A friend of mine who is having a baby next month emailed me a link to this product — a “100% Organic Cotton Disposable Delivery/Labor Gown.”
A disposable gown, y’all. For delivering babies. But it’s not made of paper, it’s made of organic cotton. Which is not meant to be disposable.
Here’s the product description (abridged):
…meant to be worn, disposed of, and not have hot water and harsh chemicals wasted on cleaning them (Emphasis my own). This is a smart option to other designer delivery gowns which cost too much to be ‘disposable’, yet really what else can be done with a messy gown that’s just gone through labor…be washed by the hospital staff? Bagged up and taken home 2 days later? Not a chance! …
You know, childbirth is messy, but honestly, I’m pretty sure that all hospitals in the U.S. of A. have laundry facilities.
And, hello? Does anyone think that pregnant women have actually taken leave of their senses? They’re not stupid. They know that even more hot water and harsh chemicals went into the making of that gown (and all the others made with it) than would be used by throwing it into the wash with some organic detergent.
I don’t care if that this magic gown is made of 100% organic cotton. This is called greenwashing and it’s basically just insidious marketing. Wasteful is wasteful and throwing away a once-worn nightgown is beyond ridiculous. Why not just put on the hospital gown that has been washed by professionals and will be washed again by professionals when you’re done?
Okay, so I understand that there are some women who want to have a magical experience when they deliver– complete with singing woodland creatures, rainbows, and shooting stars — and they want to look pretty too. They don’t think that the gowns provided by hospitals are pretty. I’ll grant you that. You do not want to say, “Does this make my pregnant ass look fat” while wearing one of those.
But here’s the honest truth from someone who’s seen active duty in the delivery room twice:
Childbirth is pretty magical, but not in the way you think it will be. The magic is that something that large came out of an area so small and you live to tell the tale. To this day, I still cannot believe that I birthed 7-odd and 8-odd pound babies. Even as I was getting the epidurals put in place, it still felt like I had dolls in there. There’s just no way full-size babies were coming out. Imagine my surprise TWICE when I was indeed proven wrong and there was actually room for a full-size newborn in my own personal uterus.
That’s the magic of childbirth, as far as I’m concerned.
So trust me, ladies who’ve never given birth: You’re not going to see rainbows and unicorns and part of your magical experience. Tinkerbell is not going to sprinkle fairy dust on you.
Here’s the reality: You’re going to spend some amount of time — whether it’s 30 minutes (my mother, with me) or two days (another relative) — very focused on the task at hand, which is getting that baby out, via whatever means necessary. You’re not going to care that you’ll be sweaty and that there will be all sorts of messes on the delivery table (hey, you can’t see beyond your belly anyway) and you sure as hell won’t care what you’re wearing. You won’t care who sees you during this time. Just wear the gowns that the hospital provides and don’t waste money on a disposable gown that’s not really disposable.
Afterward, however, when you’ve rested and showered, there’s a possibility that you might care more. That’s when you pull out the pretty robe and slippers you packed and wear those over the hospital gown. Then you take them home and have your spouse/significant other launder them for you while you sit in on a soft sofa or chair and bask in the glory of what you’ve done.
Just to make sure I’m not way off base here, I’ll open this one up for discussion: What do you think of the idea of wearing your own delivery gown and not the hospital’s? And what do you think of the idea of it being disposable?