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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

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.


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.

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.

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

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 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.


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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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.

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

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?

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

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

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

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.

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

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!

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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

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