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Birthing gowns

Ob/Gyn   (3,115 Views 14 Comments)
by Bostonnurse06 Bostonnurse06 (New) New

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LDRP nurses: what's your opinion on birthing gowns? They've been popping up on all the mommy blogs, but I wonder how practical they actually are. What are your thoughts on birthing gowns versus johnnies during labor and delivery- both from a nurse and from a patient point of view?

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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I have no opinion whatsoever. I am in favor of the woman wearing whatever she wants to wear.

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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I've always wondered why it's such a big deal for women to wear a hospital gown in labor (and side note: I love that in Boston a hospital gown is called a "johnnie" and literally nowhere else calls it that!). It's not like they're sterile. Someone could have died in it the day prior. As long as the patient is OK with the fact that their personal gown might get dirty, who cares?

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6 Posts; 216 Profile Views

I myself prefered Hospital gowns when I delivered because birth can be messy, but I would be OK with whatever the mom felt comfortable in. I just changed into a nursing/pajama dress after I gave birth for comfort! I love that you call them johnnies! I have never heard that before. I'm in CA.

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cayenne06 has 10 years experience as a MSN, CNM and specializes in Reproductive & Public Health.

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Agreed, wear whatever you want as long as it's something that can come off or move aside without too much fuss. I wouldn't buy a birthing gown because that sounds like a waste of money to me, when a nightgown or PJs would work just as well. However, it's true that feeling confident and comfortable is important in labor, so wanting a nicer outfit is totally reasonable if you have the extra cash. And i guess a lot of providers are weird about foregoing the johnnie, so maybe a patient would get less pushback if they bring an Official Birthing Gown, doctor approved.

I once had an ED doc refuse to see my son until he changed into a hospital gown. Considering he was there for a psychiatric issue, it was hugely problematic and stressful for both of us. What a big jerk she was. I was young then, and was too intimidated to push back. Nowadays you better believe I would have shut that business down before it even started.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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Your post made me curious, so I googled them.

The only problem I can see is that a few of them (depending on the brand) don't have snap or tie sleeves like hospital gowns, which would make it impossible to remove the soiled gown without unhooking your IV; some nurses may not care about unhooking the IV to change clothes, but others wouldn't like it. Probably a non-issue if you're just getting LR or NS, potentially a bigger issue if you're on a continuous drip like mag or pit.

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Thanks for the replies! And that's so funny that other parts of the country don't call hospital gowns johnnies. I had no idea!

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NurseCard has 13 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

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LOL, I have NEVER heard of the term "johnnies"!

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Johnnie? Giggling here. LONG time nurse and never heard the term. I might just start calling them johnnies myself! On the subject of birthing gowns..why bother? More laundry for a new mom to deal with later, and if she ends up going to surgery or needing a hospital gown its a pain where a pill don't reach. Many gals end up with nothing on anyway as we do skin to skin/kangaroo care.

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R5RN is a BSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in ED and CTICU.

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I came across this post because it popped up under "popular" and I was surprised that calling a gown a "johnny" is a regional thing! I am from CT, too and we always call them johnnies.

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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Johnnie? Giggling here. LONG time nurse and never heard the term. I might just start calling them johnnies myself! On the subject of birthing gowns..why bother? More laundry for a new mom to deal with later, and if she ends up going to surgery or needing a hospital gown its a pain where a pill don't reach. Many gals end up with nothing on anyway as we do skin to skin/kangaroo care.

I assume the idea behind them is to feel more comfortable in your own clothes, as opposed to a hospital gown which has the connotation of being "sick," which most laboring women are not.

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