HIP MUMMAS I What to Wear for the Birth


Before I gave birth to my daughter I spent a lot of time researching the best products for the baby and for the birth, and with ideas of retaining modesty during childbirth I purchased a couple of 'birthing shirts'. The advice is to find something to wear for the birth and afterwards which allows for skin-to-skin contact/breastfeeding afterwards, such as a button-down birth nightie.

I bought mine (two) from the Birthing Shirt Company (www.thebirthingshirtcompany.com) @ £39.99 each.

These shirts have lots of features appropriate to the birth/nursing such as: buttons down nearly to navel, made from bamboo which is not only an ethically sourced fabric but also has cooling properties, and a loose ruched fit with short sleeves. I found them very soft and comfortable to wear. However, I did feel a bit 'geeky' in them as they aren't at all sexy.

The main problem I had though was that I became so hot when giving birth that the shirt soon became soaked in sweat (yuk), and after many hours of labour I ditched it and went fully nude in front of my hubby, mother-in-law, and the midwife! I was ridiculously hot and couldn't stand it. (I'm sure this wasn't the design of the shirt, I believe this would have happened with any type). So it was lucky really that I bought two, because afterwards I was able to wear the clean one for nursing and recovery.

However, I ended up staying in the hospital for a week because my daughter had to stay in the special care unit due to complications (I understand the usual time is about 48 hours), which meant that I was very under-prepared and ended up wearing the same shirt for a few days until relatives brought me some other bits to wear. I wore track-suit bottoms on my legs too because I was actually cold in the air-conditioning. I lived in my dressing gown too, and wore a pair of disposable slippers I had from a spa hotel visit so I could chuck them afterwards.

Therefore, my recommendation to any new mums-to-be would be: go prepared with the appropriate birthwear but don't expect to stay in it, and pack some spare maternity/nursing pyjamas and a dressing gown for afterwards! Also, get a few items that are versatile for breastfeeding for use in the months after the birth, and that actually look nice!

Here are some of my faves for during and after the birth:

The Tayla Birthing Dress by Mummy Darling, £39.99

This is made of cotton and comes in three colours. It is a wrap-style that allows for breastfeeding and fetal monitoring, and has buttons up the back to allow for epidurals and TENS machines. It is also quite a nice style which could be worn during pregnancy and afterwards for nursing.

JoJoMamanBebe Navy Kimono Labour Wrap, £35.00

Made mainly from Cotton (95%) and a bit of elastane for shape, this wrap dress is a sexier option, yet still designed for comfort, as well as being easy to take off quickly if necessary! Again this could easily be worn before and after the birth.

Amoralia Super Soft Pyjama Bottoms from Isabella Oliver, £39.00

Perfect for pregnancy and for after the birth while your tummy is still big and sore! Stylish yet comfy. You could wear these to the hospital cafe and not be embarrassed!

Amoralia Soft Button Down Nursing Vest from Isabella Oliver, £25

This could be worn during the birth if you were really suffering from the heat, but also definitely great for afterwards to match with your jim-jams!

Amoralia Super-Soft Waterfall Cardigan from Isabella Oliver, £49

Be the most stylish new mum on the ward, by pairing the above vest and bottoms with this gorgeous super-soft cardigan which can replace your frumpy dressing gown. Great for pregnancy and nursing too.

Good luck to all you mums to be. I shall certainly be looking a little nicer this time around! (My second baby is due on 18th January 2014!)


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