Can I wear my own delivery gown in the hospital?

Real Mom Problem

“I am always so uncomfortable in hospital gowns. If it's not mandatory, what are some other alternatives to wear, and can I wear it all the way through labor while hooked up to monitors and also for the actual delivery event?”

by halinichols halinichols

Quick Tips

  • 1. Check with your hospitals Labor & Delivery department, but moms say you'll most likely be able to wear what you want to your delivery
  • 2. If you wear your own gown or outfit, be prepared for it to get stained
  • 3. Make sure to leave your body accessible for monitoring and delivery itself

Real Mom Solutions

Do you want to jazz up your birth attire to look better for photos--or just to make yourself more comfortable? The moms of CafeMom weigh in on whether or not to wear the standard hospital delivery gown, and what to choose instead.

Wear What You're Comfortable In

  • Mrs.Andrews

    You can do whatever you want. The hospital cannot force you to do anything. You do need to wear something that leaves your belly accessible. And of course you will need to have nothing on the bottom as labor progresses. You could wear a long shirt or a nightgown. I wore a sports bra for the last three hours of my labor and that was it.

  • TTC2Long

    I wore my favorite maternity camisole tank. I labored at home until transition so things were so full-blown when I got to the hospital they didn't bother me with changing clothes. I liked it because my chest was bare so they could place him immediately skin-to-skin and I could breastfeed. It wasn't bulky, and I didn't have to fumble to get it open. AFTER the birth, though, I wore the robe like a skirt and wore my nursing tanks on top with a cardigan. That way, their stuff got bloody and I looked cute on top for visitors.

Be Prepared for a Mess

  • ilovesummer2010

    Just note if you're going to buy your own and it's nice, it's probably not going to look so pretty afterwards. When baby is born it will get messy and stained with blood. So if you buy one make sure it's something you're okay with getting ruined.

  • Purvislets

    I don't think it's mandatory, but they recommend wearing the standard gown unless you have something else you don't mind getting all bloody or covered in other fluids. Many women buy designer type labor and delivery gowns. I guess it would be up to the hospital. If you have to have a c-section it would probably become more mandatory to wear the hospital gown since you will be going into a sterile operating room. As much as I hate the gowns, I'd rather not have to take something home like that to wash or end up throwing it away because it got ruined. Let the hospital do the washing!

The Less Clothes, the Better

  • pandapanda

    I was 100% NAKED. But I was also in a birthing tub with the lights dimmed, asleep. You don't have to wear the gown. There's really no point in wearing it.

  • louzannalady

    With my second son, I birthed in yoga pants (which I briefly removed to allow one internal exam since my water had not broken) and a comfy t-shirt. Then, I changed to a halter top tankini and just panties for the water birth. I wore the panties until I felt ready to push.

  • halleys_mommy_1

    I wore a gown for my daughter but took it off right before so was just in a sports bra. For my son I was on the birthing ball and got so hot that I ripped my bra off, so I was nude.

Leave Your Body Accessible

  • Marimaru

    If you're planning on an epidural, I think it has to be something that will open in the back. Most of the gowns I've seen online to buy are halter top types so that the back is bare for the epi.

  • MommyO26631

    Wear something that you can maneuver easily, for when they come in and move the fetal monitors and check you. And something that can be easily changed after delivery in case you don't feel like standing up right away - it'll probably be all gross!

Some Moms Prefer the Hospital Gown

  • dcdmattison03

    I prefer to wear the hospital gown because I don't want to get my own stuff stained, but I think you can wear whatever you choose.

  • norahsmommy

    Go with the hospital gown! Things get icky. I change into my own comfy PJ's after I shower.