For expectant new moms, the thought of upcoming childbirth can be overwhelming. From the process of labor and delivery to caring for your newborn, there are so many questions that what to wear after giving birth at the hospital seems like a minor thought.
When preparing for childbirth, it’s easy to put yourself on the back burner. After all, nothing is more exciting than thinking about finally holding your sweet bundle of joy in your arms.
However, before you declare that your hospital bag is complete, take some time to make sure you have given some thought as to what you will wear after giving birth.
While the hospital will provide you with a hospital gown and cover the basics of postpartum care (like menstrual pads and mesh underwear), having some items that make you feel comfortable can make all of the difference in your stay.
Some women tend to pack a suitcase like they’re going on vacation. I remember my first time giving birth, walking into the hospital with my huge rolling suitcase like I was heading to the airport for a 10-day Mediterannean vacation.
Of course the nurses had a chuckle, but I knew I was prepared! Were there some things in there that I didn’t need? Of course. However, I’d rather be over prepared than underprepared.
Things to Take Into Consideration for What to Wear After Giving Birth
I’ll name a few clothing essentials below to bring with you, but ultimately it’s up to personal preference which items will make you feel most comfortable after giving birth.
Some of these things you may not know before your birth. However, some options you can decide beforehand and others you can bring several options to be prepared for multiple scenarios.
1. Time of Year & Your Own Body Temperature
You’ll definitely want to consider the time of year and temperature of the area that you live around your due date. However, no matter how hot or cold it is outside, you’ll still be stuck between those hospital walls for 2-3 days.
They usually keep hospitals pretty cold (to prevent bacteria from spreading), so it’s always wise to dress warm! Think: extra blankets, sweaters, and slippers, even if it is July in Texas!
Also, how does your own body regulate itself? Some women just naturally are always cold or always hot.
So regardless of the time of year, you may be the type of person who’s body always dictates whether you dress warm or cool.
2. Vaginal Delivery or C-Section
The type of delivery can dictate what type of clothes you can wear and which ones feel the most comfortable on you. Therefore, if you have a planned c-section, new moms may want to opt for different clothing essentials that won’t put pressure on their incision at the lower abdomen.
Your doctor or midwife will come to check on you occasionally throughout your hospital stay, often taking a look at your c-section incision or vaginal wounds. In addition to keeping those wounds without pressure from clothing, you’ll want to provide easy access to those wounds for the healthcare provider.
Although this isn’t something that you can always plan because emergency c-sections do happen, it is best to be prepared for both.
3. Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding
Certain postpartum clothing allow for more easy access to breasts. This makes it essential to wear clothing that is specific for nursing moms.
A great option for nursing moms to wear after giving birth may not be the best option for moms who have decided to immediately formula feed. You’ll need to think further than just nursing bras and maternity bras in terms of postpartum nursing clothes.
If you do not choose to breastfeed, you still may want to provide skin to skin contact with your baby on your chest. Therefore, the easy open access of a robe or front wrapping shirt may be better than a t shirt.
4. Body type
Your body type pre and post pregnancy will dictate what to wear after giving birth.
Immediately after childbirth, your body will go back to its size when you were about 6 months pregnant.
Think about the clothing items that you felt most comfortable with during that stage of pregnancy. That should be what feels most comfortable for your postpartum body as well.
5. Personal Preference
Of course you can always take into account your own personal style when deciding what to wear after giving birth. However, nothing about postpartum clothing is really meant to be stylish.
Comfort and ease is your ultimate goal so save the fashionable clothing items for another time!
What to Wear After Giving Birth in the Hospital for New Moms
A few things to note when deciding what to wear after giving birth is that you will still look (and feel) about 6 months pregnant. So you may not want to bring any tight fitting clothes, thinking that your stomach will shrink down to pre-pregnancy size immediately.
Maternity clothes may be your best option for putting on regular clothing at this point.
Also, the hospital isn’t a fashion show! Unless you’re a mommy blogger or instagram model, you don’t need to be dressed super fancy in the hospital.
You’ll be happiest in pajamas!
Here are a few things you will want to consider including in your hospital bag to make your stay as comfortable as possible:
1. Postpartum Outfit: A Robe or Gown
The first thing I knew I had to bring when packing my hospital bag was a robe for the hospital. Although not essential because the hospital does provide you with a hospital gown, I wanted something that made me look and feel fresh.
You’ll definitely want to wear the hospital gown provided during delivery.
Both your body and bed can become soaked and soiled in childbirth. You don’t want to mess up the good clothes that you’ll need for the next few days.
Also note, even though you’ll be wearing these items after giving birth, you may still want to size up. As I said before, envision what your body was like at 6 months pregnant and that will give a good gauge for sizing.
If you’d feel more comfortable and prettier in your own own hospital gown rather than the one provided, by all means, get your own!
If you are having a planned c-section, a hospital gown is a great way to limit any pressure around the incision on your abdomen. You can wear the hospital gown through your whole stay, not just during delivery.
They make special hospital gowns now for new moms and they look much nicer than the old white and blue ones.
Frida Mom makes a hospital delivery gown specifically for childbirth. It provides easy access snaps to your chest on the top and even has pockets!
Regular hospital gowns definitely don’t have these nice features.
If you’re wearing your own personal hospital gown during delivery, plan on bringing other items because this will be soiled after birth. Therefore, the rest of your hospital stay, you can wear a robe or the other postpartum clothing that you brought.
Instead, you may want to wear the hospital-provided gowns during delivery and then your own hospital gown can be worn at any other point during your stay.
Now talk about an upgrade. Kindred Bravely has gone and did it. They made delivery gowns chic!
This gorgeous and soft delivery gown looks more like clothes instead of a worn out hospital gown.
Now there is nothing flattering about a woman’s body while giving birth. Let’s just say you won’t typically feel at your sexiest through the whole process.
However, if you wear this Kindred Bravely delivery gown, I guarantee you will feel like a million bucks! It has buttons down the entire front and back of the gown for easy access to breasts, chest, incisions, vagina, and the back for the epidural.
It also has pockets and the most butter-soft material.
In addition to all the amazing features, I absolutely love the scalloped detail on the top. It will really make any woman feel beautiful during delivery and not so frumpy and gross.
Robe for Easy Access
One item that is absolutely essential no matter what your style or preference has got to be a robe! Robes are the easiest and most convenient garment to wear for nursing your baby and during the postpartum period.
A gown or robe is really all you’ll need to wear after giving birth. I brought plenty of comfortable pants, but I never even ended up wearing them.
Robes fit just right and do not put any tight pressure around your stomach or groin, making them a great choice for wearing after birth.
I absolutely love this “MAMA” robe. I got it in grey and black and wore it so much after giving birth, both in the hospital and at home.
It’s so soft and just feels like butter on your skin. A robe opens in the front giving you easy access to nurse your baby and provide skin-to-skin contact.
If you are having a planned c-section, a robe is a great way to limit any pressure around the incision on your abdomen.
It will still cover you up, but doesn’t have any elastic waistband to make you uncomfortable.
While you can absolutely wear the hospital’s gown during and after delivery – having your own robe to wear after giving birth will make you feel right at home.
Floral Mommy & Me Matching Robe
If you’re having a little girl, how cute would it be to start twinning from day one?
If you are wanting to look beautiful with a comfortable and convenient robe, what is cuter and more feminine than a matching robe and swaddle blanket for your new little girl?
You’ll want to keep your baby swaddled for warmth and comfort while in the hospital and home, so why not use a beautiful matching set? The matching headband too is just adorable!
Floral Robe with Matching Swaddle
You don’t have to have a girl to wear a floral robe after birth! You can still look as feminine as you’d like without all the floral and pink!
If you want to match your baby boy, you can always opt for a neutral color floral robe (think grey or blue) and get him a matching grey or blue swaddle blanket.
This floral robe with blue and yellow flowers matches perfectly with the green baby swaddle. Perfect for your little boy!
It will look just as adorable and you’ll be an adorable pair.
Related Post: What to Pack in a Hospital Overnight Bag for Dad
Nightshirt with Buttons
If the idea of walking around in a robe or hospital gown makes you uncomfortable, a nightshirt or nightgown may be a great option for the postpartum period.
These are very similar to the above options as they are soft, loose, comfortable, and provide easy access to your lady parts.
This nightshirt may be a good option if you want to be a little more covered. With buttons down the whole front and the lose fitting nature of a nightgown, you’ll still feel super comfortable.
I love the lace detailing on the bottom that still makes it feel quite feminine even though it’s just an oversized t-shirt.
Nightgown with Buttons
If you want something a little bit more flattering and feminine while in the hospital and at home during the postpartum period, this is an adorable nightgown.
This nightgown still provides easy access to chest and breasts and is loose around the abdomen.
New moms may not feel the best about their body’s after childbirth, but figure out a way to make yourself feel beautiful.
Note: If you’re planning on nursing, please DO NOT choose a nightgown like this (below) to wear after giving birth in the hospital. This nightgown has a peek-a-boo slot to just slide your breast out.
This may work well after you and your baby have gotten into a groove with nursing, but it will be very tough for you to feel comfortable with it in the beginning.
You’ll prefer to have nothing covering your whole chest to provide the most skin-to-skin contact, as well as ease of latch for your baby.
2. Comfortable Postpartum Pajamas
Pajamas are honestly not my favorite to wear after giving birth in the hospital because they’re just not as convenient as a robe or gown.
Pants can be bothersome to have to take down to use the restroom or for healthcare providers to check you. They can also be too tight around your abdomen.
However, If you’re the type that is very cold all the time, you may not want to wear a robe or nightgown all day and night. You’ll probably be getting in and out of the hospital bed several times so you can’t just snuggle under a blanket all day.
Whether you’ve had a vaginal delivery or c-section, your whole lower abdomen and vaginal region will most likely be sore. Just remember that when packing your postpartum pajamas for the hospital.
Be sure that the pants are loose. If you have a c-section, you’ll want to make sure they are high waisted pants because the incision will be very low.
You can even get away with wearing your maternity pajamas during the postpartum period. These will have a stretchy waistband and fit over your postpartum belly comfortably.
Long Sleeve Button Down Pajamas
Long sleeve pajamas may be a great option for some new moms. Again remember you want easy access to your chest whether your breastfeeding or not.
Make sure the pajamas have a button down front and are comfortable and roomy.
Kindred Bravely pajamas use an ultra-soft and lightweight bamboo fabric that feels like butter on your skin. They’re great for the whole postpartum period, both in and out of the hospital, as well as after!
The great part about these pajamas is that they’re not even maternity pajamas. I still wear these pajamas all the time and I am well out of the postpartum period.
They are lose enough to even accommodate your growing belly so if you want to wear them while pregnant, you still can until well into the third trimester!
So while they are super soft and cozy, they are great hospital pajamas because they will keep you warm, give you easy access to your chest, and make you feel a little more covered up.
Open-front T Shirt Pajama Option
Whether you have a natural delivery or a c-section you are not going to feel like squeezing into any pants that have buttons or a zipper for awhile. Having a nice set of comfy pajamas can do just the trick.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you want pajamas that your baby can have easy access to your breast. You’ll be pulling it out ALL. DAY. LONG.
These nursing pajamas make the breast easily accessible and will also save you a lot of trouble. They’re so soft, comfortable, and roomy so it won’t be a problem that you’re still technically in maternity clothes.
However, they’re just definitely not my favorite for the hospital because it won’t be as easy to access your whole chest. However, don’t get me wrong, these are great postpartum pajamas, just not for the early stages in my opinion.
You want to be able to take your little baby onto your whole chest and wrap him up with the sides of a robe or button down pajama shirt.
3. Comfortable Underwear
The hospital will provide you with mesh underwear for immediately after delivery. It’s absolutely fine to wear those for the first couple of days.
Mesh underwear is super stretchy and disposable so you throw them away after every use. They are perfect to wear with the thick pads that the hospital provides to you as you will be bleeding a lot.
Honestly, wear these as long as you can! They are all you need in the hospital!
However, if you’re set on wearing real underwear for the sake of feeling better about your body, there are plenty out there that are great for those early postpartum days.
You’re not going to go back to thongs and lacy panties, but think about getting some regular underwear, just in a larger size. Think panties that can keep the menstrual pads, padsicles, and other postpartum vaginal recovery items contained.
These high waisted briefs (below) will keep your belly tucked, menstrual pads secure, and not ride up.
Also, period panties are the newest trend that are perfect for postpartum comfort!
You will bleed A LOT after giving birth (which is totally normal). However, this means that you’ll need to wear a very bulky pad in your underwear for days, if not weeks.
You can’t use a tampon until your actual period cycle comes back so this may be uncomfortable for some.
These THINX Period Underwear contain their own absorption material so you don’t have to walk around in adult diapers or bulky pads. Not to mention the high-waist will help to keep your postpartum belly contained.
I highly recommend you try these, but another option is to get a package of disposable postpartum underwear that you can just toss when you’re done with them.
These are a great no muss no fuss option that provides discreet coverage and they’re way more comfortable than the mesh ones they give you at the hospital.
No need to worry about leaks like with a pad. They’re especially great for overnight use!
Related post: How to Make Padsicles for Postpartum Vaginal Recovery
4. A Comfortable Sleeping Nursing Bra
If you plan on breastfeeding or pumping you will need a bra that allows the breast to be easily accessible to the baby (or pump). You will also want something that is comfortable enough to sleep in.
Having a soft sleeping nursing bra in your bag will assure that you are prepared for whatever comes your way. This bra won’t let your boobs pop out while sleeping and will keep them contained if your milk starts to leak.
You can also keep breast pads in them to soak up any excess milk that leaks.
5. On Your Feet – Cozy Slipper Socks, Slippers, Flip flops
You can have the warmest clothes, but if your feet are not super cozy, you’ll still be cold. Your body temperature will fluctuate a bit during postpartum recovery and having cozy socks/slippers will help to keep your body warm.
If you spend most of the day walking around your house in regular socks, you may think they are fine. However, they won’t be.
Regular socks are very thin and won’t give the warmth and coziness you’ll need in the frigid hospital room.
Thick Socks with Grips
Thick socks are your best bet for what to wear on your feet after giving birth, especially ones with grips!
Hospital floors are typically very smooth and slippery due to being washed so often. The grips will provide traction as you’re walking.
When you’re not walking around the hospital, bring yourself a thicker pair of socks for just laying in bed or walking around your room.
This was something that I didn’t think of for my first delivery, but luckily my hospital gave me slipper socks with traction so I was able to use theirs. However, not every hospital provides them and to be honest, their weren’t very thick at all.
Therefore, you want to be as prepared as possible when deciding what to wear after giving birth, so don’t forget some thick and cozy anti-slip socks like the ones above.
These socks are very warm and thick and best of all, they aren’t too tight. That is necessary if your feet and ankles are swollen after birth.
I’m also a sucker for funny socks, especially during childbirth. I know this article is about what to wear after you give birth, but these socks are adorable during delivery.
You can customize these socks with your baby’s name and the doctors and nurses will get a kick out of it. They’ll also make for a great photo!
These “push it” funny delivery socks actually have non-skid treds on the bottom so you can wear them after delivery.
As far as socks for after childbirth that you can wear again, these sweet, new mom socks are adorable.
You will most likely be in the room for most of your hospital stay, but occasionally you’ll want to take a few laps around the maternity ward. It’s good to get up and moving physically and mentally after childbirth.
You could wear your socks, but you’ll probably feel safer and cleaner wearing slippers. This way you’re not getting into bed with the same socks that have just treked around the entire hospital floor.
Make sure your hospital bag contains a comfortable and cozy pair of slippers. The ones below are perfect for wearing after giving birth.
This slippers will slide on easily because there is no back. You don’t want anything that you have to bend over with effort to put on.
The sole is nice and thick giving you good support and traction as you walk.
These slippers also have memory foam padding so they are super comfortable on your feet. You’ll definitely wear these again!
Waterproof Flip Flops
If you’re not the type that gets too cold, you may just want a pair of flip flops while walking around. They are easy to slip on and off and especially for walking around the cold bathroom floor.
While staying in the hospital you will likely want to take a shower. Of course you can absolutely choose to shower barefoot, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
I just felt like the floor was a little grimy and I didn’t want to put my bare feet on it, even while wet.
Packing a pair of waterproof flip-flops for walking on the wet bathroom floor and while showering will keep you comfortable and offer peace of mind.
These shower shoes (below) are specifically made for the shower so they have an anti-slip bottom and sole.
They also have small holes all around to let water escape quickly and a thick rubber sole for support.
Unforuntately, the day you leave the hospital, you’re not going to want to wear slippers. You should have a sneaker with good support at the ankle, as well as a comfortable insole for going home.
You’ll want a good pair of running or walking shoes. You may think that you won’t use them in the hospital, but you can definitely take a few laps around other floors if you wish.
The Adidas Cloudways sneakers are a good choice as they are super comfortable and supportive. You won’t regret purchasing these for the long haul!
If it’s a nice day and you’re feeling good, check with the hospital staff and see if you can go outside for a walk. It will feel good to get some fresh air and move your body.
Comfortable and supportive sneakers are a must for the postpartum period as you’ll want to go on plenty of stroller walks with your new bundle of joy.
Related Post: 35 Things Expecting Moms Should Know About Childbirth
6. Stretchy Pants
You’ll need pants that aren’t too tight to feel comfortable so be sure to bring some loose stretchy pants or joggers like these ones below.
Having a pair of high-waisted postpartum leggings in your hospital bag will assure your comfort. The high-waisted compression will help to tuck in your postpartum tummy helping you to feel secure and comfortable.
These leggings are also perfect for both hospital wear and as a piece of the going home outfit for mom.
7. Oversized Tee
An oversized tee shirt will help you to feel comfortable and stylish after giving birth. By making sure to also choose a tee that is nursing accessible, you can rest assured that the tee-shirt will be useful in more ways than one!
This is another piece that could also double as a coming home outfit for mom so you feel dressed enough to leave your hospital room, but not too dressed up to sit in the car for a quick trip home.
8. Zip up Hoodie or Cardigan
If you’re wondering what to wear after giving birth, you may not be thinking of things that will keep you warm. However, as stated above, the hospital is usually freezing!
Having a zip-up hoodie or cardigan in your hospital bag will help you to stay warm while caring for your new little one. Be sure to choose one that is zip up to make nursing much easier.
If you don’t have a cardigan to bring, make sure you bring an extra blanket to wrap around you as well.
9. Headband or Hair Ties
If you have hair that often gets in your face, you’ll definitely want to bring along some extra hair ties or headbands to keep it out of the way.
Your new baby’s little fingers can be grabby without even meaning to. You also don’t want your hair in the way of baby nursing or in baby’s face when you are showering her with kisses.
Making sure to pack headbands and/or hair ties in your bag will keep your hair in place. Plus if you are having a little girl these mommy and me headbands are just too adorable to pass up!
Okay, mama! That’s it! You now have no excuses to skip items in your hospital bag. Follow this list and you will be more than prepared for your hospital trip and perfectly packed with the perfect things to wear after giving birth.