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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

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.

MrsMiniversCharlady Tue 02-Oct-12 15:05:40

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.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 02-Oct-12 19:14:42


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

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