn't work, many people would find it helpful and the nature of waterbirths is that they are usually uncomplicated low risk births that involve fewer people anyway.

I always ask consent to do a vaginal examination and do not pressure a woman if she doesn't want one. In fact last night the woman I was looking after decliined a ve when I suggested one, I said no more about it and all went well and she delivered (in pool) a few hours later. I find that things are generally quieter and more dignified on midwife led units and home births than on the labour wards, on labour wards it is so busy and people do tend to go in to rooms when they don't always need to. It is my bugbear and I always try not to do it myself unless I really need to or the midwife in the room needs help with something.

Pudgy2011 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:20:59

I've never had an embarrasment threshold and even less during labour. I was stark naked within about 2 minutes of being in my room and didn't even attempt to cover up for the duration. It took my doula flinging a towel on me to stop me getting cold after I got out of the bath for me to realise that I was still starkers.

I genuinely don't have any hang ups about nudity and even less during the birthing process. I mooed like a cow through my contractions (involuntarily I might add!) and pooed all over the OBGYN. Did I care? Did I buggery.

Oh to be that care free every day! grin

MhariR Mon 04-Feb-13 11:08:10

Goodness me, some people were rude to you. I've friends who have given birth and still think dignity is important. I'm quite aware everyone will see everything, but I'll still be buying a swim skirt, as "everyone" isn't going to be looking at "everything" the whole time unless I decide not to cover myself.

When, as a nurse, I wash my patients, I cover their bits with a towel when I'm not washing them, and they appreciate it, or I give them some privacy to use the bed pan even though I'll be emptying it. I don't believe birth is less dignified than dementia.

Thank you for the link smile

dubai71 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:54:54

Thinkmummy- It is also my first time and I am concerned about privacy too so totally understand where you are coming from. Just wanted to say you are not alone with such concerns, and 'good luck'. smile

something2say Thu 07-Feb-13 20:45:09

I was sexually abused. I have always been afraid of what are all being like and saying it will be like. Maybe best not to laugh as us eh? Maybe wonder why people might feel this way? And if we want babies, what do you suggest we do?

Loislane78 Fri 08-Feb-13 06:43:45

I had a few internal examinations as DD got a bit stuck in funny position. MW and doc both asked 'permission' and I felt treated with dignity and respect throughout, even with legs in stirrups in the end! I covered with sheet over my knees as whilst i wasn't hugely bothered (other things going on (!), i felt more comfortable like that and MW kept nicely arranging it for me.

You'll be fine, don't worry smile

MrsHBaby3 Fri 08-Feb-13 09:28:54

This is my 3rd baby and Im planning a home water birth and I had looked at these exact swim skirts, although I did wonder if it'll ride up. I planned on buying the next size up to fit around my belly. Ive bought a nice tie up bikini too that can be undone easily if I change my mind and prefer to go naked.
Birth can be dignified, esp at home and esp in water. I have no intention of having a load of strangers stare at my fairy for 3hrs. They can ask and have a peek and be dignified about it. Im not having VEs unless theres a huge prob, as there are other ways of assessing my labour (sounds Im making, position Im in, etc) that aren't so intrusive (and I have found generally to be quite deflating, as in, not 'progressing' as much as you'd like to be).
Thanks for the link, and ignore the cynics, let it wash off you. This is your birth, you can decide how it will be.

QTPie Fri 08-Feb-13 15:01:41

Haven't read the whole thread... BUT I had an ELCS (so no vagina on view) and still had no dignity by the time I left hospital. No particularly a bad thing, but hey smile

Chunderella Fri 08-Feb-13 16:08:59

If a pregnant woman wants to buy a swim skirt and it helps her feel more confident about her labour, that's a good enough reason. Doesn't matter how she might feel during the labour, it's about beforehand. It's possible there'll be complications of the sort that will necessitate half the hospital staff having a look and a feel (or was that just me?) which perhaps renders the question of privacy less relevant. but if that happens, the mother wouldn't be in the pool anyway.

QTPie Fri 08-Feb-13 16:16:10

Yes, I do agree (hoping that my previous post wasn't taken in a harsh way - it wasn't meant in that way): people should do whatever makes then feel better about impending labour (and try to be flexible in their approach - since things can change dramatically).

I also want to clarify that when I said that I "lost my dignity", probably "I lost my inhibitions" was more correct: nothing in my birth (ELCS) was "undignified" in any way, but by the end of it I really didn't care who saw or felt what (if that makes sense). A woman giving birth should always be treated with dignity: if they aren't, then they should submit a very strong complaint.

Nobody would ever laugh at or make fun of anyone who had been sexually abused.


rainrainandmorerain Fri 08-Feb-13 21:04:50

I appreciate what you are saying QT, but just wanted to pick up on what Something2say said -

I was sexually abused too, and it has struck me how much (without it being intentional, AT ALL) what is said by some women on this thread is similar to what my abuser said to me.

You're not going to make a fuss, are you? Big girls don't make a fuss. You're a woman, not a girl. You haven't got anything special. It doesn't matter what happens - you're not going to care if someone has a look, are you? Being touched down there is no big deal. What's happening to you doesn't matter. You shouldn't care. Big girls don't care, only silly little girls. There's nothing special about you, we've seen it all before.

And so on.

Sorry, but I want to say this on the offchance that any mws or anyone involved in caring for women reads it. For those of us with a particular background, the idea of forced exposure and public nakedness, of painful genital examination and injury, along with this assumption that we won't (or SHOULDN'T) care has a very different resonance.

For those of you proud of your lack of inhibition etc - okay, I am happy for you. Some of us don't get much of a chance to be that way. It doesn't mean we are silly little prudes. It might just be the best we can do.

QTPie Fri 08-Feb-13 21:55:37

I would hope that no medical professionals would talk to a woman like that (whether in labour or not)! That would not be acceptable. Ant patient should be grated with respect and care.

However - with the appropriate respectful treatment - there are probably points in childbirth that a woman needs to have some trust in the professionals around her.

I would hope that anyone who suffered abuse would seek help, especially before childbirth: to help re-build their self-esteem and ease the birth and the transition into motherhood (which can be rough at the best of times). That is a huge burden to carry sad

Jayne266 Fri 08-Feb-13 22:15:01

I was like you thinkmummy I took bigger nighties etc to covet me up and was nervous of doing skin to skin as there was people around. But then it happened I was naked with my legs apart for a hour (had to be stitched) and had 2/3 different people checking my wound or holding my boobs to help me breast feed. But it's horrible thought until it happens so get the skirt just don't spend too much as other mners have said you won't need it.

rainrainandmorerain Fri 08-Feb-13 22:41:24

It can be a huge burden QT - given how under reported but common sexual abuse is, in all honesty, a lot of women will reach pregnancy and birth without having sought or been given any sort of help.

Easy to say we should. Same way everyone with a problem should seek help when appropriate. But sometimes we don't, and I'd be careful about putting even more burden of responsibility (blame?) onto survivors of sexual abuse, tbh. Although I don't think for a minute that's what you meant.

fwiw, I had a planned c section for tokophobia, some of which must have been related to my abuse. And I had sought help/had counselling for it (abusive background) earlier. It certainly helped, a lot - but without sounding negative, it doesn't fix/solve everything.

My c section was conducted with the utmost respect for my privacy, dignity and control. It was pretty much as good as I could wish for. Not a solution for everyone, obvs, but it was for me.

QTPie Fri 08-Feb-13 23:03:04

I hope that as many people both seek help with such a burden and find the strength to report any problems with medical professionals (although I really hope that they do not experience any sad ). I appreciate that the latter is particularly hard to do - as it is being forced to deal with more abuse. None of this abuse should happen - terrible.

Birth and becoming a mum is a huge mental shift at the best of times...

Glad that you found a reasonable way forward, rainrainandmorerain.


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