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A Professional Birth Photographer’s Best Tips for What to Wear During Labor

Tips from a Bellingham birth photographer on what to wear during birth.

What should I wear during birth is a surprisingly common question I get from moms who hire me to document their baby’s birth. They know they want photos and most want to be able to share them with family and friends. Some women are concerned with modesty when imagining sharing their birth images and others are just concerned with looking good in the photos. There is really no right or wrong when it comes to choosing what to wear during birth, but over the years I have come up with a few recommendations.

Beautiful mom in silk robe nursing baby after homebirth.

Wear What Makes You Comfortable

My number one tip for anything birth related is to do whatever makes you most comfortable. If you are going to be most comfortable in a hospital gown so you don’t have to worry about getting your own clothes dirty, then wear the gown!

Mace was born at home in the water surrounded by love and family. Bellingham birth photographer.
Some women prefer to give birth totally naked, and that’s fine too. Do whatever is best for you!

Many expectant moms, however, want to wear something other than a traditional hospital gown for the birth of their baby. Our local hospital, St. Joseph’s, allows you to wear whatever you are most comfortable in. They will have gowns available, but there is no rule about women needing to wear them.

Mother holding baby after water birth at home.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is comfortable. You are probably not going to want to mess with buttons during your labor.

Laboring mom uses nitrous oxide for pain relief. Bellingham birth photographer.

Black Sports Bra or Tank Top

A simple black sports bra or tank top is a great choice for birth. Most women are comfortable with pictures of them in this for birth. Black is a great color because you don’t have to worry about it being sheer or see-through if it gets wet.

A mom in labor rests between contractions. Photo by Bellingham birth photographer, Renee Bergeron.

Greyson’s birth story

I do recommend that you have one that fastens in the back. I have seen many moms attempt to remove a bra over their head during labor or after birth for skin-to-skin and it can be difficult.

Bellingham birth photographer Renee Bergeron captures the beauty of birth.

Walter’s birth story

A Loose-Fitting Knit Skirt is a Great Choice to Wear During Labor

Mom on hands and knees during labor at hospital. Bellingham birth photography.

Wyatt’s birth story

I have had several moms choose to give birth in a loose, knit skirt such as this flowy yoga skirt. When active labor is well underway, they can wear nothing underneath. This gives the doctor or midwife access to the important area while the mom can walk around comfortably and not feel too exposed.

Doula and husband Jon both support Jessica during her labor.

Tirzah’s birth story

For moms who are excited to share their birth images but want to leave something to the imagination, this can be a great option.

Wearing a loose fitting knit skirt can be a great choice during labor.

Odin’s birth story

What Should Dad Wear During Birth?

New dad kisses his baby. Fresh 48 session by Belligham photographer Renee Bergeron.

Abel’s birth story

You might be wondering if it matters at all what dad wears during birth. First of all, we want him to be comfortable (birth is a marathon, not a black-tie event).

Should I hire a birth photographer for my c-section? Of course, you should!

Imogen’s birth story

Number two, I recommend something muted, without a bright or distracting pattern. You will treasure these photos for years to come, so a beer t-shirt might not be the best choice for this day.

Dad holding newborn baby. Birth photography by Renee Bergeron.

Ava’s birth story

I recommend you have a clean t-shirt or sweatshirt in your bag for dad anyway, so you may as well pick something that will look good in photos.

I hope these tips will help you prepare for the birth of your baby. If you have any other suggestions, please be sure to leave them in the comments!

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