Regardless of your birth plan, there’s a lot to think about, and you understandably may not have given a lot of thought to your outfit (considering you’ll end up at least partially nude). But labor can be long, and the last thing you'll want is any type of clothing that feels heavy or constricting, which is why these bras and clothes for water birth are so great. If you’re planning on a water birth, or just keeping your options open, the clothes on this list will keep you comfy and covered, and they’ll dry quickly in case you decide it’s time to get out of the tub and onto the birthing ball or bed.
Whether you want to wear a stretchy sports bra or you’ll feel best in a loose fitting dress or a skirt made with labor in mind, there’s something here for you. Best of all, many of these items can be worn while you’re pregnant, then packed in the hospital bag, and worn again in the postpartum period. From
bathing suits to bras or even a few soft tees (one with a powerful message), there's nothing on this list that will need to be dry-cleaned and nothing that's too precious because, as you know, birth can be a bit... messy. We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 A Wrap Labor Top
The soft and drapey top is made of a bathing suit material and designed to be used in place of a hospital gown. Many reviewers noted the wonderful customer service from this Etsy seller, and you can tie this many ways to get the best fit for your body.
2 A Sports Bra
This bra will be your BFF whether you're pregnant, giving birth, or nursing. The XL accommodates up to 44DDD and the smallest size will fit a 32B. This is wire-free (hallelujah) and it comes with removable foam cups that you may want to ditch before getting into the tub.
3 A Bra You'll Wear Postpartum
The hook-and-eye closure at the back of this bra means that, unlike other sports bra, you don't have to rip this over your head if you're ready to take it off (in fact, your partner, midwife, or doctor can help you out of this easily). Plus, the straps unclip from the cups for easy nursing.
4 An Actual Bathing Suit
Ideal for summer mamas-to-be, this bikini will take you from beach to birthing tub. Like everything Hatch makes, this suit is super soft plus it has supportive ribbing. It's made of 80% polyamide and 20% elastane.
5 A Birthing Skirt
Made specifically with birth in mind, this soft skirt is slit totally up the sides so it can easily accommodate a birthing ball if you choose to get out of the tub. There's a drawstring, so you can tie and loosen the garment as needed, and unlike other water skirts, this has no underwear insert so you never have to take it off.
6 A Lacey Option
One may argue that lace and birth do not belong together, but this bra fits and feels like a second skin. It's knitted and wire-free for ultimate comfort, and with six rungs on the hook-and-eye closure it will grow with your changing body. Just note that the smallest size correlates with a G cup.
7 A Breathable Tank
This supportive tank hugs your bump, and it just so happens to be a beautiful color. If you envision your birthing room filled with music, candles, and soothing colors, this lavender quick-dry option is a must.
8 A Pack Of Two Bras
The only thing better than one super comfy nursing bras? Two of them. This duo is made of a stretchy blend of fabrics that will dry quickly, but if you do decide to get out of the tub, there'll be another fresh bra waiting.
9 A Tankini Swim Dress
You probably won't care about your belly being exposed if you're opting for a water birth (especially when it's go time), but this tankini style two-piece is great for more conservative mamas. The top will cover your belly as you're sitting in the tub or pool, and although you might not get much action out of the bottoms, they're a great option to have while you're laboring and waddling around, and even for your first postpartum swims.
10 A Cute Boho Top
This looks just like a cute boho top but it’s actually made of a textural knit swim fabric so it’s comfy in water and dries quickly (just note it’s not maternity so you may want to size up). The off the shoulder look is stylish and cute but you still get the support of sleeves, and this can be reworn for a beach day or even with a high-waisted bottom.
11 A Classic Black Bikini
A string bikini may not scream "birth", but this comfy black number will take you from the pool to labor. The bottom can be untied if you need it off quickly, and the halter style lends some customizable support on top. Plus it'll look really cute in pictures.
12 A Retro Tee
You may want a little extra comfort from your favorite soft worn-in tee. This Woodstock tee gives major retro vibes. or you could opt for your favorite band tee if you need a little strength from say, Fleetwood Mac or Queen. Just remember this is cotton so it won't dry super quickly (but it will look amazing in photos).
13 A Zip Front Bra
If you decide you need your bra off, and
now, there's nothing easier than unzipping a sports bra from the front. You won't even need anyone else's help. This nylon, spandex, and mesh bra has everything you'll need to be comfy in any position. 14 A Strappy Bralette
Made from a blend of organic cotton and spandex, this strappy bralette has a soft stretch to it. Made without wires and with a thick band around the chest, this style manages to be supportive and also chic. This is not technically a maternity style, so be sure to size-up as needed.
15 A Maternity Rash Guard
If you want to be a bit more covered and warm during your water birth, a rash guard is a great option (and you can save the bottom for a postpartum beach trip). This style has a drawstring at the bottom so it doesn't roll up over your bump, plus it zips halfway down from the top so you can do skin-to-skin the second your baby is handed to you.
16 A Luxurious Bralette
It’s not every day you can describe a simple bralette as gorgeous, but this luxe option is beautiful and comfortable. Made of a blend of modal, nylon, viscose and even a bit of cashmere, it’s soft and stretchy with thick straps and high back for support. You’ll want all three colors.
17 A Seriously Comfy Sports Bra
If Venus Williams can play tennis in it, you can give birth in it. This four-way stretch bra from the tennis star's line of activewear is quick to dry and will move with you in the tub just as it does on the court. It's seamless, super comfy, and recommended for cup sizes A-C.
18 A Bra For Smaller Boobs
If you have a smaller chest even throughout your pregnancy you’ll appreciate this bra made with smaller breasts in mind. It’s wire-free with a supportive stretch to it and comes in tons of colors (you don’t have to opt for basic black though it’s an option).
19 A Tee With A Message
From Nalgona Positivity Pride (NPP) a body-positive organization which creates visibility and resources for communities of color, comes this comfy shirt with a powerful message. When your daughter looks back on photos, she’ll know you advocated for her even before you saw her face.
This article was originally published on
Aug. 28, 2020