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Nursing Nightwear: What You Need to Know

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

I didn’t think of taking nursing nightwear to the hospital for the birth of my first child. It wouldn’t have mattered because I ended up having an emergency c-section.

The umbilical cord had gotten wrapped around my little boy’s neck — twice. (Everything turned out fine, thank you.) But it was a long, tiring, 24 hours from the beginning of labor to final delivery. And I spent most of those first few days decked out in an ugly, thin, open backed hospital nightgown. There was no room for modesty when I tried to breastfeed. I just had to strip everything off to my waist for some access to my boobs. I was the top-free new mother wonder in Room 603.

The birth of my second child was a much different experience. I choose to have a scheduled c-section. I wasn’t taking any chances with labor and delivery the second time around. The good news is that I could plan my hospital and post-delivery wardrobe. I packed a pretty nightgown and robe to wear. And it made all the difference to my recovery. I felt more human, and less an institutionalized patient, after surgery. Plus it was easier to handle all the disrobing aspects of nursing my second child, a baby girl. It didn’t make breastfeeding any easier, just less complicated.

My third and final pregnancy ended with a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean, sorry if TMI). I never found it “easy” to have a baby. It didn’t matter if I pushed for hours or for a shorter time. Recovering from a planned or emergency c-section seemed equally difficult. I’m not even sure an episiotomy was any less painful than a full-blown abdominal incision. For me, childbirth was always the same: exhausting.

Turns out my hospital stays were the relaxing part. Once home I’d spend the next several weeks, if not months, in a zombie state of sleep deprivation. I remember wondering how this little, fragile being could consume so much of my time that I couldn’t squeeze in a 5 minute shower? I’m not ashamed to admit it. I spent a lot of time in my nightgown and robe. Besides, the baby, and then older siblings, didn’t seem to care. Why would I?

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Cake Lingerie Pajamas

Nursing nightwear now provides more style, practicality, and fashion than it did in my newborn baby days. No matter what your labor and delivery experience, you can find something to suit your specific needs. You can pick from frilly nightgowns and adorable PJ sets with features like easy access nursing clips. Long tops help cover up changing postpartum bodies. Fabrics come in all weights, patterns, and colors. Some include spandex, lace, along with soft flowing modal, cotton, or luxurious satin. Brands like Cake Lingerie and Belabumbum make it their business to produce high quality nursing bras. They know how to keep new moms beautifully covered.

maternity sleepwearCake Lingerie Robe

It may seem like a small thing, nursing nightwear, when looking at the whole “I’m bringing a new life into the world” scheme of things. But it is important to take care of your own health and well being. A happy, comfy, mom is a good thing. Besides, you won’t have to crop yourself out of any new baby photos. Even in your robe, you’ll look fabulous!

Photo credits: Belabumbum and Cake Lingerie at Figure 8 Maternity

What do you think? How important is nursing nightwear for new moms? What did you wear, at home or in the hospital? What are your favorite brands?

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Breast expert, author, and founder of TheBreastLife.com.