My mother-in-law has a birthing story that will make your hair curl. Fifty years ago, she was a very pregnant woman at home in the outer suburbs on a cold night. She had a toddler asleep in bed, and the urgent knowledge that she was about to give birth.
There was only one telephone in the street (it was 50 years ago – and New Zealand) and she managed to get as far as a neighbour to alert them to her situation. “THE BABY IS COMING.” is all she could manage, before she stumbled back to her house.
The neighbour ran to the home with the phone. The man of the house’s wife was away (so fancy, these phone owners) and he had got drunk and passed out, dead to the world, as the neighbour banged and banged on the door.
My mother-in-law delivered her baby alone, on a hard single bed. And the only thing she had to hand to cover herself and her baby until the cavalry finally turned up was her best, red coat.
“That coat,” she says, whenever she retells this story, visibly shuddering. “I had to BURN it.”
Happily, the coat was the only casualty of this dramatic birth story, but it illustrates a point any woman who has ever had a baby is already familiar with: Birth is a messy, slimy, bloody, (possibly) shitty business.
So why, oh why would you choose to buy a delightful and expensive dress just to do it in?
Plenty do, it seems:
Hear Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss designer labour dresses. (Post continues after audio.)
Women don’t want to wear boring hospital gowns, it seems, when you could BYO flourish:
“Designer Mamas birthing gowns come in a range of bright and bold prints, offering a stylish alternative to drab hospital gowns but with the same practicalities. The sleeves unsnap for easy breastfeeding and medical access, but the back also snap locks so there’s no accidental flashing!”