Staying modest is extremely important to a Muslim woman. But how can you maintain modesty during labor and delivery when you have limited control over yourself (at times) and who walks in and out of your hospital room?
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More than the fear of giving birth, I feared the exposure, discomfort, and unknowns that came with my first birthing process.
In North America, there is typically no guarantee that your OBGYN will be female or that there will be a team of females to guide you through your birthing process. There’s no guarantee of what your situation will be, especially when you’re in labor!
Islamically, you’re not necessarily obligated to find a female doctor or midwife if it’s not available. Still, as a woman, there is a sense of comfort when the person on the other end of one of your most vulnerable moments is female.
Before I found a female midwives’ team, I only knew of male OBGYNs in my area. The thought terrified me for so many reasons. I fervently researched ways I could deliver with modesty. I dug hard, and I found a way that made me feel comfortable about my modesty during this delicate time. My goal was to be more confident and place more focus on the process of giving birth instead of my surroundings.
This post is all about staying modest during the delicate moments of labor and delivery.
Labor and Delivery with Modesty in Mind
3-in-1 Labor and Delivery & Nursing Gown
This gown wasn’t an easy find. I mean, as a new future mom, what do you even search for to find this? If you didn’t know about it, would you even think it existed? I certainly didn’t.
This birthing gown has been my modesty lifesaver during labor and delivery. While this gown may not cover every area of my body in the ways I’d want, it’s the best option available so far.
Here are the fantastic benefits of this particular gown:
- Snap buttons that open in the front, back, and shoulders. It’s advertised as having 360-degree coverage—and it does!
- Accepted by hospitals in North America
- Doctors, nurses, and midwives have full medical access for fetal monitors, epidural and IV administration, ultrasound access, and c-section incision inspection.
How to Use the Maternity Gown:
During your labor process, there may be times when you need to walk up and down the hospital hall. You may have to try different birthing positions, or not move at all while nurses monitor you. Anything and everything is possible.
If a nurse needs to check the baby’s heartbeat, they will unsnap your gown in the required area and snap you back up when they’re done. You don’t need to worry about staying covered or managing the oversized hospital gown when you’re already so uncomfortable.
If you need to get an epidural, the anesthesiologist won’t need to see your entire bareback. Instead, he or she will only unsnap the required area.
The shoulder snaps design supports nursing and skin-to-skin immediately after delivery. Don’t forget to take a look at my post on the benefits of skin-to-skin as you near motherhood.
This gown allows a smooth transfer of the baby to the mother. Almost instantly after delivery, you can hold your baby against your skin (unless complications occur) without having to expose yourself fully.
Your modesty will be respected every step of the way if you set that boundary from the get-go.
I recommend wearing this dress under your hospital gown to keep your shoulders covered since this gown is sleeveless.
I have used the same gown for each of my births, and there is not a single stain or even major signs of wear and tear. The fabric is comfortable, the snaps are sturdy, and it serves its purpose to maintain modesty.
Alternative Birthing Gowns
3-in-1 Nursing Dress Maternity Labor/Delivery Breastfeeding Birthing Gown
This company carries a variety of birthing gowns, and each of them has distinct benefits. This particular gown does not have buttons going down the dress’s backside, but it does have similar functions as the dress listed above.
This dress is best if you know you will have a scheduled c-section. The backside buttons won’t be necessary in that case. This is excellent for right after giving birth when you are ready to change into some new clothes.
You can easily nurse your newborn, and the nurses and doctors will have easy access to check your vitals, etc., in the front. Ekouer offers different dress options in short sleeves and long sleeves, which is great for women who are looking to maintain modesty during labor and delivery.
3-in-1 Labor, Delivery and Nursing Hospital Gown
This gown has similar benefits to the first gown I mentioned in its look and length. However, it does not have buttons down the middle of the dress; instead, it has a discrete overlapping panel that provides easy access to the stomach area.
The gown comes in several colors and design options, which can be fun, but you may find that the opening in the front will expose more than necessary at any given time if accessed. There is less control to compartmentalize frontal access.
The Bottom Line
In this post, we talked about three great maternity gown options for modest labor and delivery, but the 3 in 1 Labor, Delivery, and Nursing gown is by far my favorite. Its 360-degree access is a huge advantage over the other gowns listed. Most of the other dresses don’t provide that option or include snap buttons in desired areas. Nonetheless, they can serve different purposes, such as nursing and baby monitoring, or even work well for a c-section!
A small disclaimer here: if you’re having a planned or emergency c-section, always ask your doctor if these gowns would be permissible in the operating room. Operating rooms may have different requirements and these can vary between hospitals.
As long as your hospital allows it, your gown shouldn’t interfere with your birthing process. Of course, it’s always best to talk to your medical professional just in case!
If there’s one thing we know about birth, it’s that anything can happen. You may go into labor unexpectedly or be rushed for an emergency c-section. But your OBGYN or midwife usually asks you to create a birthing plan during your third trimester. In this birthing plan, you can express your desire to wear one of these gowns. You can also ask for care to be taken to maintain modesty if you cannot communicate that during your birthing process. If you have a doula present during your birthing process, you can also ask that she be mindful of your birthing plan and modesty needs.
As you or a loved one prepares for labor and delivery, I pray you will find some comfort from these maternity dress options to allow for a more modest delivery of your beautiful newborn.
Have you or are you planning to wear a birthing gown during your labor and delivery? What’s your favorite option?