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The Best Labor and Delivery Gowns, According to New Moms

For a delivery experience that doesn’t sacrifice on style, check out these hospital gown picks recommended by The Bump community.
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profile picture of Christin Perry
Updated April 19, 2024
Newborn baby resting on mother's chest after labor and delivery
Image: Sopotnicki | Shutterstock
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We tend to dress up for special occasions and holidays since these big days deserve a celebratory wardrobe choice. But what about when you give birth? It’s one of the most notable days of your life, and if you’re delivering at a hospital, you might think you’ll have to wear a run-of-the-mill, hospital-provided labor and delivery gown. But think again: “Rules surrounding clothes women wear while birthing are finally loosening up, which is great,” says Angela Mancini, a certified birth doula (DONA) and counselor at La Luna Counseling and Wellness.

Don’t get us wrong: When you’re in the midst of contractions, nausea and extreme overall discomfort, you’re certainly not thinking about dressing to impress. That being said, you will care about comfort—and if donning your own labor and delivery gown instead of the one the hospital provides makes you feel your best and ready to rock childbirth, then go for it! Keep reading to check out some of our favorite picks—plus, some advice to streamline your search.

How We Chose the Best Labor and Delivery Gowns

Labor and delivery is a crucial phase of your pregnancy journey, and it’s important to feel as comfortable as possible during this milestone. If you’d rather bring your labor and delivery gown to the hospital, you’ll want to ensure it’s a good fit for your personal needs. To help you find your perfect match, we did the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling. Here are the steps we took to create this article:

  • We interviewed a labor and delivery nurse and a doula for their advice on important elements to consider when shopping for and using a hospital gown for labor.
  • We surveyed almost 350 members of The Bump community about the labor gowns they used. We then asked these moms to rate brands and specific styles based on their firsthand experience.
  • We researched what was being said about labor and delivery gowns in The Bump community forums to learn what parents liked (and didn’t like) about certain brands and styles.
  • To understand how these birth gowns have worked for moms, we conducted exhaustive market research, scouring external forums and message boards and reading user reviews to find out what mothers across the country looked for in labor gowns. We considered several aspects when sourcing labor and delivery gowns to include in our roundup, like material, size range, washability and value.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Best Labor and Delivery Gowns

Overall best labor and delivery gown

 Frida Mom Labor and Delivery Gown, Maternity & Postpartum Nursing Gown
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Plenty of practical snaps
  • Affordable price point
  • Pockets
Things To Consider
  • One size fits all

First on our list of the best labor and delivery gowns is this top-rated option from the beloved brand Frida Mom. This soft, stretchy jersey gown is exactly what we’d imagine a mom pulling out of their hospital bag to manifest a smooth labor and delivery experience. At first glance, it may look basic, but it’s complete with an array of thoughtful details you’re bound to love from triage to recovery.

When wearing this birthing gown, you can enjoy full-coverage comfort, thanks to the full-length rear snaps. They can easily be undone if you need an epidural or fetal monitor. The style was designed with straightforward nursing access in mind and has fold-down front panels that can be snapped to the waist in seconds. This is ideal for skin-to-skin bonding post-birth. Kirstin, mom of a 5-month-old and one of our survey respondents told us: “It was incredibly comfortable, and the snap-open front made it easy for my daughter to nurse post-birth.” Another highlight: This maternity hospital gown has pockets for added convenience.

Moreover, it’s budget-friendly, which Kirstin appreciated. “It wasn’t too expensive, so I didn’t mind throwing it away when all was said and done,” she told us. So, if you’re looking for a soft, stretchy style to make your experience more seamless, this is the best labor and delivery gown for you. However, it’s probably not a great choice if you’re looking for something super durable that you can continue to wear at home.

Material: 100% viscose | Size range: OS | Care instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Our community says:

"I liked the comfort and accessibility." – Caroline, mom of a 6-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

"I liked the material how soft and comfortable it was. And I also liked the color and price." – Ephrita, mom of a 1-month-old and a 2-year-old and The Bump survey respondent

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Best labor and delivery gown for nursing

Ruffle Strap Labor & Delivery Gown
Image: Kindred Bravely
What We Love
  • Easy nursing access
  • Vibrant color options
  • Doubles as a nursing nightgown
  • Extra-large pockets
Things To Consider
  • Moms say it runs large; consider sizing down
  • Back Velcro may be itchy

We love a soft, feminine labor and delivery gown, especially when it also delivers plenty of practical features—just like this style from Kindred Bravely. The sweet ruffled straps add a touch of style to this option, and they’re complete with snaps to allow for easy nursing access. In particular, moms loved how simple it was to breastfeed in this maternity gown for the hospital. Gia*, mom of a newborn and one of our survey respondents, told us that this style was “extremely comfortable and easy to use for nursing. Even though I didn’t wear it for labor (I had a C-section) it was amazing for recovering in the hospital."

If that’s not all, this labor gown has helpful openings that extend the full length of the front and the back. There’s also Velcro in the back to make the anesthesiologist’s job a whole lot easier, and the front opens up beautifully to allow for fetal monitoring, ultrasounds, C-section incision inspections and skin-to-skin contact. Enjoy it while you’re rooming in with your little one and fill the extra-large pockets with anything to make your post-delivery situation more comfortable. The bottom line? This delivery gown feels like a soft, stretchy T-shirt; it could even be worn as a nursing nightgown during the fourth trimester!

Material: 95% viscose/5% spandex | Size range: XS/S to XL/XXL | Care instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Our community says:

"I liked that I was able to nurse in it. I also liked that I didn't feel as exposed wearing it." – Mckenziey, mom of a 2-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

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Best long labor and delivery gown

Feel Good Delivery Robe
Image: Storq
Buying Options
Storq|$128
What We Love
  • Great for pregnancy and postpartum
  • Long, flowy silhouette
  • C-section friendly
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • No discreet snap features

Looking for something a bit longer? For additional coverage and coziness, opt for Storq’s minimalist, mid-calf delivery robe. The super soft jersey-spandex blend fabric is undeniably high quality and cool to the touch. Plus, it’s breathable and drapes beautifully, which is key for when you’re working hard through contractions.

This kimono-style robe has been designed with plenty of thoughtful details, including the empire waist which promises bump comfort, and the internal tie so it won’t unexpectedly fly open. While this delivery gown is one of the pricier styles on the market, we can see why—it’s definitely built to last well beyond the fourth trimester. The best part? Storq offers inclusive sizing options and timeless neutral colors.

Material: 94% modal/6% spandex | Size range: XS/S to 3XL/4XL | Care instructions: Machine wash cold, dry flat

Our community says:

"The gown felt good wasn’t heavy/too hot. It was cute." – Elena, mom of a 2-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

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Best labor and delivery gown for skin-to-skin contact

Ekouaer Maternity Dress Nursing Nightgown
Image: Ekouaer
What We Love
  • Pull-down front
  • Loose fit for easy epidural placement
  • Versatile style
Things To Consider
  • No snaps or buttons

You probably know this already, but skin-to-skin contact (sometimes called Kangaroo care) offers an array of benefits for parents and babies. One of the best times to bond with your little one is in the time post-birth, known by some as the golden hour, as well as in those first few early days. So, if you’re looking for a labor delivery gown that will make skin-to-skin contact as seamless as can be—whether it’s late in the afternoon or early morning—consider this option from Ekoauaer.

This gown for delivery is the perfect combination of style and comfort when it’s time to head to the hospital. The V-neck design allows for quick, simple breastfeeding access, while a discreet front panel allows medical staff to set up fetal monitoring. Moreover, the loose, flowy fit will make it easier for your doctor to place an epidural. We especially love that this option resembles a dress more than a delivery gown, so you can wear it during pregnancy and beyond.

Material: 95% rayon/5% spandex | Size range: S to XXL | Care instructions: N/A

Our community says:

"So cozy and comfortable. I was happy to wear it." – Emily, mom of a 3-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

"I'm a fan of the comfort, price and the way it looks." – Jess, mom of a 1-month-old and a one-year-old and The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best plus-size labor and delivery gown

Latched Mama Labor Dress 2.0
Image: Latched Mama
Buying Options
Latched Mama|$64
What We Love
  • Offers plenty of coverage
  • Inclusive sizing options
  • Doubles as a postpartum nightgown
Things To Consider
  • Some colors sell out quickly
  • High price point

If dressing confidently and comfortably is part of your birth plan, then you definitely won’t want to miss this plus-size labor and delivery gown from Latched Mama. Snaps featured down the entire back provide secure closure—not to mention modesty—and an easy opening for an epidural. Meanwhile, shoulder snaps allow for immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth and easy breastfeeding access. And no need to worry about coming “undone” as you nurse; a small strap located underneath the thicker straps gives you access without losing the back portion of your dress. Unlike regular hospital gowns that have limited frontal access, this dress has petal flaps that open up to accommodate fetal monitoring and postpartum fundal massages (which help to eliminate the risk of hemorrhages on a still-contracting mother).

Many moms in The Bump forums are fans of Latched Mama due to their inclusive sizing options and functional, flattering styles—and this gown is no exception. KGETS86, a member of The Bump forums, says: “I like Latched Mama, because some of their items can be used post-nursing journey, and are flattering to a lot of body types.” blueberrylemonade12, another forum member, adds: “I really loved Latched Mama tops and dresses during my last pregnancy and while nursing. I can’t wait to break them out again!”

Material: Viscose/spandex | Size range: XXS to 5X | Care instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Our community says:

"I loved the functionality of the dress. I used it for my first labor experience and was glad to have a variety of features to figure out what was most helpful for me." – Heather, mom of a 2-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best basic labor and delivery gown

Maternity Hospital Bag Labor Gown in Organic Cotton
Image: Seraphine
Buying Options
Seraphine|$59
What We Love
  • Simple, versatile style
  • Front and back snaps
  • Pockets
  • 100% organic cotton
Things To Consider
  • Only one color option

On the hunt for a simple birthing gown? Look no further than this option from Seraphine, which is essentially an LBD for labor and delivery. The minimalist design is made from 100 percent organic cotton, so you can count on it to be smooth and soft against your skin and baby’s, once they arrive. Plus, the dark heathered gray color is a practical choice. Don’t let this basic labor and delivery gown fool you though—it’s complete with clever hidden features for comfort and convenience.

Highlights include the front and back snaps that can be undone in seconds to allow fetal monitoring and epidural placement. The simple, snap-down front offers straightforward breastfeeding access and is great for skin-to-skin contact from the very beginning. In particular, moms who responded to our survey were big fans of how easy this style was to use. If that’s not all, it also has pockets, because any worthwhile, versatile piece of clothing has them—labor and delivery gowns included.

Material: 100% cotton | Size range: XS to XL | Care instructions: Machine wash, line dry

Our community says:

"I liked the heathered grey style, pockets and easy-access snaps." – Bianca, mom of a 1-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

"I appreciated the ease of use and comfort. I liked that I could cover myself up when family visited." – Jayden*, parent of a 1-month-old and The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Most stylish labor and delivery gown

Lila Labor and Postpartum Gown in Deep Teal
Image: Lila
Buying Options
Lila|$70Etsy|$65
What We Love
  • Stylish dress-like silhouette
  • Inclusive size range
  • Plenty of practical openings
  • Vibrant color options
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • Custom designs can take 8+ weeks to arrive

Picking out a comfy, functional maternity dressing gown for the hospital doesn’t mean you have to compromise your personal style. Case in point: The Lila Labor & Postpartum Gown, which you may already be familiar with since it went viral on TikTok. The dress-like silhouette comes in an array of earth- and jewel-toned colors and is made from a high-quality, buttery-soft material to help you feel your best. There are also customization options available to personalize the gown even more to your liking.

This labor gown was designed by Lila’s founder, Caitlyn Schollmeier, who was inspired to create her own after years of witnessing the pitfalls of hospital gowns as a labor and delivery nurse and birth doula. Needless to say, this birthing gown truly checks all the boxes. You’ll appreciate its flowy 3/4-length sleeves, the openings at the belly for fetal monitoring and the open chest for post-delivery skin-to-skin contact. What’s more, the hospital gown for labor has a low back to easily accommodate an epidural and two internal ties to keep it closed without sacrificing accessibility. Best of all, it’s also intended for postpartum wear so that you can get even more use out of it during the fourth trimester.

Material: 92% rayon/8% spandex | Size range: 0-4 to 24-30 | Care instructions: Machine wash cold, line dry

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*Note: Some names have been changed due to privacy requests.

What is a Labor and Delivery Gown?

A labor delivery gown is a garment that you can put on during triage (when the process of hospital admission begins) or in your delivery suite; this decision is largely down to your individual preferences and circumstances. Our survey showed that 56 percent of moms changed into labor gowns in their delivery suites, while 15 percent did so during triage and 29 percent did so in the hospital ward. Regardless of where and when you put on your birthing gown, it can be worn throughout all stages of labor and delivery. You might also choose to keep it on once baby is born and you’re moved to the postpartum unit for the remainder of your hospital stay.

If you don’t bring your pregnancy hospital gown, here’s what you can expect. They’re open in the back, to provide access for an epidural (or spinal block in the event of a C-section) and are short-sleeved to make IV-port placement easy and accessible. Paulina Sun, a labor and delivery nurse at Morristown Medical Center, says the hospital gown for labor is the same for all admitted patients, including expectant mothers in the maternity ward. That being said, “moms in mother-baby/postpartum [units] are offered nursing-friendly hospital gowns to accommodate breastfeeding if that’s a desired part of their plan,” Sun explains.

Can You Wear Your Own Delivery Gown During Childbirth?

In short, yes. Not only can you wear your own gown, but Mancini says she’s seen labor and delivery teams get excited when her clients have whipped theirs out. “I have had many staff members compliment my clients over the years, and I can say the same even about my own births, when I wore one.” The hospital will certainly provide you with a labor and delivery gown, so there’s no need to bring your own. But some parents-to-be aren’t fans of the non-breathable, worn-out fabrics and unfavorable fits (they’re generally one-size-fits-all, and given that every mother has a unique body size and shape, the fit can vary dramatically).

Wearing your own outfit—one you’ve picked out, cleaned and packed yourself—can make you feel more at home. And, as Mancini points out, wearing something other than what the hospital provides all its patients can shift your mindset around childbirth. “Some OBs treat pregnancy like an illness or condition when really it’s a natural, beautiful event, and having your own gown makes you feel a little more in control of your situation,” she says. If wearing your own labor and delivery gown can help you feel more empowered and relaxed, lean into that!

At the end of the day, everyone helping you bring your little one into the world wants you to feel comfortable, safe and set up for success in the delivery room. So as long as your labor and delivery gown allows your medical and support team to monitor your contractions and baby’s fetal heart rate and carry out any necessary admission processes (IV hookups) and checks (general vitals, cervical checks, blood draws, etc.) without obstructions, you should be in good shape.

The only exception, Sun warns, is if you have a C-section—whether it’s scheduled or emergency. “Moms who have cesareans need to wear gowns provided by the hospital,” she says. “This is to avoid the clean, sterile operating room from becoming exposed to ‘unclean’ objects from the outside.”

What to Look for in a Labor and Delivery Gown

The most important aspect of a labor and delivery gown is functionality. Your medical providers and support teams should be able to tend to you for regular monitoring and medical interventions (should they be needed). Gowns that present easy access to your stomach, back, arms and vagina—via breezy bottoms or snapped or Velcro openings—make the frequent checks a lot easier. Other features to look for include:

  • Comfortable fabrics. Our survey shows that comfort was the number one factor moms-to-be looked for in a birthing gown; 82 percent of respondents told us so. While hospital gowns usually aren’t “buttery soft” because they need to be durable enough to last through countless washes—the same isn’t true of labor and delivery gowns you can purchase. As per our survey, 63 percent of moms said they opted for softness and 48 percent wanted breathable fabric. If you’re also looking for these qualities, cotton or jersey are good fabric choices. This way, you know that they’ll feel nice on your body, whether you’re contracting in bed, rocking from side to side on a birthing ball or straddling a peanut ball.
  • Easy openings. Classic hospital gowns have a full coverage front and open in the back for unimpeded epidural placement. There are also snaps that line the shoulders and sleeves that can be opened for IV access or in the event your doctor wants to check your breathing and heartbeat with their stethoscope. If you’re shopping for your own labor and delivery gown, you can find options that also open in the front for fetal monitoring, skin-to-skin contact and your first few nursing sessions—if that’s your preferred feeding journey. According to our survey, 41 percent of moms opted for birthing gowns that ensured coverage, while 44 percent considered styles that open at the chest and 26 percent wanted a design that opened at the belly.
  • Fashion-forward silhouettes, colorways or prints. There are so many hospital gown alternatives on the market today, some from well-known maternity brands and some as bespoke solutions from former labor and delivery nurses who know what moms need and want from a labor delivery gown. You can find selections that match the hospital gown’s silhouette but feature a more stylish color palette or good-vibes-only-type patterns or prints. Or you can try a wrap or kimono-style gown that more closely resembles a dress. When you’re finally on the other side of things and have your new baby in your arms, you won’t regret having an ensemble that stands out in your first photos as a family.
  • Price. This is the kind of product where it’s probably wise to err on the side of less expensive options. In fact, 41 percent of survey respondents said price is among their top considerations when buying a birthing gown. Mancini advises her clients, “You don’t want to spend too much money on something that will inevitably be covered in blood and fluids!”

About the writer:

Christin Perry is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in pregnancy, parenting and health and wellness topics. As a mother of four (ages 5, 10, 12 and 14), she’s gone through the paces and has used what seems like every product under the sun—and she’s used that experience to write dozens of product roundups for The Bump. Christin considers herself lucky to have worked for a long list of other large clients, including Forbes Advisor, Verywell Family, Parents, Parade, The Knot, Apartment Therapy and Dwell, to name a few.

Sources

Paulina Sun is a labor and delivery nurse and content creator from New Jersey who serves her audience with educational and entertaining content on social media. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok via @thenursepaulina.

Angela Mancini, LPC, ACS and CD (DONA), is a New Jersey mom of three and founder of La Luna Counseling and Wellness. She is trained in prenatal yoga, placenta encapsulation and is also a certified childbirth educator.

The Bump March 2024 Survey. Editors conducted a survey of almost 350 parents from The Bump community, and asked whether they used a labor and delivery gown and what they liked and disliked about it.

Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.

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