What to Wear After Giving Birth: 10 Hospital Must Haves

what to wear after giving birth - hospitalKnowing what to wear after giving birth will make a HUGE difference in the way you pack for your hospital stay!

Because many moms – especially, first time moms (GUILTY) – overpack!

I got pretty carried away packing a hospital bag the first time I delivered a baby. 

We brought a carry on bag and a weekender! 

And one week before my due date, I remember thinking that I needed some sort of special postpartum clothing after delivery.

Not true! 

Most of my maternity clothes were actually perfect for the occasion. 

Keep reading for tips on: 

  • what to wear after having a baby
  • what to wear to the hospital to give birth
  • what clothing to avoid after giving birth
  • maternity clothes after delivery

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What to Wear After Giving Birth: 10 Hospital Must Haves

what to wear after giving birthWhether you give birth vaginally or through C-section, one things for sure – you’re going to want to be comfortable once your baby arrives.  

10 things you’ll want to wear after giving birth include: 

  1. comfortable disposable underwear
  2. cooling pads
  3. nursing bra or loose tank
  4. nursing pads
  5. hair ties or a headband
  6. delivery gown
  7. maternity pyjama pants or loose lounge pants 
  8. robe or cozy zip up
  9. cozy socks
  10. sandals

what to wear after birth - lounge pants

1. Comfortable Disposable Underwear

I know that some postpartum moms SWEAR by Depends, but I personally found them stiff and uncomfortable. 

You’ll want to put a pair of comfortable disposable underwear on as soon as you’re allowed to get up from your hospital bed. 

Because there will be a lot of fluids after you give birth and those cute maternity underpants may not survive the hospital stay if you wear them! 

You also definitely DO NOT want to start wearing compression items this soon – PLEASE save these for three weeks or more postpartum! 

You want to give your body time to heal and waiting for your first postpartum doctor’s appointment is probably a better idea for these items, should you choose to invest in them. 

Disposable underwear provides a more solid layer between you and your clothing so you don’t wreck it in case of any leakage. 

what to wear - disposable underwear

This FridaMom disposable underwear is number one on my list of what to wear postpartum.

They’re extremely comfortable and 10x higher quality than hospital disposable underwear – they also won’t rip as easily so long as you wear them with a maxi pad. 

I tried them with a pad with wings but that caused the underwear to rip. 

They’re one size but more form fitted and feel natural against your skin. 

I’ve since gifted this underwear in postpartum care kit baskets as gifts for pregnant friends! 

Two boxes was enough to last my entire 2 week postpartum recovery (once the bleeding stopped). 

what to wear after giving birth - disposable underwear

2. Cooling Pads

The hospital may or may not provide you with padsicles – I was NOT offered ONE when I delivered my baby this past February!

I did however pack three of these FridaMom cooling pads with me and WOW was I a happy camper afterward.

what wear after giving birth - cooling pads

Whether you use one of these or a hospital pad, line your disposable underwear with one of these for a soothing cool sensation.

The relief these things gave me was incredible and the best part is that you can keep them in your diaper bag if you’re on the go, in your bathroom or on your nightstand so you don’t have to go for padsicle runs to the kitchen.

Try at least one box of these things – they are 150% worth it!

Related: The Only 10 Postpartum Care Kit Essentials You REALLY Need

what to wear after birth nursing tank

3. Nursing Bra or Loose Tank

You’ll want a bra that’s easy for baby to access if you plan on breastfeeding. 

Many nursing bras are also comfortable enough to sleep in as they’re made of soft materials and are wire-free. 

what to wear after giving birth - nursing bras

If you do plan on breastfeeding, nursing bras are a great investment as you’ll be wearing them for up to 2 years. 

I actually wore mine during pregnancy as well and they significantly reduced my back pain. 

Even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, nursing bras are comfortable during and after pregnancy. 

Loose tanks are also an option – I wore these a lot after my first baby was born. 

what to wear after birth - loose nursing tanks

4. Nursing Pads

Even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, your breasts will start to produce milk and leak in the first couple of days after you give birth. 

And waking up to a wet bra or tank top is very unpleasant – it can also stain lighter colored tops.  

Invest in reusable nursing pads or choose disposable ones for more versatility. 

what wear after giving birth - nursing pads

I use organic cotton nursing pads when I wear nursing bras (since they have a snug fit) and attach stick-on disposable nursing pads when I wear a tank top. 

The stickiness prevents them from shifting if you are wearing a looser less form-fitting top. 

what to wear after birth - nursing bra

5. Hair Ties or a Headband

There’s a reason messy bun and mom bun are used interchangeably, I think! 

Hair ties are a motherhood must have from the day your babies are born, haha.

what to wear after giving birth - hair ties

I think I’ve worn my hair down maybe three times since I had my second baby 4 months ago, haha. 

Hair in your face can drive you crazy, especially during feedings. 

If you don’t like using hair ties, a headband is another good alternative but I personally find that they give me a headache if I wear them too long. 

These ones are a bit looser and more comfortable than regular headbands. 

I prefer to do a bun and pull it up from the center a bit to give it a more loose feeling. 

what to wear after birth - sleep nursing bra

6. Delivery Gown

We arrived at the hospital with 15 minutes to spare so I never actually got to wear my delivery robe during delivery! 

I did put it on after I gave birth though and I am SO happy I picked this up. 

This delivery robe is one size and a dark color, so you won’t see any stains should you experience leakage. 

what to wear after giving birth - gown

It also has convenient buttons to open it up on the left and right sides for breastfeeding! 

I really liked wearing this gown postpartum because it was easy for hospital staff to check in on me and for me to use the bathroom. 

I wore it the whole time I was in the hospital and only switched to my lounge pants once we were ready to leave. 

what to wear after giving birth - delivery gown

Above is a photo of me with my first baby in a hospital delivery gown 🙂 

These are open in the back and don’t provide as much coverage as the gown I purchased for my second delivery. 

If I knew more about what to wear after giving birth then, I definitely would have invested in my own delivery gown the first time around. 

what to wear after giving birth - nursing gown

7. Maternity Pyjama Pants or Loose Lounge Pants 

I am not exaggerating when I say that I’ve basically lived in GAP’s maternity modal sleep pants since I was 7 months pregnant. 

Even 4 months postpartum, they are SO light and comfortable. 

I switched into these pants after I was done wearing my delivery robe and even wore them home from the hospital – in snow!

what wear after giving birth - lounge pants

They have a small string to tie them so they’re adjustable as your body changes. 

And after giving birth – more than ever – you’ll want a pant that feels almost non-existent. 

With my first baby, I wore loose pyjama pants during our full two night stay. 

what to wear after giving birth - sleeping baby

8. Robe or Cozy Zip Up

Hospitals can get cold so packing a warm robe or cozy zip up fleece is a good idea. 

I packed a big fluffy robe both times, slept in them, and even wore one home the first time I gave birth! 

what to wear after giving birth - cozy robe

If you run hot or have enough blankets to keep yourself warm, you could also spare your robe to keep your partner comfortable. 

Here’s me and my husband leaving the hospital after our first baby 🙂

what to wear after birth - robe

9. Cozy Socks

Pack at least two pairs of comfortable socks – something that’s not too tight around your ankles! 

I packed these grippy socks in case I would be walking during labor but since we arrived within 15 minutes of baby #2 entering this world, I only wore them after.  

what to wear after giving birth - grip socks

No show socks are another comfy option especially if you’ll be in and out of a pair of sandals. 

what to wear after birth - baby

10. Sandals

You will be making A LOT of trips to the bathroom, so make your life easier by packing a pair of slip on sandals.

I loved my Adidas Adilette sandals.

what to wear after having baby - sandals

Especially if you’ve delivered by c-section or had painful tearing (lucky me), bending over and maneuvering may feel extra painful.

Ditch the slippers or thong sandals for simple slides.

When you wear slip on sandals, you won’t have to worry about getting your shoes dirty as they can be easily cleaned.

Sandals are also great because you can leave your socks on between bathroom trips and health care workers popping in to check you out. 

what to wear after giving birth - nursing tank tops

Other Delivery Considerations

Here are a couple more answers to a few common questions new moms have about clothing during and after delivery. 

How long do you stay in the hospital after birth? 

Here in British Columbia, Canada, you may be ready to go home between 24 to 36 hours after vaginal birth and 48 to 72 hours after caesarean section. 

There are a lot of factors that go into the length of your hospital stay so its best to talk to your health care provider. 

Packing for a two day stay should have you covered. 

What should I wear to the hospital to give birth? 

Choose comfortable pieces in dark colors. 

Be sure that they’re pieces you won’t be upset over losing should they get stained. 

Here’s what I wore to get induced. 

what to wear to hospital to give birth

I wore a pair of Lululemon Align leggings (I’m 5″6 and am wearing a 23″ crop in this photo), a flowy maternity tank, and a light sweater with comfy socks. 

On the way back, things were chaotic as my labor progressed much more quickly than anyone had anticipated. 

I wore the same tank with a pair of loose lounge pants. 

What should I avoid after giving birth? 

Stay away from tight clothing and instead, choose loose items that will allow your body to recover.

Consider saving your compression wear for after your postpartum checkup. 

I also highly recommend avoiding light colored clothing until after you’ve stopped bleeding AND once your breasts begin to leak less milk.

You can permanently stain your favorite clothes if you’re not careful. 

what to wear after giving birth - comfy baby naps

How are maternity clothes after delivery? 

Super duper comfortable! 

You won’t lose all of your mummy tummy immediately after giving birth – it’ll actually take a week or more for it to start returning to more of its usual shape. 

Maternity clothing is GREAT for this in between period. 

It also offers support in the right places without being too constraining. 

Wearing your maternity pants for another month or so after you give birth with likely be very comfortable. 

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Now that you know what to wear after giving birth, be sure to pack these 10 important items in your hospital bag: 

  1. comfortable disposable underwear
  2. cooling pads
  3. nursing bra or loose tank
  4. nursing pads
  5. hair ties or a headband
  6. delivery gown
  7. maternity pyjama pants or loose lounge pants 
  8. robe or cozy zip up
  9. cozy socks
  10. sandals

I hope that this list of essentials makes getting ready to deliver your baby a little easier, mama. 

Wishing you a safe and easy delivery and congratulations on your new little bundle of joy! 

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vancouver mom blogger nikki slivarich

Nikki Slivarich


Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!

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