What to wear?  This is a very common question I get from my clients – I am having my birth photographed and what should I wear?! Well, here is a what to wear birth edition! I do always suggest that my clients wear something – but of course, it is 100% up to them. Some of my clients have chosen to just adorn their birthday suit and by all means – if that is your presence do not let me stop you ????  If your intention is to share your images with family and friends might I suggest you consider what you would like to wear.

A few key points:

1 – White and nude bras tend to be see-through if they get wet. I had a client wear this beautiful lace bra but the second she got in the water the modesty was gone. And even bras with ‘padding’ can be see-through. If anything – a test run might be a good idea.

2 – Have a couple of backups. A few months ago I had a home birth mom with this beautiful lace bralette – she was so excited to wear it for her birth. She was in the tub and got out for a short time. She took the bra off because it was wet and cold. 30 minutes later before she got back into the tub she considered putting the bra back on but ultimately decided it was too wet to try and get back on. She was disappointed without a second option but then chose to go topless.

3 – Hospitals will provide a gown for you. I do have plenty of clients who opt for the hospital gown and there is nothing wrong with that! But many of my clients have forgone the gown. They brought their own or chose to wear something different completely (myself included). It is rare for them to enforce the provided gown but definitely a question for your provider if you are curious!

So what are some of your options? I am quite lucky to say that I have seen and photographed so many options. I’ve seen what worked and what was thrown to the curb and I wanted to put together an easy guide for you!


{A} Pretty Pushers Butterfly Sleeve Cotton Jersey Labor Gown


  • This is the gown my sister used for her hospital birth. I found it to be very flattering! The sleeves tie at the top to allow for easy skin to skin and breastfeeding. The back zips open completely – also a great hospital friendly feature! You can zip it closed for modestly – but if you are getting an epidural you can have your whole back available for the anesthesiologist.

{B} Pink Blush Floral Robe


  • There are so many options for robes – I myself have fallen in love with the florals. This is a great, lightweight item to wear during labor and even postpartum. They really add a beautiful dynamic to the images!

{C} Nursing Nightgown


  • I have had a few moms use a nursing nightgown – but make sure you are not super attached to it. There is a good chance it could get ruined during birth (black is a great color if you are concerned about stains). But if you are only interested in a one time use then this might be a good option. You can also keep this ready for postpartum too – makes a great Fresh48 outfit!

{G} Nursing Tank Top or Bra


  • I chose to wear my black nursing tank for my birth; paired with my skirt – I felt very comfortable. I even wore my tank into the operating room (we had a cesarean with our 2nd son) and it was super easy for me to unsnap the top and did skin to skin with Lucien in the OR. The snap-down feature is a great way to have your top covered but to allow for a quick conversion for skin to skin.

{D} Halter Swim Top


  • This is by far the most popular option. They are cute and easy to take off when baby arrives (quick tie on and off). I had a client last year find a rainbow one – it was a beautiful reminder of her rainbow baby! When we were planning a home birth – I bought a beautiful black and white one in hopes to wear it for a water birth. We ended up going to the hospital but I used it a couple of months later for an herbal bath.

{E} Wrap Skirt


  • One of my favorite bottom coverups – and comfortable too! I used a pink wrap skirt during my hospital birth with my 2nd son. It was easy for me to feel modest while also looking cute! I had a client earlier this year wear a black wrap skirt from Gracefully Birthed – it was made from an active/swim fabric I think so it was quick to dry.

{F} Pretty Pushers Cotton Jersey Labor Gown


  • First off – this comes in so many colors! It’s a beautiful option and is relatively modest. The back is low, but does not open fully. So if you are planning for an epidural I might consider putting this on after getting it placed. The v-neck is very flattering and comes untied for easy skin to skin.

{H} Tube Top


  • The tube top is an inexpensive easy down and on/off option. But with this one be sure that the color you choose is not transparent!

{I} Bralette

  • One of the cutest trends right now – lace bralettes. I adore these so much – they are so beautiful. I have had a few clients put one on after the baby was born and wore it under a robe. That is a cute surprise as well. You can find these in many stores if you’d rather try them on first!

{J} Sports Bra


  • You probably have a couple of these lying around! The more stretchy the better as far as comfortability wise. I would steer clear of a sports bra that is hard to get on and off. I wore a black one for my first birth and loved the fact that it was comfortable and not restricting! Plus this inexpensive option allows you to bring a couple backups in case one or more gets wet or dirty!

I hope this helps – there really is no right or wrong thing to wear. What is most important is that you feel comfortable!


*there are affiliate links in this post*

All text and images by BIRTHPIX Raleigh Birth Photography  Amanda is a proud member of IAPBP. CHECK OUT HER IAPBP Photographer Profile or IAPBP Video Profile TO CONTACT HER FOR YOUR BIRTH.