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Clothing during childbirth?

(33 Posts)
weeblueberry Tue 30-Oct-12 11:12:13

I'm pregnant with my first and DP and I were having a discussion about clothing during childbirth. He seemed to think it was odd to be wearing a nightie or something while giving birth because you wouldn't want anything covering your bottom half but also wouldn't want anything on top because of the desire to have quick skin to skin contact. So basically he just assumed as soon as I started pushing I'd be completely naked. But I admit I'm a bit nervous about being completely on show to everyone in the birthing suite. blush. Do most women wear a nightie while actually giving birth? And, if so, what happens with the skin to skin contact when the baby is out? Do you just pull the nightie down across your shoulders?

Obviously most experience I have from watching childbirth is from TV so I'm not sure what the norm is...

Sorry if this is a really daft question!! confused

ShushBaby Tue 30-Oct-12 11:51:55

Not daft at all. I have just packed hospital bag for second birth, and have packed nighties (NB I packed two as last time I was in and out of bath/pool etc so one of them got damp).

I gave birth in a nightie the last time. Personally I felt more comfortable not being naked, and as I gave birth on all fours I was especially glad of the nightie- I felt less exposed despite obviously having bum on show! As soon as baby was born the midwife whipped the nightie off for skin to skin- so I was naked after the birth. In hindsight I'd have preferred to pull the straps down rather than take it off, and perhaps this time I'd ask them to do that.

I am also planning to take a bikini top for the birthing pool (would take the bottoms but I left them at the hospital last time! There's not much point wearing bottoms given the examinations etc), as again I felt more comfortable that way.

I'm sure lots of women don't mind being, or want to be, naked. But like you I'd rather not be. And I personally don't buy into the idea that when you are in the moment, you don't care. You feeling comfortable is very important.

Limelight Tue 30-Oct-12 12:08:28

Well. I think this is probably a clear example of do what you feel comfortable with. It massively depends on the circumstances of course. You might find you're alarmingly compos mentis and don't fancy being in the buff. Or you might be so completely euphoric that it feels natural. See how you feel at the time and make sure you've got a nightie packed.

For what it's worth, I wasn't naked for either of mine and not because I'm particularly shy or felt weird about it. In the case of DC1 I was away with the pixies, and it was frankly too much effort to take my t-shirt off. DC2 arrived pretty sharpish so I was in fact fully clothed. 'Quick! There's a baby in my pants!' Well not quite, but you get the idea.

And good luck. Maybe your DH wants an excuse to get naked himself wink. This would ABSOLUTELY be the case with my DH. <<long suffering sigh>>

Limelight Tue 30-Oct-12 12:11:05

...oh and I just whipped my top off after both births for skin-to-skin / latching on etc. I was in control of that though not the midwife.

HaveToWearHeels Tue 30-Oct-12 12:21:01

this has made me laugh as my labour happened so quickly I still had my hoody on lol. Skin to skin was me sticking DD up the front of it.
I did have packed (and changed into later) a large nightshirt with buttons up the front. just a cheapy from primark that was 2 sizes bigger than normal.

HaveToWearHeels Tue 30-Oct-12 12:23:52

limelight so funny 'Quick! There's a baby in my pants!' I was parralised with contractions and poor midwife had to undress my lower half for labour. DH was still parking the car, security guard had to wheel me in screaming my nuts off.

Spinity Tue 30-Oct-12 12:32:36

I wore a bikini in the birth pool and distinctly remember the look the midwife gave me when I said I wanted to keep my bikini bottoms on. Am sure she was wondering whether I knew where the baby would actually come out! I stayed in my bikini til my baby was born, I wasn't examined internally at all.

weeblueberry Tue 30-Oct-12 13:15:39

Thank you everyone!

Limelight Actually think it might be more about him wanting me naked! Although I suspect I'm not going to look hugely desirable at that moment!!

I think he's got it into his head that unless it's like I'm naturally giving birth in a forest surrounded by deer and unicorns that it's not sound to be a 'natural' birth. wink

glendathegoodwitch Tue 30-Oct-12 13:55:38

Your last comment weeblue made me rofl!!!!! I'm sure he'll think you look beautiful!!!

Wolfiefan Tue 30-Oct-12 14:03:05

DS. Whipped off everything but bra!
DD No time to remove massive Tshirt!

Wolfiefan Tue 30-Oct-12 14:04:19

Wee blue. Tell him it's really natural if you poop as you push!!!!!!

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Tue 30-Oct-12 14:15:15

You know, I'm actually really struggling to remember what I wore straight after the birth! (it was only 13 months ago...)

I know that I wore a hospital gown and that I put it on back to front blush I put it on open at the front for the skin to skin / first feed, but then got told off by the midwife who said it needed to open at the back for my epidural (which I hadn't yet decided to have). She got all cross because I was already hooked up to IV stuff etc. and it was a bit tricky to change it over.

Anyway, DS came out and was given to me. I think we did skin to skin, by pulling down the hospital gown but I'm really not sure. I know I wasn't allowed to feed him until he'd been weighed.

Will have to ask DH blush yet another gap during the labour he needs to fill for me!

TheSurgeonsMate Tue 30-Oct-12 14:29:26

At our antenatal class they told us to take "an old man's shirt." As far as I'm aware, we all did. I don't really think DH had one to spare, but I like to do what I'm told. Good coverage, and front opening for skin to skin.

whattodoo Tue 30-Oct-12 14:35:58

I had a nightie that buttoned up at the front.

But, and I don't know how this happened, I ended up naked. I haven't a clue how, why or who.

HeidiHole Tue 30-Oct-12 14:43:16

I had a nursing nighty that buttoned at the front. Wouldn't have cared at the time though if i'd been naked or if id been wearing a giant bunny costume...

GrrrArghZzzz Tue 30-Oct-12 14:44:12

For my first one I had a pyjama top that buttoned up.

For the other three I wore one of DH's old T-shirts to start with but were gone by pushing stage. I did wear my cloth cap all the way through though (I have very long hair and I wanted it off of me during labour no matter how much I move about. I also felt more secure with them on). This has led to many jokes about keeping my hat on. With DC4, I put on a big fluffy robe after getting cleaned up, that was lovely.

weeblueberry Tue 30-Oct-12 14:57:36

lol@ wolfiefan

Yeah he's going to LOVE that part. grin

BackforGood Tue 30-Oct-12 15:01:31

Baggie Nightshirt if I recall correctly.
However, a longish PJ top, or, as someone suggested ^ an old shirt/PJ top of your dh's (or from a charity shop) is idea as you can unbutton it if you wish to.

mayhew Tue 30-Oct-12 18:27:10

I used to look after very conservative muslim ladies who did not even like their legs seen. Some gave birth almost completely covered, others were totally in the zone and spontaneously stripped!

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 30-Oct-12 20:19:26

You will probably want to be covered until you hit transition at which point pretty much everything will be pissing you off intensely. If you have an epidural you will have to change into a hospital gown, but otherwise you can strip off whenever you want to. Knickers will definately be an obstruction, and likewise pj bottoms. A cheap nightie is best really, because it will get very messy and you can ruck it up at the front for skin to skin. Front opening isn't essential tbh as the first feed is done in the delivery room where everyone will already have seen your foof and boobs while you give birth, you will be too knackered to notice or care what you are wearing and besides you will be busy snuzzling your gorgeous newborn. by the time you need to feed again you will have had a shower or bed bath and changed into something that isn't covered in blood.

elliejjtiny Wed 31-Oct-12 14:44:18

With DS1 I wore an old t-shirt of DH's. I think it stayed on until I got out of the pool. I held him in the pool but I refused to loosen my grip on him long enough to take my t-shirt off for skin to skin. He had skin to skin with dh while I got dry and then I put on DH's t-shirt that he had just taken off. Poor DH ended up with no t-shirt and meconium stained trousers grin

With DS2 I wore my best nightie by mistake (suddenly went from pre labour to rushed off in an ambulance). Not a spot of blood or poo got on it though, I couldn't believe it. DH took it off me just before I was handed DS2

With DS3 I wore DH's old rugby top because it was January and I thought I'd be cold in a t-shirt. I also had my knickers and a maternity pad on until pushing because I was leaking waters and I didn't want to drip everywhere. DH took my top off me just before I picked up DS3.

NAR4 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:05:35

Very similar to whattodo I had a couple of cheap nighties that buttoned up the front, but with no2 and 4 I somehow ended up butt naked and have no recollection of how. Labour was a bit of a blur and hubby was too nice to remind me of anything I did which I might be embarrassed by.

flossy101 Wed 31-Oct-12 16:11:27

I wore a nighty throughout the labour, was put in a gown at the very end as had c section.
Wear whatever you'll be comfy in, you really won't care once it starts. grin

Velo Wed 31-Oct-12 16:17:30

I wore a hospital gown for the birth (although I couldn't actually remember and had to check with DH!).

For afterwards I picked up a stretchy v-neck nighty and a comfy shirt/dress which had easy poppers down the front (easy for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding). I also had a button down man's nightshirt - excellent purchase and I use it a lot now for breastfeeding esp at night when it can be a bit cold, nice to have the shoulders covered.

weeblueberry Wed 31-Oct-12 16:17:55

Thank you everyone - I hope you're right and I genuinely won't care. I've got some body issues as a result of losing a bucket of weight in the last few years (boobs are a total mess sad) but I genuinely hope you're right and I won't be as bothered at the time.

Although the way some of you have mentioned not really remembering I'm sort of likening this to a drunken evening in my head where you occasionally get flashbacks but just block it out. wink

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