The Makers of What I Consider To Be Useless Products Like This One

So I was catching up on my Facebook updates the other day and I noticed that a friend "liked" an interesting sounding company:  Binsi Labor and Birth Apparel.  Hmmm...I thought to myself...I didn't realize we needed special apparel for birthing.  But after Googling the company, I realized there is a whole industry out there that I was unaware of.  You can see their wares here.

There is everything from the $55 PrimaMama Skirt (made of crisp cotton twill with cute, coordinating grosgrain ribbon) to the $40 GoGo Top (a glorified nursing sports bra).  I love that they recommend the PrimaMama Skirt can be worn during labor or for a trip to the park!  So cute, so versatile!  For 55 bucks I'd better be able to wear it to more than just the birth of my kid.  (PS - I haven't spent $55 on ANYTHING for myself in ohhh....about 7 years.)

I know, I know, there are many of you who like this stuff.  I bet one of you even owns a Binsi skirt, but I just can't understand the need for this thing.  (Now, WANT is a whole other thing and I definitely understand that!)

OK, so, before you all start flaming me and telling me how great this stuff is, I just have to say:  Seriously???  Do we NEED (not want) a special skirt to give birth in?  The hospital gives you a perfectly workable gown for free (true, it's ugly as crap, and at the end of the day you and your insurance company has paid thousands for it, but who cares?).  

And if you're at a home birth, don't you have a bra you could wear and maybe a fifteen dollar Old Navy skirt that would work just as well as the Binsi skirt?   

But back to Binsi and what they offer.  I love the "Sport" version too - just as adorable only it doesn't "wrinkle" as easily.  Yeah, because when I'm pushing a bowling ball out of my vagina I'm worried about looking wrinkled.

The most disturbing part, I found, were the testimonials about how great the moms looked in their Binsi's while giving birth.

WTF??  How great you looked wearing a Binsi??  I am all for being comfortable (hell, I rarely get out of my pjs if I can get away with it) and so if these clothes make you feel more comfortable during your labor and birth then I am on board.

HOWEVER, if women are worried about how they "look" (ie, "wrinkled") during labor I think that's a whole other problem.  You're giving birth.  It's a tough, messy job.  There isn't a cute and/or "feminine" enough skirt in the world to cover up the fact that you just crapped on the table.  I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to wear that skirt again after that!

I feel like, once again, companies are preying on women and our want for "stuff" along with our insecurities of trying to be perfect mothers/wives/women in general.  Not only do we need to have the perfect birth that we've planned out to the T with the right music/lighting/scents/etc, but now for only 100 bucks we can get the wardrobe to go along with it that will help make it perfect, because we will look and feel terrific squatting on a birthing ball!  

The birth of my first child did not go the way I'd planned (and I'm not a planner, people).  My plan was to simply deliver a healthy baby on time.  My plan did not happen.  To this day I get pissed off when I think about it.

Yes, I wore the ugly ass gown and the baby came home in a dirty t shirt from the hospital NICU because we didn't have any clothes that fit him nor did we have time to dress him before we took him from the hospital against their wishes (that's another punch for another day).

However, I don't think a labor skirt would have made any difference as to how that experience would have gone.  I was delirious with pain/exhaustion/elation that day/night and I couldn't give a rat's ass how cute I looked.

When I look at birthing products and child care products, I have to think, What would women 200 years ago thought of this product?  Carseats?  Awesome.  The Burrito Wrap thing for babies?  Heaven.  Breast pump?  Kick ass.  Expensive skirt designed just to give birth in (and/or a quick jaunt to Target)?  WTF?  

Can someone PLEASE explain the value of these clothes to me?  


59 comments:

Whitney said...

Do these dolls have those skirts on?

http://happymealsandhappyhour.blogspot.com/2010/12/when-crafting-dolls-go-horribly.html

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Those dolls crack me up AND frighten me!

Selena said...

This is my favorite part: "Don't just wear it for your birth! Pull it on for everything from prenatal appointments and yoga to a walk in the park."

Are they implying you can wear it AFTER you get shit and blood all over it?

And who are these women who care about having their asses hanging out when a doctor and/or midwife is squatting down and peering into their vaginas? Am I the only one who lost all sense of modesty about halfway through my pregnancy?

I couldn't shave and could barely WASH my girl parts by the time my due date came. I am pretty sure "wrinkled skirt" would NEVER cross my mind.

This is the kind of product that someone who has never actually given birth likely came up with because IN THEORY it's a good idea.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

You're on the same page as me, Selena. It was probably a guy who invented it.

Jamie said...

This is absolutely hilarious!!! I soooo agree!

Anonymous said...

LMAO!!!! This is hilarious...seriously. Hang on honey..let me grab my Mother Earth Kimono before I go through the most excruciating pain one can endure...yeah...doesn't seem like a very in demand line.

Marcella said...

"There isn't a cute and/or "feminine" enough skirt in the world to cover up the fact that you just crapped on the table."

I almost choked on my apple on this line. LMAO

Laurene said...

Another useless product......Tide Washing Machine Cleaner. Why??????

Rachael said...

Ooh...it comes in "extra small" !!

MEB-TX said...

Their motto is "Bye bye bare bottoms!" ummmm call me stupid but, legs in the air during childbirth will still equal a bare bottom wearing a birthing skirt. Right?!

Ambre said...

This has nothing to do with your post, but I had to share. My 7yo niece is over. I have 4 boys. Let's just say her household is much more calm and conservative than mine. She's reading the screen (hovering, basically) and says "People I want to punch in the throat?! That sounds rude!" So I say, "Yeah, I suppose it might. But aren't there people you'd really like to punch sometimes?" To which she grins a wicked grin and says "Oh yeah" complete with head nod and twinkle eyes. :)

shannon said...

How about the glorified scarf aka Rebozo (name says it all) A multifunctional tool to assist the laboring woman in relaxation and positioning. WTF! i think a free sheet from the hospital can do the same.

Elizabeth Johnson Phillips said...

I was hoping you were were going to punch the inventors of Squinkies. Or as like to call them "Choking hazards that break your vacuum cleaner."

Anna B said...

Nope. I will be you dollars to doughnuts that it was a woman. The way we bring children into the world now has moms desperate for some sort of ritual, some way to make it feel special and not manufactured. The skirt (With blessing beads!) makes you hipper; makes you stand out from the other moms on the L&D floor; makes you special.

You will soon see a blog dedicated to what women have ritualistically done with their birth skirt after they are done with it. "I made my baby's first teething toy with it!" "I used mine to strain my baby's first yogurt!"

Anonymous said...

First - prenatal appointments are before giving birth. I don't know your habits, but I don't sh!t & bleed on myself prior to. They are saying that it makes itself useful for appointments. No need to disrobe and throw on a johnny. Easy access for doctors... even prior to birth.

Second - the more prudent use for these would be, perhaps, for modesty. Not only for oneself but also those who have been honored to witness to the birth. There are also some that want to feel comfortable and being clothed makes them feel that way.

To each their own... Just might want to keep it in mind before repeating the same message on and on and on... it starts sending a message.

Katie Nellis said...

Being a Colorado resident (and CU Boulder grad), I just had a feeling that the home of my alma mater had to be involved. Yep, based in Berthoud (just outside of Boulder). Ah, yuppie hippies. Almost makes me miss them.

The FAQs on their site are hilarious. Yep, take your POOPED on skirt home in your bag and WASH it. Excellent.

"Anyway, What if my BINSI® clothing gets dirty?

Oh dear. Well, that is always a possibility in childbirth. But since the skirt does not hang between your legs, most often, it’s only soiled if you sit on it. But, you know, if it does get dirty while you are in labor you can simply throw it in the washer and dryer when you get home, all items are machine washable."

mandiessugarbowl said...

My eyes are bleeding and developed an eye tic from those disturbing dolls!?! I'm with you on the useless skirt. Who the hell cares that your butt is hanging out when your delivering a baby!?! With all the things that is going on down there, the crap on the table, various fluids all over the place....yeah my first thought is "Hunny I'm ready for my close up!" I'd have kicked my hubbys arse if he had taken pictures of that!

Karley said...

Those skirts are ugly as hell.. I think I like the hideous hospital gowns better! But, if this skirt somehow makes the dreadful contractions & the hate for your husband magically disappear, then I might consider the investment.. until then I will keep my $55 & purchase shit that matters!

Sarah said...

I did not and do not much care about the whole look of my delivery. I had two c-sections so I didn't have much choice. However, in the "day after" pictures of my oldest's birth (when every relative and friend drops by) I looked like total crap and 200+ photos later it begins to wear my down. So for baby #2 I rallied myself to put on my own gown, makeup and brush my hair. Vanity won but those pictures are nice. We are crazy creatures.

ohmygauze said...

Ummm...the point of a hospital gown is accessibility. Hopefully nothing goes wrong during labor while in your stupid skirt, cuz they will just slice that shit off you not wait for you to change out of it. Another unnecessary item pretentious Americans will shell out money for. Absolutely positively stupid.

Telling It Like It Is said...

Anonymous above must have invented this ridiculous piece of crap...

Peg Rusnak Hill said...

This is a great post! How about a useless service?? The birthing concierge, such as Rosie Pope in "Pregnant in Heels" on E! Re-donk-u-lous!!! She helps pregnant women in NYC with procuring any whim or desire they may have. One particularly hoity toity needed help finding a nanny. I generally would not have a problem with that request, except she wanted a bi-lingual, cook, maid, who was not pretty. She couldn't have another woman in the house as attractive as her. Why I watched the show??? I dont know, it was like a car accident.

Lynette said...

So...my firstborn came almost eight weeks early, I was in excrutiating pain after serving Christmas dinner that day and my epidural wore off after an hour, had a fever of one hundred and four, and vomited for six hours. Being unwrinkled and having my backside covered was my TOP priority, nevermind forceps and premature daughter being blue and not breathing! I didn't want to take home any soiled articles of clothing from my birth experiences.....who wants to have to wash that up a day after birth because I know those are some NASTY stains :) <3 your blogs! Had a tonsillectomy today at the ripe old age of 31....reading these are keeping me sane! Thanks!!!

Kristen said...

I had an emergency c-section, and by that time, I didn't care what I wore, just as long as my daughter was born healthy (thankfully she was, mama wasn't). I never thought of buying my own hospital gown...it didn't cross my mind to worry about what I looked like. Crazy!

Genevieve McHugh said...

I gave birth to my son in my living room (by accident, he came fast ;) and I threw the *couch* away! Never mind the skirt I was wearing....oh wait, I wasn't wearing one.

Karley said...

I think the stalkers who don't like to hear the hilarious truths that Jen speaks, should get the hell off her blog & spend less time defending useless products! I wish Jen would go off on some of these folks with some hardcore momma jokes! I mean if they get this defensive over a flippin skirt, I'd LOVE to hear them take up for their moms! That'd be a good laugh.. do it Jen!

Seaneen said...

I have no birthing pics of me below the waist. I doubt anyone on the birthing unit having 10/10 excruciating pain as we paced the halls (because walking "helps") thought OMG she is totally wearing a hospital gown nor would they have been impressed with my non wrinkled "skirt". We were there for business and if the crazy paper they put down under the table is any indication of what my skirt would look like after, well the hospital could just keep it. And I had plenty of prenatal $10 skirts to wear to my prenatal visits.
No, all my pics are of a worn out haggard chick with no make up that I barely recognize. No cute skirt would make that woman look sporty or adorable. Seriously, these must be the women getting eyelash extensions before childbirth. I think I'll pass.

angela said...

haha, you could save some money and just buy the Binsi II Too, it's only $25 and can be also be used as a picnic blanket, yep a picnic blanket-now that's classy and attractive! ;)

Robyn said...

Um... "Yeah, because when I'm pushing a bowling ball out of my vagina I'm worried about looking wrinkled" made laugh almost to death.

Elaine said...

Anonymous is just embarrassed because she bought one and realized how stupid they are. Thanks for the definition of prenatal though. After, first, being a woman, and second, being a woman who has given birth, as most of the people who read this are, it's about time we learned what the term "prenatal" meant. Find another blog because if you can't find humor in this, then we can't help you!

Colleen said...

Please can I punch "Anonymous" in the throat? Get a sense of humor or don't come to this site. I HATE having to read the holier than thou crap people like you use to rain on a much needed humor parade.

Jenn said...

This cracked me up! After over 30 hours of labor, I promise I did not care what the hell I was wearing(tho admittedly, I wish my mascara would have stayed put looking at the pictures...please note the sarcasm). All I know is I wouldnt want to put that hospital gown back on again after seeing how messy it got. A pretty print on an overpriced skirt still wouldnt change my mind. If I was going to spend that much money on myself for anything, Its going to be one of those magical Victorias Secret bras that out my boobs back where they belong(ya know, no where near my belly button.) after pushing out a kid!

Jill said...

I just tried to read this to my husband, and I couldn't get the "bowling ball" and "crapping on the table" parts out. Literally, tears streaming down my face. I needed that. Thanks for the laugh! Keep 'em coming Jen.

Unknown said...

i gave birth to my last daughter 23 years ago we barley had decient maternity clothes wtf are these women thinking and where are their mothers you know the ones who gave birth to them in a field lol

Leslee said...

Flippin' ridiculous. Wow.

Anonymous said...

Ladies, we are at the mercy of hormones and vulnerable as we approach birth, but take the $55 and give it to Save the Children or Mothers of Africa, and wear a cheap nightie that you can toss later. When you're back to your normal self, you can be pleased by the example you've set your child by providing lifesaving antibiotics or training to another mother instead of blowing the money on a useless piece of crap.

KellieE said...

When I got past about month 5 in my pregnancy, I considered myself well-dressed if my shoes matched.

Anonymous said...

Hillarious! And why didnt i think of this craptastic (literally) skirt..!!! I mean nothing says instant millionare than a stupid product...

Anonymous said...

"Oh honey, can you run home and get the Scotch tape, I just need to hang up my labor and delivery poster...Oh and honey, can you also grab my birthing bracelet, I just can't go through this without it"

Mawaahhhahah I bet 4 hours into it, these chicks are ripping that shit off and yelling about how they will be calling the makers of the Binsi to give them a piece of their minds!

Kristine said...

Technically, any over priced clothing is useless. In the world of useless products, this one doesn't strike me as odd. It's no more useless than those silly scarves that people wear with t shirts, or a vest. It's a preference of clothing. I would never buy this but some women would find this more comfortable than a hospital gown, or being completely nude at home with a midwife.

kel said...

anonymous wrote:"the more prudent use for these would be, perhaps, for modesty. Not only for oneself but also those who have been honored to witness to the birth. There are also some that want to feel comfortable and being clothed makes them feel that way. "

OH PUH LEEZE. sorry to get all political, but MODESTY? this is the same attitude that is responsible for keeping us from breatfeeding wherever we need to. parenthood, birth, *bodily functions* are all normal and natural, "birth skirts" for modesty smacks of mysogyny and shame. "cover that thing up! and just show us the baby!" birth is the entire process, not just the end result.
really, anonymous? did you miss the part where a human being gets shot out of a vagina? get over yourself, a-hole.

jen, <3 you!

Insane3 said...

Funny as always! Love your blog! Also, how about the fact that, though it's not required that you wear a gown, it's also frowned upon if you try and wear a garment aside from the gown?! If anything did go terribly wrong, your just giving the nurses/doctors less time to deal with the emergency, by having to waste prescious time cutting you out of those silly outfits. Lord, when did common sense become so elusive for so many? These women who feel the need for control of every situation ar truly baffling....

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you could wear the skirt in the hospital to give birth if you had an epidural. Do you take the skirt off or so the doctor can insert your epidural? My birth did not go as planned, and we had to do a fetal monitor up my hoo-ha attached to #1 son's scalp and then I was rushed off 30 minutes later for an emergency c-section. They probably would have had to cut the skirt off because there were so many monitors coming out of my nether regions I couldn't even get off the bed if I wanted to.

primo said...

How about a birthing purse and matching shoes?

Anonymous said...

Holy crap funny! I'm a guy (not sure I'm allowed here) but a totally agree, kinda sounds like washing your car when it's raining.

tekgrl33 said...

"How about a birthing purse and matching shoes?"

That. Was. Awesome.

I had read this post while checking things out after discovering the elf on a shelf post. I think it was even better the second time through. My friend is a labor and delivery nurse and I wonder about the crap she sees people bring that we don't even know about. Can't wait to ask her.

Domestic Goddess said...

Aren't ALLLL skirts crotchless? Therefore, ANY skirt would qualify as a birthing skirt?? Just lift that puppy up over your head and go to down!! By the time I pushed out child #4 (yes they are numbered, because sometimes I forget their names) I was waddling in naked from the waist down saying, "Lets do this! I gotta get home and do laundry!!"

frugalistablog.com said...

Maybe those who invented the birthing skirt are the same that invented the conception skirt. Us loose women like to wear skirts and nothing more so that we can get in a quickie, wear it for 10 months, then pop out the baby. Easy as pie. Barefoot of course. Domestic Goddess- you are right, they are all crotchless! Unless you have a skort. Then there'd be a problem.

Anonymous said...

I just don't get how you think you can be modest when some person is going elbow-deep in your lady bits every couple of hours/minutes! And what are birthing beads that encourage your baby? How does the baby even know they're there? What a joke. I feel sorry for moms who buy into that. They have more $$ than common sense.

liz smith said...

Since I work in maternal child health, I just have to pipe in. I teach all the time about the uselessness of products and these are totally useless. I had a mom in one class who bought a different brand but some type of birthing goddess gown- she had a cesarean- I forgot about the gown til now. i guess it was no good.

I say, if you don't want to wear a hospital gown, fine, we don't care but remember there will be fluids leaking......

Its like baby products all this shit that you don't need. I generally say that if it won't be useful for more than three months or if you are planning on less than 4 kids, don't buy it.

Amanda Jo said...

Seriously?! Are they freaking kidding. I can make the PrimaMama skirt for under $20 and that stupid Go Go Top... yea it is called a Sports Bra you can buy them 3 for $11 at Wal-Mart!

Erin said...

Right. Because while you are pushing so hard you lose all control over your bowels, pop vessels in your eye balls, and rip the skin from your who-who to your woo-woo....you are gonna be the least bit concerned about the wrinkle on the skirt you couldn't even see when they wheeled your huge behind into labor/delivery in the first place.

This product was obviously invented by a man...or a woman who should, can't we all agree, be shot.

Tracey said...

I get the point of the blog, the author is honest and funny about things that bug her (The Shelf Elf post had me laughing for days!).

I guess the responses are supposed to back her up and be just as funny, which some are.

I don't think you have to defend the skirt, but how does it turn from bashing a skirt to insulting the people that like them or would wear them? Nice.

The link is there about the creator
so those of you that are questioning who made it might want to check it out before you open your trap.

lovetoread600 said...

I happen to live near the "Republic of Boulder" I have met the owner/creator of this product ~ we share a mutual friend. Not the nicest person I've ever met and more than a little wacky in her ideas on childbirth and child-rearing. The funniest part is when I met her, her business partner had just given birth and had NOT worn the skirt. That's a testimonial for ya!

Saramather said...

Those things are frickin' ugly anyways... AND I bet I could make one for about 4 bucks from the clearance rack at the local fabric store. What a rip off.

Anonymous said...

I am a certified labor doula and birth educator, I think a birth skirt is a GREAT idea! Hospital gowns open up in the back and many of my clients have complained about feeling even more vulnerable than they already are while wearing one. Also, a birth skirt smells like home (assuming you've washed it before labor begins)whereas a hospital gown SMELLS antiseptic. Laboring moms have an even stronger sense of smell and certain smells affect them negatively. (Ever have your husband walk into your labor after just eating a hot dog? It's VOMITOUS. All over. EVERYTHING.)When I am laboring, the hospital smell evokes negative memories for me and home smells help me relax. The more relaxed I am,the more endorphins travel to the pain cites, the more efficiently I dilate. One last point, hospital gowns are often USED by former patients who have only God knows what and issued only God knows what on their gowns. With all the super-bugs floating around and with a laboring mom being more susceptible to infection, especially if her membranes have ruptured, it may be more hygienic for a laboring mom to labor in HER own clothes, that are filled with HER flora (as our Docs. call them) in order to prevent/avoid postpartum infection.


As to the question regarding using a rebozo: a rebozo is commonly used in Latin American countries to alleviate hip and lower back discomfort by providing a double hip squeeze when tied below the belly and across the hips. Later, after the rebozo is cleaned, it is used as a wrap for baby-wearing. Baby-wearing brings a plethora of benefits: mom can attend to tasks using both hands, baby gains weight faster, baby's attachment to mom improves and thus, cries less, etc. Google it. You can read the rest for yourself. A rebozo can range from $5-30. Pretty good deal for all it does, don't you think?

Unknown said...

My husband and I are expecting our first baby, and we're currently stationed in Germany with the military. Our military medical clinic doesn't have OB services, so we'll be giving birth in a local German hospital. German hospitals actually do not supply women with gowns, so I'm actually trying to find my own gown or skirt to take/wear for the delivery.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

Well then you'd be someone this wouldn't be a useless item. Go and get one now!

Unknown said...

I think these particular items are overpriced, but I would have killed to have a simple cotton, jersey-knit wrap skirt for my first labor. I'm already looking for something like that to use with baby two, because the hospital gown was so atrocious. I have such a short torso that the 'breastfeeding' slots didn't fit where they needed to, and I couldn't take it off because of all the IVs they had me hooked up to. It was obnoxious. I am definitely looking for things that I can wrap and tie-on to wear for labor this time, because the hospital gown just did not cut it for me with my first daughter. :)

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