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Deciding what clothes to wear after giving birth in hospital might not be an easy task, particularly if you have never given birth before and don’t know what to expect!
I remember being in the thick of packing the hospital bag with my partner the first time we were expecting, and we were so unsure of what clothes to pack for after birth! We ended up taking a whole suitcase with us to hospital, and didn’t even wear half of the clothes we packed.
I have now been through two hospital births: a c-section and a natural birth. And with both birth experiences I have learnt something new with what clothes a mom needs for after delivery. So, I got you all covered!
Listed below are all the essential post delivery clothes you need to take with you to hospital. Including specific items you might need if you end up having a c-section or if you are planning on breastfeeding. Plus tips on what to avoid!
Things to Consider First
Before I take you through the list, there’s a few things that I think you need to consider or that you should find out. For example:
How long will you stay in hospital for?
I know this might be a bit hard to predict, depending on how your birth is going to unfold, but the length of your hospital stay will affect what and how much you are going to pack in your hospital bag!
However, depending on where you live and what hospital you are delivering your baby at, they might have different policies about how long they keep patients after they’ve given birth. So, it’s worth finding out in advance so that you can prepare accordingly.
Are you Having a Vaginal Birth or a C-Section?
This might sound like a silly question but, depending on what type of birth you have, you will need to consider different clothes. Also, even if you are prepared to have a natural / vaginal birth, remember that there’s always a chance that you may end up having a c-section if you have complications.
I am not saying that you should pack for c-section if you are planning on not having one, but be aware of what you might need in case you do. That way you can easily send your partner to quickly buy the extra items while you are still in hospital.
Related: 23 Tips for a Birth without Epidural
Are you Planning on Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding?
Are you planning on breastfeeding or not? There’s a couple of extra items that will definitely make breastfeeding easier if that’s something that you wish to do.
If you plan on formula feeding instead (or pumping and bottle feeding), then check out these formula and bottle feeding tips to make your life easier from the very first days of your baby’s life.
Comfort vs Look
Finally, are you for the comfort or for the look? 🙂
The first few days after giving birth can be so beautiful and chaotic at the same time. They definitely weren’t the most glamorous days of my life and I sure couldn’t care less about the way I looked – as long as what I was wearing could help me with the pain down there and my nipple pain!
But I am also the kind of person that will always choose comfort over look. You might think it a little bit different!
So, depending on the way you feel, pack accordingly.
12 After Delivery Clothes to Add to your Hospital Bag
Without further ado, here’s my list of clothes to pack and wear for after delivery in hospital.
1) MESH / COMFORTABLE & STRETCHY UNDERWEAR
This is definitely a must-have to have in your list of clothes to take to hospital.
Your belly will still be quite big postpartum (it takes a little while to loose the pregnancy belly!) and, if you had a c-section, it will be quite sore. So, you really want some comfortable and stretchy underwear for after giving birth!
Hospitals usually provide mesh panties – if you are not sure, you might want to check with them. These could be the perfect choice if you can’t be bothered with the look and you are on a budget.
However, if you want something extra comfortable and can’t get past the look of mesh panties, there are lots of “granny panties” that are perfect for postpartum. These Fruit of the Loom Panties are the perfect example.
They are comfortable and super stretchy. And if you end up having a c-section, they are also a perfect addition to your hospital bag, because they go over your belly and will not rub on the stitches.
I actually wore postpartum underwear for the first coupe of days, when the bleeding was intense. That way I definitely didn’t have to worry about leaking. After that, I transitioned to the stretchy granny panties 🙂
Make sure not too spend too much money on postpartum underwear, as you won’t be wearing it for too long! However, if you prefer something that looks a bit prettier, these Kidred Bravely High Waste Postpartum Underwear might be the ones for you.
Do not forget socks, even if you are delivering your baby in the middle of summer!
Hospitals are notorious for being super cold – yes, even the maternity wards unfortunately! Socks will keep your feet warm and cozy. And, if you want to walk short distances without putting shoes on, will keep your feet clean.
I would recommend buying non-skid socks, as hospital floors also tend to be pretty slippery 🙂
These are my favorite choice: supper fluffy and cozy, plus anti skid. Although I understand if the look doesn’t appeal to you!
Otherwise, Kindred Bravely has come up with these cute socks designs for delivery! All with non-slip grip bottoms and the perfect last minute addition to your hospital bag essentials!
3) SLIPPERS / COMFORTABLE SHOES
Like I said, hospital floors are cold and slippery, and … gross!
You definitely want to take some slippers or comfortable shoes with you to walk around with. And I would actually recommend a pair of both!
In fact, an extra pair of shoes can come in handy if your water breaks all over them. True story – it happened to me towards the end of labor: my water broke all over my pants, socks and shoes!
You could wear your comfy sneakers to hospital and just pack the slippers 🙂
4) FLIP FLOPS / SHOWER SHOES
Flip flops or shower shoes are perfect if you are planning on having a water birth or if you want to have a shower.
Taking a shower during labor can really help ease the pain. And a shower after a vaginal birth, trust me on this, is THE BEST SHOWER you will ever take! I honestly didn’t want it to end.
I actually used flip flops instead of slippers to walk around the hospital as well.
Hospital pajamas after birth are an option (if provided) but … do you really want to wear an hospital pajama?!
Particularly if you are planning on breastfeeding, I would recommend taking a pajama with buttons at the front like this one here. That way it’s easier to open it up just at the top to feed your little newborn.
However, you can also buy specific breastfeeding pajamas that open up on the sides.
This set is quite good, including both a nursing top and a gown.
I am honestly not a big fan of breastfeeding pajama tops. I tried them when my daughter was little but then found it was much easier to just pull my top up. That said, it might be a bit too cold at the hospital to just lift your top to breastfeed!
6) HAIR TIES / HEADBAND
Hair ties or a headband are also a must-have to take to hospital for giving birth AND for afterwards.
The last thing you want is to have hair on your face when you are delivering your baby, or when you are holding your baby for the first times 🙂
It’s funny, you would thing this is an item that’s almost given for granted. But it’s amazing how easy it is to forget, particularly if you are not used to wearing a headband or having a pony tail!
I really like this style with different design options. Plus, they are designed for workouts: that should cover labor too, shouldn’t it? 🙂
These workout headbands have got a bit more of a blend design. But they wick the moisture away, leaving your forehead dry, which is a bonus when delivering baby.
7) ROBE & GOWN
A robe and / or gown are also another of the must-have clothes for hospital after delivery. That is, unless you are happy to wear the hospital gown for your whole stay (no thanks!)
These two items of clothing are particularly perfect for the first day after delivering your baby. When you just want to feel a bit more alive after pushing a baby out, and still feel decent as doctors check you up down there.
After that, you can wear some comfy clothes or your pajama 🙂
I would personally pack both. Keep the nightgown on when in bed, and easily put the robe on when walking about or when family and friends come to visit.
Just make sure to buy nursing-friendly gowns if you are planning on breastfeeding. They have to have either buttons at the top, or the sides by the breasts should be easily pulled down.
As per the robe, I love this Baby Be Mine one. You can choose amongst different patterns and it’s a perfect after delivery dress. I also love their robe with matching baby swaddle – I find the idea incredibly cute.
8) SPORTS OR NURSING BRAS
Whether you are planning on breastfeeding or not, I highly recommend wearing comfortable bras. Forget the underwires and the extra cups please.
One tip: don’t go overboard and buy super expensive bras before your baby is even born. If there’s one thing I have learnt is: your boobs will be huge the first days and weeks after delivery. And it’s hard to estimate what size you will be when breastfeeding.
This will happen even if you don’t want to breastfeed. Your body will get signals that the baby is born and will automatically start producing milk. It will take a little while for your brain to get the signal that baby is not feeding and stop the production.
Instead, buy a couple of cheap and comfortable nursing bras for the beginning, and then upgrade later after you’ve assessed the situation.
8.1) NURSING BRAS
If you want to breastfeed, definitely go for a maternity / nursing bra. These give you nice support and, most importantly, easy access to the breasts when feeding your baby.
I personally prefer the maternity bras with the clip: when you un-clip one size, you can pull it down. Such as this one.
However, there’s also the option of pullover bras, where you move the fabric sideways. I just don’t think these can give as much support as the ones with the clips …
By the way, have you looked into enrolling in a breastfeeding class? This will definitely help with achieving a good latch when baby comes, so you can have a stress and pain-free breastfeeding experience.
8.2) SPORTS BRAS
If you are not going to breastfeed, a sports bra should be enough. Make sure to get one that’s not too tight around your chest, as that can be quite uncomfortable with extra large breasts 🙂
9) COMFORTABLE CLOTHES
Okay mama, once you are past the stage of the robe and gown, it’s time to put some day clothes on. But what are the best clothes for hospital after birth?
Rule number one: they have to be COMFORTABLE!
But let me go into more details through all the clothing items, top to bottom.
For the same reason why you shouldn’t be buying tight and uncomfortable bras, also make sure not to take tight tops to hospital for after delivery. That could be highly uncomfortable and not ideal.
Instead, choose something soft and easy to put on.
If you are breastfeeding, pack some feeding tops in your hospital bag. And if you think you could be getting very cold, you can add some feeding tanks to wear underneath.
These tank tops even come with a built-in bra! How comfortable is that?!
Forget tight jeans for after delivery! You really don’t want something too tight around your belly or your vaginal area while you wear postpartum pads. However, if you have maternity jeans, those might be okay.
And remember your belly won’t shrink down to its original size for a little while. You will probably still look pregnant for a few days 🙂
My number one choice for postpartum pants is actually sweatpants! That said, many women prefer leggings.
Also, if you end up having a c-section, avoid pants that have a very low waist and that can rub on the incision.
Oh, and another very important rule! Avoid white (or very light color) pants at all costs! Hopefully you won’t experience any leaks with postpartum pads, but … if you do … better to have dark pants on 🙂
Postpartum leggings can be quite good if you want some extra support for your belly. They are high waist (so perfect for after a c-section as well) and apply a slight compression to your belly to help it get back into shape.
9.3) JUMPER / CARDIGAN
Because it’s always very chilly at the hospital, I would also suggest you take a jumper or a cardigan with you. When you are ready to stop spending the whole day in your gown and robe that is 🙂
These can be part of your going home clothes after birth as well.
A cardigan can be perfect whether you are breastfeeding or not. But, if you are breastfeeding and prefer a jumper, go for one with a front zip. Way easier to access your breastfeeding top and bra this way!
Remember that your boobs will become quite big after birth, so don’t get a jumper that’s too tight around your chest. I have done that mistake … I honestly couldn’t close it all the way to the top!
Going Home Clothes After Birth
I don’t think you need a particular going home outfit for mom after birth … all items listed above will also be perfect for going home as well 🙂
Just remember the main rules:
- Needs to be comfortable: nothing too tight around your breasts or belly
- Needs to zip up or unbutton at the front if you need to breastfeed mid-way home
- No white pants
- Bring an extra pair of sneaker (and pants!) in case the ones you went to hospital with got soaked when your water broke 🙂
After Delivery Clothes: Final Thoughts
Here it is mama: my list of must-have after delivery clothes. I hope I got you all covered from head to toe.
It’s very important that you think carefully about what you are going to wear postpartum in hospital. Sometimes it’s so easy to just focus on what to pack for our newborn baby, that we forget about ourselves.
You are going to be so sore and exhausted after labor and delivery. And this is no matter how you give birth: vaginally or with a c-section! The last think you want is having to wear tight uncomfortable clothes.
For a full free printable checklist of what to take to hospital, including tips on when or where to pack it, refer to this article: Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom, Baby and Partner.
For other postpartum essentials:
For information on how to get ready to breastfeed or bottle feed:
- 20+ Best Online Breastfeeding Courses of 2021 (FREE Classes too!)
- Paced Bottle Feeding (Benefits & Tips to do it Right!)
- 25 Formula & Bottle Feeding Tips (to Make it Easier!)
Are you a mom that’s given birth in hospital? What was your experience? Is there any other advice you’d like to give to expecting moms out there? Please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
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