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Once you leave the hospital, you’ll probably be more than ready to leave delivery gowns behind. That doesn’t mean you’ll jump right back into your pre-baby wardrobe, though.
During the first few weeks and months of your life after childbirth, your body will go through its fair share of recovery. Why not pick comfortable clothes, like a postpartum nightgown, to help make you feel great?
Sure, pajama pants and t-shirts are great, but there’s something so cozy about a nightgown or sleep shirt.
What’s even better is there are tons of options on the market!
Designers have created a wide range of beautiful postpartum nightgowns, from romantic lace designs to soft wool. There’s something for everyone’s style and comfort needs.
So, whether you’re planning on doing some pre-baby shopping or you want to bulk up your postpartum clothing options, keep reading to find out what you should be looking for if you want to find the perfect post-delivery nightgown.
Do You Have to Wear Postpartum Pajamas?
During my first pregnancy, I was one of those people who wholeheartedly believed I would be throwing all maternity wear out the window after childbirth and stepping back into my former clothes.
I was REALLY wrong, but you all already know that.
For starters, after birth, your uterus will still be quite large. You’ll probably still look about six months pregnant until it starts shrinking back to its normal state ( a process called uterine involution).
That said, unless your pre-baby clothing comes with impressive elastic waistbands, there’s a chance you won’t be sliding into your old wardrobe for a bit.
This applies to sleepwear, too.
While it’s not written in stone that non-maternity sleepwear is off-limits after delivery, there’s a good chance you’ll want something geared towards postpartum bodies.
Whether you buy a specific postpartum nightie or stick with your maternity sleepwear for a bit longer, both options will work better for your body during the first few weeks of your postpartum period.
Should New Moms Size Up When Shopping for Nightgowns After Delivery?
Every clothing brand is a little bit different regarding sizing. As a general rule, however, many new moms will probably want to size up when shopping for postpartum clothes, including nightgowns.
Postpartum clothing usually mimics traditional clothing in terms of size. Therefore even if you wore small maternity clothes, you might need a medium after birth.
Are Nightgowns Good for C-Section Mamas?
Absolutely, and especially if they’re loose fitting. After a c-section, you’ll want to avoid tight clothing around your incision. Since nightgowns don’t have a waistband, they’re an excellent post-surgery option!
Should You Add Postpartum PJs to Your Baby Registry Checklist?
When you start putting together a baby shower registry, your instinct might be to focus solely on items for your baby. While these products will undoubtedly make up the bulk of the list, there’s no reason you can’t include a few things for yourself, as well!
When I filled out my baby registry, I made sure to add things I knew my body would need after childbirth. Breastfeeding essentials, a new robe, and nursing bras all made the cut. I also threw in a couple of pairs of postpartum pajamas.
If you’re in the market for a postpartum nightgown, don’t be afraid to add one or two to your registry. Many gift-givers love the idea of buying presents that mom will personally benefit from, too!
Postpartum Nightgowns 101: What Should You Look For?
You might think a nightgown is a pretty basic product- so what makes one marketed as a “postpartum nightgown” any different?
Brands that make post-childbirth clothing create designs specifically targeted to a new mom’s recovering body. From materials used to nursing access, here’s what you need to know.
1. Easy Breastfeeding Access
Many of the best postpartum nightgowns you’ll see later in this article have something in common – convenient access to your boobs!
Breastfeeding is an adjustment for mom and baby as you master techniques and help your little one figure out how to feed. Being able to whip out your breast at a moment’s notice is going to simplify the learning curve.
By choosing a postpartum or maternity nightgown with buttons, snaps, or double layers, you’ll ensure you have the easy breastfeeding access you want and need during those early days of parenthood.
People don’t always talk about the plethora of side effects you might experience during the early weeks of postpartum recovery. Not only do many of us deal with things like anxiety after childbirth or postpartum incontinence, but sweating is also a common occurrence.
No one enjoys waking up in the middle of the night coated in sweat. That’s why it’s helpful to pick a postpartum nightgown that’s lightweight and breathable.
If you want a sleep shirt that will help keep you cool, some great fabric options are polyester, cotton, bamboo, wool, and rayon.
Don’t forget to plan for the season you’ll deliver in. Whether you give birth in the heat or the snow, you’ll want the correct type of sleepwear for your climate.
If you live up north and are due in the dead of winter, for instance, you’ll want a nightgown that will provide necessary warmth. Most likely, shortie dresses and spaghetti straps are out.
The Most Popular Nightgowns After Childbirth
There are many great postpartum pajama sets available, but finding quality nightgowns can be more challenging. No worries, though – our community’s amazing parents have tried many different styles. Here are the most popular options:
1. Betsy Ribbed Bamboo Nursing Gown from Kindred Bravely
With more than 200 excellent reviews, it’s no wonder the Betsy postpartum and maternity nightgown from Kindred Bravely is one of our favorite sleepwear options for new moms.
This sleep shirt has everything you could want from a nightgown after delivery. It’s got convenient snaps for easy access during breastfeeding and the perfect blend of bamboo and spandex fabrics for top-notch breathability.
Betsy Ribbed Bamboo Nursing & Maternity Nightgown / Black – $49.99
from: Kindred Bravely
The Betsy gown also features a loose design that will help protect your c-section incision after surgery.
2. Essential Nursing Nightgown from Motherhood Maternity
I’m a huge fan of anything jersey knit which probably explains why I’m such a fan of this adorable nursing nightgown from Motherhood Maternity.
It includes easy-to-use clips for breastfeeding and also features buttery soft fabric that will keep you cozy after childbirth. This postpartum nightgown isn’t just functional, though. It’s stunning, too!
From a delicate empire waist to feminine lace details, the overall look of this gown makes me want to swoon.
3. Universal Labor & Delivery Gown from Kindred Bravely
Rather than rocking a subpar hospital gown during labor and delivery, why not pick a multi-use gown that you can continue wearing long after you’ve left the Mom & Baby floor?
The Universal Labor & Delivery Gown from Kindred Bravely can help you do that.
Universal Labor & Delivery Gown / Pink Stripe – $39.99
from: Kindred Bravely
This gorgeous sleep shirt not only provides access for doctors and nurses during labor and delivery, but it’s stylish and comfortable enough for long-term wear. It has tons of great features, including:
- Back Snaps for Epidural Access
- Shoulder Snaps for Breastfeeding
- Fully-Open Front for Monitoring, Nursing, and Skin Contact After Birth
- Pockets for All Your New Parent Necessities!
4. Sunday Sleep Robe and Nightgown Set from Old Navy
How would you like to get a little more bang for your buck? If so, it’s time to add this robe and nursing nightgown set to your list of postpartum essentials!
What’s great about these products is they’re just as great for pregnancy as they are during your postpartum period.
Made from a gorgeous stretchy rayon jersey fabric, there’s plenty of room for your growing belly before your little one is born.
5. Clea Bamboo Long-Sleeve Sleep Shirt from Kindred Bravely
No list of postpartum sleepwear would be complete without one of the best nursing nightgowns on the market.
Clea Bamboo Classic Long Sleeve Sleep Shirt / Black – $49.99
from: Kindred Bravely
The Clea sleep shirt from Kindred Bravely offers long sleeves for extra warmth, buttons for nursing access, and a classic design any new parent will love.
6. Striped Nursing Nightgown from Ekouaer
This fantastic postpartum nightgown on Amazon is the epitome of style and comfort. Don’t take our word for it, though – just check out the 8,400+ reviews it’s earned!
This sleep shirt is great if you want similar benefits to the previously mentioned products but more options in color and pattern. From florals to holiday gingham, this nightgown comes in more design options than you could ask for.
Some reviewers warn that the button holes on this gown tend to get stretched out. The good thing is that it’s one of the more affordable options on our list. So even if it wears out quicker than you’d hoped, it’s not a massive hit to your bank account.
7. Merino Wool Nightgown from Green Rose Clothes on Etsy
Not only is merino wool an excellent fabric for keeping you warm during cooler weather, but it’s also great for regulating temperatures (that’s why it’s an amazing option for baby pajamas and sleep sacks!).
This gorgeous gown from Green Rose Clothes rolls all of the qualities of merino wool into a stylish and comfortable postpartum nightgown.
It even includes a double-panel top for easy nursing access.
8. Lucille Nursing Nightgown from Kindred Bravely
If you’re on the hunt for postpartum nightgowns that offer a little more pizazz, you’ll love Lucille by Kindred Bravely! Post-delivery, you likely won’t be feeling exactly like a million bucks, so sometimes it’s nice to get a little boost from a pretty piece of clothing (that’s functional, too!).
This gorgeous nightgown is the definition of delicate beauty. It comes in various colors, from light green to black, and offers delicate lace details for a little girly flair.
Lucille Maternity & Nursing Nightgown / Rose – $29.98
from: Kindred Bravely
Plus, it still provides the great benefits you need from a postpartum nightgown, like easy access clips for nursing and breathable fabric.
9. Babydoll Sleep Dress from Pink Blush Maternity
I love the simplicity of this adorable nightgown at Pink Blush Maternity. It’s also great if you’re looking for lightweight sleepwear during the summer months.
A soft knit sleep dress featuring a wrap front v-neckline adjustable cami sleeves and … [More]
One thing that jumps out at me about this sleep dress is that it’s not marketed as a nursing nightgown, but the deep-V neckline still makes it an ideal option for breastfeeding.
10. Mama Button-Down Nightgown from Amazon
Whether you’re putting together your hospital bag for mom or shopping for something to wear around the house during the first few weeks postpartum, this “Mama” nightgown is one of our favorites!
It’s cute, comfortable, and has buttons for quick access to your boobs when there’s a screaming baby!
This postpartum nightgown would also make a great addition to a new mom survival kit if you want to put something together for a friend who’s recently become a new mama!
Make Sure You Include a Nightgown in Your Postpartum Wardrobe
So, yes, there are tons of postpartum pajama sets, but trust me when I say every new mom deserves the comfort and luxury of a beautiful nightgown after delivery.
Whether you go for a lightweight summer sleep dress or a buttery soft wool nightgown, there are plenty of options to support your body after baby. And if you don’t feel like scrolling through online listings, the products above are the cream of the crop!
Now it’s time to get back to your baby registry and start adding some of these amazing items for yourself.
Would you rather wear postpartum nightgowns or traditional pajamas after baby?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.