What to Wear in Labor

Of course, you should wear whatever you’d like to wear for your labor, but we do hear this question now and then, so we thought we’d offer some suggestions that work well in a home birth situation:

A loose-fitting gown

This is probably the most traditional option, though the style options have certainly grown (a quick Google search for labor gowns will result in numerous brands). Any of these would work great – they allow for freedom of movement and many either have a halter that you can untie, or panels that pull aside so that baby can easily access the breast after birth.

If shelling out the dough for a labor gown isn’t quite what you were looking for, a simple nightshirt or oversized t-shirt also work great. The idea is to be able to comfortably go without underwear through the latter part of your labor, and have a garment that is loose enough for comfort and can be easily lifted to allow the baby to nurse.

Lounge bra or bikini

Many labors include multiple trips in and out of the shower or labor pool, so many of our clients choose to labor in a lounge bra or loose-fitting sports bra and panties, or a comfortable bikini. During the latter part of labor, you’ll probably want to dispense with the bottoms, but these tops work well for quick removal after the birth for skin to skin contact with your new baby.

a comfy skirt

Some of our clients pair one of the tops from above with a short, stretchy skirt which, again, allows you to be free of wearing underwear, but still maintains some modesty, if desired. There are some labor-wear brands that carry skirts, but it works just as well to use a simple skirt such as these.


Well, of course, the easiest thing to wear in labor is nothing, and this is exactly what many of our clients wear. The primal state of labor and birth is the perfect time to revel in the freedom of just being in our own skin, which allows for easy transition in and out of the shower and pool, as well as moving into natural birthing positions and immediate access for skin to skin and breastfeeding.

Whatever you choose to wear, just remember – your comfort is key.