The hospital I most often work with is fine with mom's wearing whatever they choose to during their stay. Some moms opt for the provided hospital gown, while others bring along an oversized tshirt that reminds them of home. Still, other mamas choose something a little more feminine and elegant during this sacred and life-changing time.
I've compiled a few suggestions for gowns that might be fitting during labor. You might be a mama looking just to wear something unique, or, you might want to add just a little touch of beauty and elegance to your wardrobe on "labor day." Whichever category you fall into, here are some ideas!
Pretty Pushers are probably the most well known labor gown on the market. These gowns are comfortable and too cute! They make an assortment of colors and styles and they range in price from $29 to $129.
Comfy Clothing (on Etsy) offers this gorgeous and modest robe. Complete with snaps on the shoulders for breast feeding access. They offer custom orders also, for mama's who are looking to add their own unique style to their birth apparel. This robe is $35
Dressed to Deliver has thought of just about everything with their timeless gown. Made of bamboo fabric, this 3-in-1 gown is breathable and anti-microbial. There are hidden snaps here and there for easy access to all the parts you might need during labor or post partum! Their gowns range in price from $49.99 to $52
Gownies: Delivery Gowns offers a few mommy and baby options for after baby arrives! These gowns look to be breezy and comfortable, but still so cute! The Gownies gowns range in price from $29.99 to $67.98.
Really, there's no right or wrong when it comes to what you choose to wear during labor. It all comes down to how you feel most comfortable. This is your birth and, in the end, what you are wearing (or not wearing) will likely be the furthest thing from your mind when the big event occurs!
The moment you find out you are pregnant, you figure out what your date might be. You mark the calendar and tell all your loved ones when "the big day" is. You wait with anticipation and mark the days off your calendar.
For some mamas, the day comes before the mark. Often times leaving these mamas feeling unprepared and thrown off because baby didn't wait until the day they were supposed to. Sometimes these mamas are relieved to not have to go all the way to their due date, but sometimes it can be stressful to have an early baby
(especially if you're a mama who likes to plan).
For other mamas, the day comes, aaaaand. . . your little peanut doesn't make their debut.
Calls, texts, emails, facebook messages, etc, all flood in to your computer or phone-
"Just checking in"
"Where is that baby?"
Every time you get another message, you groan, as the reminder that you're still pregnant is rubbed in your nose.
Many mamas, in the last month or so before they give birth, begin to get hounded by well meaning folks who seem to have her under constant baby surveillance.
When I was pregnant, with my first and second, I went six and eight days past my estimated due date. It seemed that people would only contact me to find out if I'd had the baby (and forgot to tell them). I felt criticized that I'd not given birth yet and I started to completely shut everyone out.
By the time I had my third, I didn't tell anyone when my actual estimated due date was.
I told them that my baby would arrive "sometime in July or August."
Best. Decision. EVER.
She was ten days post date.
Here's the thing, mama's (and everyone else), our due dates are an estimation. Each and every pregnancy is different.
You may have delivered at 39 weeks+4 days last time, and then turn around to have another baby at 41 weeks+3 days your next pregnancy.
It is all so incredibly individual.
I hear a lot of frustration from mamas who haven't delivered their babes by 40 weeks, their due date comes and goes, with no movement whatsoever from baby.
But 40 weeks is an estimation, not a expiration.
Research is showing us that only about 50% of women give birth at 40 weeks.
The other 50% give birth before OR after 40 weeks.
I often tell my clients, if they come to me early enough in their pregnancy, that I advise sharing only the birth MONTH with anyone but their partner and *maybe* one other person.
And if a mama does share the due date with you, please, please, PLEASE, when you talk to her, don't say things like:
"Where is that baby?"
"When are you gonna pop?"
"Are you ever going to have that baby?"
Mom is already thinking and feeling these things and doesn't need any pressure from anyone else to have the baby.
She needs to be reminded, more than anything else, that she is LOVED and that her body and baby are trustworthy. It will all work as it is supposed to.
I've observed several different types of doulas. Business minded doulas. Free doulas. Hippy doulas. Yuppie doulas. Free thinking doulas. Religious doulas. So many different inspirational women build the beauty that is the doula community. We think of each other as sisters and send prayers, birth-y vibes, love, and words of encouragement when one of our own is attending a birth. We back each other up, talk each other through, prevent each other from burn out, hold each other accountable. The sisterhood of doula-dom is an incredible community to be a part of.
Recently, I was part of a conversation in one of my doula discussion groups that sparked an avalanche of thoughts. I began to think of the key things that made a woman a "doula." While, we are all unique, there are integral parts of being a doula that we all contain within our spirits. One of the biggest thoughts in my mind that defines a doula is a woman who has the heart of a servant. The very definition of "doula" means- the highest female servant. Looking further into the word "doula" it also can be translated to some one who willingly chooses to give up freedom, in order to serve.
While all of us are involved in birth, most of us go further in our servitude and become servants to our communities. We offer classes, support groups, some of us offer meals to families, we give input to improve hospitals & birthing centers, sometimes we clean kitchens, or scrub floors, sometimes we're just there with a hug and a listening ear. Not because these things are part of our "job" but because we choose to further others; further our communities, and in doing so we further ourselves.
I have to admit, I cringe a little bit when I hear a doula say that she is "networking." In my mind, doulas don't network, we build bridges, sometimes upon our very shoulders, in order to support the people we come in contact with. We have a heart for the mothers, the fathers, the babies, the siblings, the grandparents, the next door neighbors, the friends. We are part of the threading of a community.
In the same way a community cares for its teachers, police officers, nurses, etc. the community will take care of its doulas. Maybe the way a community cares for its doulas will look different than a lot of public servitude "jobs." But, a doula never needs to worry that she will be taken care of. Call it karma, call it whatever you like, but what you put in to something, will always return. Perhaps it won't be financially, but the return will always be worth the effort. Choosing to give up our freedom, to the servitude of our community, choosing to serve the people around us will yield great results.
And so, that being said, I do not worry about networking, or finding clients. I do not sit and fret on finances. I know the more I place myself at the feet of my city, the more I trust my community, the more plentiful the harvest will be. The women, fathers, families, the ones that need me, will find me. I will be included in those sacred moment of new life and I will continue to pour myself into those lives. Because of this, I will never feel as though I am in competition with my sister doulas. I will pour into them and allow them to pour into me. And one day, our community will be a flowing fountain.