Bras & Clothes For Water Births, That Are Maternity- & Postpartum-Friendly Too
If you're having a water birth, you probably anticipate being at least partially (if not fully) nude for most if it. But labor can be long, and the last thing you'll want is any type of clothing that can feel bulky or constricting. That’s why these bras and clothes for water birth are great. They’ll keep you covered, comfy, 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 even a drawstring skirt created specifically 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 classic soft tee, 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.
Read on for bras and clothes you can wear for a water birth and beyond.
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 Ruched Tank
Perfect for active mamas, this stretchy ruched tank will grow with your bump, plus it has a built-in bra. The moisture-wicking, quick dry material will perform like a swimsuit, and you'll get a lot of wear out of this postpartum too.
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 Tie-Back Swim Top
The thick straps will lend a little support in this buttery soft and seamless top. It's not officially maternity, but the tie-back makes it's easy to adjust to your size. It has no padding and no hardware for the most comfortable fit imaginable.
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 Wrap Style
If you like the ease and coverage of dresses, then you'll love this wrap style maternity dress that can go from pregnancy, to postpartum, to nursing. The polyester dress will dry in a flash, plus the little bit of spandex in the fabric gives a bit of comfy stretch.