View Full Version : Labor & Delivery in my own gown or the hospital's?

06-13-2002, 12:36 PM
I'm trying to decide which would be best, to wear the hospital's ugly, drafty, open back gown--and not worry what gets on it & how many I go through...OR wear my own comfy, Downy soft, reasurring & homy nightgown--but know that I'll probably have to trash it afterwards? I plan on doing alot of moving around, walking the halls, and getting in the shower/tub to ease the pain. Does that make a difference? Is it easier to get in & out of a hospital gown? If I need to get an Epidural, is wearing my own gown an option as far as back accessibility? Will I need more than one labor gown (due to blood and fluid)--I don't want to have to part with 2-3 of my own. What are your experiences on the subject? TFYH Amy

06-13-2002, 06:22 PM
Wear the hospital's gown. Believe me, you won't care about the appearance once you are really in labor, and labor/post labor is really messy.

Not to be graphic, but I was not prepared for the amount of bleeding post labor. You will probably be changing frequently. The one thing I was glad I brought from home was underwear. I bought a cheap package of granny panties at Target so I could toss them after. My hospital had these disposable mesh panties to hold pads in place and they were awful.

Bring a robe if you anticipate walking the halls to move labor along, or do what I did and stay at home as long as you can. That way, you are not only in your own clothes but in your own bed.

Good luck to you. I hope it all goes as you expect. I had planned all of the walking, tubs/showers, birthing ball etc., but my son had different ideas and came too quickly for any of that. I never even used anything in my labor bag!

06-13-2002, 07:00 PM
I completely agree with all of the above suggestions, down to the panties.

I wore the hospital gown during my labor, and also the 1st night in the hospital. By the second night, i wore my own nightgown (i bought a cheepo one from Target, had buttons down the front for nursing).

I also bought some heavy duty maxi pads to use w/ my cheepo panties. The first night I used the hospital ones, but they are annoying (but good to use intially because of the heavy bleeding, and yes, it can be heavy! I tried to get a shower the first night and the bathroom looked like a warzone!)

It was nice to have my own nightgown when visitors came too. When I laid it bed, I would try to hike it up in the back, in case I leaked, then it just leaked on the chuck (these absorbent things they put under you - steal some for when you go home!)

I also bought cheap slippers that I could throw out before I left to go home, w/ the intention of walking during labor, but I wasn't allowed to walk, my blood pressure was too high just walking to the bathroom, I was disappointed, but I had a good labor and very healthy baby girl! (8/4/01) I also wanted to do showers, but not allowed either, but I heard they help..
Good luck!!!!

06-14-2002, 12:45 PM
I labored in the hospital gown. They gave me an extra one to wear backward like a robe while I walked --the hospital had me walk a ton!!! My prelabor was reallllllly long and once I started really dilating I was so tired I got the epidural immediately. I didn't change into my fancy Mimi maternity nursing pj's (xmas gift from DH) until the second day in the hospital when visitors were coming...and even then I only wore the top. You don't really want to do much walking anyway so it worked well. If you are nursing I recommend buying nursing pj's and just wear the top...I felt way to exposed nursing in the hospital gown b/c you have to slide it all the way off your sholder. I did bring my own robe but it was white terry cloth and could be bleached :o) Didn't actually get too messy! I personally like the mesh panties--but call me crazy!



06-14-2002, 05:04 PM
I did everything in the hospital gowns. Although, I have to say that by the time I was checked into the hospital I was 8 cm dialated already, and I really did no walking around. The only thing I had from home to wear at the hospital was my robe & slippers. Check with your hospital about the gowns they use, because is seems that most of the posters here just had regular gowns, but my hospital actually had NURSING gowns for the maternity ward. They were like normal hospital gowns in that they opened in the back, but they also had openings in the front that you could nurse through very easily without over-exposing yourself. I found them to be just fine, and used them the 4 days I was there (emergency c-section). I, also, liked the mesh panties.

06-15-2002, 09:27 AM
Thank-you all so much for your words of advice! That will certainly save me alot of money, wasted clothing, and frustration when the time comes! It's funny how books out there say to bring your own gown to labor in, but then REAL women and real experiences say otherwise! Whenever I have a question I tell my mother and DH "I think I'll ask the mommies online what they think." You all give great answers and advice that never let me down. Thanks!
Soon-to-be SAHM of Joshua
#1 due 8-17-02

06-15-2002, 02:08 PM
I will be having a c-section mid july. I have bought some jammies that have buttons down the front of the top for easy nursing. How badly will I be bleeding? Already bought maxis and am trying to be prepared. Some of the previous posts scared me to know how messy this can be.

06-15-2002, 05:22 PM
I also had a C-section. My bleeding was heavy the first few days (heavier than the worst period you've ever had, but not like you're mortally wounded), and was light, but steady after that. The worst was over by the time I left the hospital (3 days, 4 nights, could have stayed another night, but I was DESPERATE to leave). I think that the really bloody mess is for the vaginal delivery. Most of that will be suctioned away for you. :) What surprised me the most was how LONG I bled. I was still bleeding lightly at my 6 week check up and my OB said that was completely normal. It stopped soon afterwards though.

I would bring a breastfeeding pillow with you. Especially with a C-section, you want to make sure you have good support when nursing, so that you don't irritate the incision. Also, comfy SUPPORTIVE bed pillows from home will really help you sleep.

FYI, I had a fabulous C-section experience, a great recovery and no problems nursing (at least not due to the C!). Make sure your DH brings a video camera to get all the things you may not be able to see (cleaning, weighing, apgar scores, etc.) Mine did video of all that (right in the operating room) and it is wonderful. I love to watch that video. Best of luck!

06-15-2002, 05:28 PM
You bleed about as much with a c-section as you do with a regular vaginal delivery from what I'm told (still the same amount of uterine lining to get rid of no matter how you deliver!). I know I bled a lot, but with the c-section, you're not up & around as much right away. I would use the hospital's maxi's while you are there. The first day after my cs I was only up a couple times to use the restroom and shower. Of course, I thought they were crazy when they made me get up that first day! When you get home, your DH will need to help you sit up in bed as you won't be able to do it by yourself for a week or so until you figure out how to swing your legs off the bed first for leverage. Your incision goes right through some muscles you never knew you used just to sit up!

06-15-2002, 11:39 PM
I didn't have a c-section, but I bled a ton. They tried to get me to stand up and walk to the bathroom after delivery, and this huge blood clot came "falling out" (for lack of a "better" way to put it). Sorry! That's when the old socks I brought from home went in the trash. I also had terrible chills (probably from the blood loss) and had to stay under a few blankets the first night. They had to wheel me to the post-partum room on a stretcher instead of just a wheelchair or walking down the hall. I wish I had brought my own robe for before and after labor. And some extra socks. And a cheap pair of slippers (or two)--the ones the hospital had didn't fit right). But then, as I've mentioned before, I didn't have anything packed for the hospital since I was expecting to go late instead of 16 days early. Count me as one of the people that liked the mesh panties and the hospital's pads (had I known insurance would pay for it all, I would have asked for a few more to take home--I was allowed to take anything that wasn't "nailed down" pretty much, like the pack of diapers they opened but we hadn't used up). I know at least one of the hospital gowns I had had snaps at the shoulders for nursing.

06-16-2002, 08:42 AM
Yes! Yes! Bring pillows from home! :) We also brought our boppy pillow (for nursing). Also don't be shocked at how much your feet and or legs will continue to swell *after* delivery. Mine looked like little pillows! I had to wear my slippers home b/c my shoes didn't fit!

06-17-2002, 01:35 PM
Definitely wear the hospital's gown - no sense in ruining your own and you definitely won't want to keep it as a momento (gross!). I wanted to add that the nurses at my hospital used a clever little modification to a diaper for the vaginal bleeding after birth. They took infant diapers, slit them open on the top and stuffed ice cubes between the plastic outer coating and the 'stuffing' on the inside, then had me insert them into the mesh panties as a kind of ice pack/maxi pad. They were GREAT, although messy (you need to sit on a waterproof pad, but they supply pretty much anything you would ask for at a hospital). I only needed to use them for about the first 24 hours after birth, but I definitely think they helped me to get up and about without too much soreness quicker than I would have without them. Best of luck to you!!!

06-17-2002, 06:32 PM
our hospital had these types of pads pre-made. They were absorbent and cold--awesome!!

06-22-2002, 12:14 AM
Make sure you have plenty of Tucks pads for when you go home and a squirt bottle for water when you pee. The squirt bottle my hospital gave me. THe tucks pads I put on top of the maxi pads and wore them. It helped some of the discomfort.

I brought a whole labor bag with me expecting to be there quite a while since this was my first baby, but I was only in labor for 1 1/2 hours..no time for anything..not even an epidural (Ouch) but got through it. Not as bad as I would have thought it would have been. Definately wear the hospital gowns.

GOod luck,

07-07-2002, 06:39 AM
I had one of those long drawn-out labors so by the time I was at the hospital I didn't care about any of those things. In retrospect, I wish I would have changed to my nursing gown the second day. However, if your hospital has the snap-down shoulders (which in my experience of 4 hospitals) most do. It makes it easier for changing with IVs etc. I think the nursing is just an added benefit, not the purpose.

Make sure your cupboard at home is stocked with some huge with wings maxis, then some smaller with wings maxis. You'll still need them after the supply you are sent home with dimishes. And for some reason the maternity ones don't stick so you may prefer the others anyhow.

Mommy to Jonah

07-07-2002, 09:17 AM
Just wanted to let you know that I labored in the hospital's gown. I threw up twice all over myself and the nurse. I would not want to ruin any of my gowns during the labor process. My mom bought me some new nightgowns that buttoned up the front so I could nurse and look halfway decent when visitors came. I would recommend hiking the gown up like one of the other posters suggested, because I ended up bleeding on my brand new gown. Congratulations!!

Toni -mom to Katherine (6 years old) and baby boy on the way

07-09-2002, 10:45 AM
Ditto everything else that has been said. You can also always put a second hospital gown on "backwards" for full coverage. One thing I would have brought from home had I thought of it or someone mentioned it to me would be my own towels. The ones in the hospital were small .........

Anyway......good luck!!!!


07-09-2002, 03:00 PM
I tried on pajamas, robes, etc before my delivery. But now I can't believe I ever obsessed about having a scrunci to match my outfit. IT DOESN'T MATTER. When your legs are up in the air and you're pushing your hardest, the last thing you will think about is your comfy nightgown. I had on a hospital gown and my own bra. And during the heavy pushing, it was bunched up near my neck. Later that night, exhausted, and barely able to walk, thelast thing I would have done was changed my clothes into pajamas. The next day, I finally showered (with help), and climbed into my own PJ's.
Suggestions: 1)warm slipper socks (good for labor, and good for shuffling the halls later when it's hard to lift your legs)
2)nightgown or PJ's with buttons down the fright for easy accessibility while breastfeeding (for post-partum use)