water birth — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

water birth

I plan on using the shower/tub to help during labor.. what should I wear? I know it seems to silly to worry about what I am going to wear when I am in labor but I just want to throw my hospital bag together and I am kind of stumped. 

Re: water birth

  • Nothing if it were me, because typically when you start using the tub you're in pain and won't care. Other options would be a bathing suit top or a sports bra. You won't have anything on covering you from the waist down so no suggestions there. Yes it does seem silly to me that you're asking what to wear when in the tub laboring.... 
  • Not silly to me as I had no desire to be naked while laboring before hand and it stayed true for me when the time came as well. Some moms end up not caring, but it's better to be prepared. A swim top or sports bra is a good way to go. And you can buy a swim skirt that is a cover up or cut out a built in brief. 
  • jessieR358jessieR358 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited August 2017
    I don't think this is a silly question! I've been wondering the same thing! I also have no desire to be completely naked at the hospital. I still cared.

  • I was wondering same thing - I won't be having a water birth but they do have showers and tubs to labor in so I wasn't sure if I wanted to be in there completely naked if there will be nurses popping in and out to check on me. Obviously everyone's going to see the whole enchilada at some point but if I end up in labor for hours on end then I might prefer a little coverage/support.
  • I honestly didn't care what I was wearing. Anything pushing or rubbing against my belly during contractions was not at all comfortable. Just make sure it is comfortable. Labor is discomfort enough. If you are going to use a swim suit top or a swim skirt bottom for coverage, make sure it won't be in the way of any monitors they need to place to check on baby and make sure it is comfy to be stuck wearing for a long time. 
  • Bikini that ties? A swim wrap that you can tie around your waist loosely?

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  • I would honestly just go with a swim top or sports bra and if you want to feel more modest wear a long t shirt. The doctors will still be checking down there alot probably, so bottoms would be a pain.  
  • I would go so far as to say that most doctors probably wouldn't even allow bottoms at all. Maybe just a sports bra and a towel draped over once you're in, or a long shirt as someone else suggested. I wouldn't feel comfortable completely naked either... but, for some reason laboring in water doesn't present as relaxing to me so, I'll be keeping all my bits covered in my lame hospital gown anyway. 


  • I'm just planning on wearing a bathing suit top that ties. No bottoms. 
  • Wear whatever makes you comfortable!  Probably a sports bra or bikini top will work best for a tub or shower.  My hospital won't let you actually give birth in their tub, but it's great for pain management.  Tbh, you get checked so much and you get so lost in labor, you don't really care what people see by the end.  Fwiw, i wore a sports bra once i was admitted, and wore my hospital gown so the opening was at my front, and it was fine.
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  • I wore a sports bra in my previous water birth. Anything on the bottom seemed unnecessary since I stayed in the water. The room was pretty dark and all my cervical checks took place under water. During my first birth I labored in the water, but gave birth on the bed. Honestly I felt and truly was much less exposed in just a sports bra in the water then I was in a gown on the bed during my previous labor. Everyone gets a long good look at all of you when you are pushing with your legs up on a bed for hours. Honestly though, I really didn't care either way when I was actually in labor.


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  • Thanks all, I guess I should have been more specific with my question. I was more curious what to wear on top, I know I wont wear anything on the bottom while in labor and have my gown to change into so I can labor in bed. Just trying to get ready :)
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