Maternity-gown w/bilateral-nursing access-vents
Kind Code:

A specialized female nursing-gown such as for hospital/maternity-ward use as well as for maternity-nursing at home; wherein is provided dual-opposed obliquely arranged slit like vent-apertures facilitating quick and easy breast-feeding by a new mother, in a convenient albeit minimal exposure manner, facilitating semi-privacy appealing to the more private or modest female. Another feature of the garment is its conveniently avulsable sleeve seams, enabling the garment to be readily put-on/taken-off by the user;—thereby obviating potential entanglement with the usually present hospital/I.V.-line. The fashionably simple construction of this garment advantages automatic-closure concealing of the breasts during non-use, along with low-cost and easy maintenance.

Holmes-otto, Regina (San Diego, CA, US)
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Publication Date:
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International Classes:
A41D1/20; (IPC1-7): A41B9/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Regina Holmes-Otto (SAN DIEGO, CA, US)

What is claimed of proprietary inventive origin is:

1. A maternity-gown with concealed reliefs facilitating quick and easy infant feeding; said apparatus comprising: a sewn fabric assembly principally covering the female torso, and having a neck-opening and a pair of laterally opposed sleeves, including a frontal-panel contiguous between right and left said sleeves which normally fully covers the female breasts; a 1st-modality condition of usage wherein pair of bilateral approximately vertical slit-vents with cooperatively overlapping-seams are respectively arranged generally proximal the location of a woman's right and left breast, whereby the natural gravity-drape of the gown causes said slit-vents to normally assume a visually closed condition; a 2nd-modality condition of usage wherein either one of said pair of slit-vents can be manually spread apart without perceivable resistance, as to thereby enable the infant direct access to the mother's nipple for a normal breast-feeding procedure; a auto-closing action upon withdrawal of the infant from its feeding position, enables said gravity-drape to restore the visual apparance of said slit-vents to said 1st-modality condition of usage.

2. Maternity-gown construction facilitating easy dressing/undressing of like garments without removal of conventional hospital I.V.-line; said construction comprising: a sewn fabric assembly principally covering the female torso, and having a neck-opening between a pair of laterally opposed sleeves, including a front-panel and an aft-panel arranged contiguous between right and left said sleeves; a pair of discrete linear-split divisions extending laterally between said neck-opening and upper distal terminus of respective said right and left sleeves, and including cooperating conventional fastener means arranged along the normally overlapping finishing-seams of respective said linear-split divisions as to maintain the normal integrity of respective said right and left sleeve members during normal wearing, yet enable wearer to readily change to a different like constructed maternity-gown without necessity of disconnecting the I.V.-line, simply by temporarily avulsing said fastener means and thereby negate otherwise entanglement with the active I.V.-line while user is slipping the maternity-gown on or off.



[0001] 1. Field of Invention

[0002] This invention relates to hospital-gowns for newly nursing mothers, and more specifically it relates to garment construction providing a normally concealing portal for an infant's quick and easy mammary-gland access.

[0003] 2. Relevant Prior-Art

[0004] Background research discovery provides some prior patent-art regarded as germane to this disclosure, chronologically for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,086 (filed: May 1996) shown a long-sleeved nursing-garment featuring a pair of circular openings through which the mother's breast's are enabled to protrude for ready feeding of her baby; plus, the garment's upper-portion includes a pair of opposed-flaps forming a jacket-like appearance, wherein is provided a vest-pocket in each of the flaps into which is inserted a disposable-pad of absorbent material intended to soak-up excess liquid.

[0005] In U.S. Pat. No. 6,282,719 (filed: July 200) is shown a womans maternity nursing-gown, wherein is constructed a combination nightgown and bra which enables user to conveniently nurse her baby by unsecuring either bra-cup,—and resecuring upon completion of nursing;—thereby obviating necessity of dealing with various articles of clothing and thus repeatedly replacing them on and off.

[0006] Therefore, in full consideration of the preceding patent review, there is determined a need for an improved form of device to which these patents have been largely addressed. The instant inventor hereof believes their newly improved Maternity-gown, commercially referred to as the EZ-VENT/BFG (breast-feeding-gown)™,—currently being developed for production under auspices of the SAS-Unifirms Mfg./Mkt.Co., exhibits certain advantages as shall be revealed in the subsequent portion of this instant disclosure.


[0007] A.) In view of the foregoing discussion about the earlier invention art, it is therefore important to make it pellucid to others interested in the art that a vital object of this invention is to provide an inexpensive maternity-gown for hospital or home use, which can be long or short sleeved, mid-length or full-length;—yet in any case, also provide its user the lightweight comfort akin to a conventional evening-gown in its 1st-modality of relaxed usage. With the garment in place upon the wearer, a simple albeit highly effective means of facilitation breast-feeding is executed via a 2nd-modality condition of usage, by merely spreading-open the usually overlapping sides of a normally-closed near vertical linear slit-vent like access closure, which are arranged to generally align proximal the location of a woman's respective right and left brest. This procedure is achieved without perceivable resistance, thus immediately exposing the mother's breast and nipple ready for direct presentation to the awaiting infant. Upon completion of the feeding procedure and removal of the infant from its intimate feeding-position, the mother will find that the preferably spread apart right and left half portions of the slit-vent structure tends to readily reclose, whereby the left and right linear-edge portions of the slit-vent thus inherently (tantamount to “automatically”) return to their natural slightly overlapping closed positioning by virtue of the natural gravity-drape of the gown. Hence, although women having more protruding breasts may only need to slightly lift the garment's chest-panel forward sufficiently as to thereby relieve any momentary impingement of the seamed slit-vent edges;—no elastic material is necessitated. The normally concealed visual appearance is restored, as the natural sewn structure of the seamed-fabric lends itself to returning the slit-vent to its closed 1st-modality condition, and therefore generally concealed appearance; the presence of which device really becomes visually lost to the eye, particularly when a random pattern of fabric, such as a paisley-pattern of fabric, is employed in the fashioning of the garment.

[0008] B) Another object of this invention disclosure is to set forth a sewn-fabric maternity-gown article wherein is provided a convenient device and associated method facilitating easier dressing and/or undressing of the garmet, without necessitating problematical removal of an active (ie:—if inactive, then there is not posed an otherwise situation of entanglement with the clear-plastic feeder-line routed to a gravity-drip I.V.-bottle) conventional hospital I.V.(intravenous)-line;—often employed to feed supplemental-nutrients into the mother's body. In order to dress/undress a conventionally sleeved garment (that is, not openable), it is required the I.V.-line's intravenous-needle be extracted from insertion into the patients vein, hence posing the unwanted problem of inducing excessive invasive-trama to that region of the patient's body, via reinsertion of the I.V.-needle.

[0009] Accordingly, my maternity-gown presents a rather ordinary appearance to the casual observer, and like most such garments is made to principally cover the female torso, necessarily incorporating a neck-opening between a pair of laterally opposed sleeves, and includes a front-panel and an aftward-panel arranged contiguously between the right and left mentioned sleeves. However, I include a pair of discrete linear-split divisions which extend laterally between the mentioned neck-opening and the upper distal terminus of the respective right and left sleeves. Arranged along the normally overlapping inner/outer finishing-seams, are cooperating conventional fastener devices (ie:—such as a row of male/female-snaps, buttons & button-slits, or VELCRO® type strip-fasteners); thus maintaining the normal integrity of these rejoined sleeve-splits. Therefore, to either slipping this maternity-gown on or off (ie: donning or conversely, doffing) my maternity-gown while wearing (left-arm or right-arm) an active I.V.-line, the user need merely temporarily avulse (undo) either of the appropriate (left or right) sleeve's divisional linear-split finishing-seams which normally maintain the closed integrity of the respective sleeves.)

[0010] C.) Another object of this invention disclosure is to set forth the preferred combination of proceeding item-A and item-B iterations, and their generic-variant embodiments.


[0011] The foregoing and still other objects of this invention will become fully apparent, along with various advantages and features of novelty residing in the present embodiments, from study of the following description of the variant generic species embodiments and study of the ensuing description of these embodiments. Wherein indicia of reference are shown to match related matter stated in the text, as well as the claims section annexed hereto; and accordingly, a better understanding of the invention and the variant uses is intended, by reference to the drawings, which are considered as primarily exemplary and not to be therefore construed as restrictive in nature; wherein:

[0012] FIG. 1, is a pictorial-view of a maternity-ward mother, and hereinafter from the observer's visual point of reference, exposing the frontal upper-right (wearer's left-chest) region of the wearer in an exemplified 2nd-modality condition,—so as to thereby clearly reveal the presence and relationship of my slit-vent device (shown slightly impinged against wearer's left-breast), and by way of direct comparison to the wearer's normally essentially concealed right-chest region where presence of the wearer's right slit-vent is concealed in a 1st-modality of garment usage;

[0013] FIG. 2, shows the user in a reclined-position wherein her garment's right slit-vent has been opened to its 2nd-modality condition, during feeding of the typically blanket wrapped suckling infant;

[0014] FIG. 3, shows my maternity-gown exhibited without a wearer, and wherein the garment's left (observer's right) shoulder and sleeve are shown in a avulsed condition;

[0015] FIG. 4, shows an alternate perspective of a reclined user feeding her infant via her left slit-vent;

[0016] FIG. 5, shows the left-rear aspect of a mother standing in my novel gown.


[0017] (Note:—all left/right ref's. are given relative to wearer's point of ref.,—not observer's.)

[0018] 10/10′/10″—exemplified mother: standing-front/standing-rear/reclining

[0019] 11,11′/11″—feeding infant, mother's breasts: left/right

[0020] 12,12′—existing I.V.-unit w/inserted-needle, optional routing of I.V.-feedline

[0021] 13,13′, 13″—overall maternity-gown, neck-opening, edging-trim band

[0022] 14,14t,14′/14″—left-sleeve, outer-terminus, sleeve-flaps: front/rear,

[0023] 15′/15″—sleeve-fasteners: 1st-portion, 2nd-portion

[0024] 16,16t—right-sleeve (closed), outer-terminus

[0025] 17,17′, 17″—central chest-panel, left/lateral-panel, right/lateral-panel

[0026] 18′/18″—general Slit-vent: as normally concealed/as opened for breast access

[0027] 19L/19R,19′/19″—left vent-slit: left-edge seam/right-edge seam, terminus: upper/lower

[0028] 20L/20R,20′/20″—right vent-slit: left-edge seam/right-edge seam, terminus: upper/lower

[0029] 21,21′—lower-front panel portion, rear-panel portion

[0030] 22,22′—waist tieband, tieband-loop


[0031] Initial reference is given by way of FIG. 1, wherein is exhibited my EZ-VENT™ Breast-feeding Gown 13 upon standing mother 10, demonstrating how the, here revealed opened, general vertical vent-slit 18′ enables mother's breast 11″ to be freely accessed by the infant (not shown FIG. 1). The vertical left-edge seam 19L is exemplified here impinged against the left side of the mother's breast, so as to thereby clearly reveal the presence of the left slit-vent. The slit-vent 18 extends from upper-terminus 19′ to the lower-terminus 19″, where adjoining right-edge seam 19R likewise terminates. Other viewable portions of my sewn-fabric maternity-gown construction include central chest-panel 17, and the left-lateral 17′ and right-lateral 17″ adjoining panels; that merge upwardly into the neck-opening 13′, here includes finished edging-trim 13″ which I prefer actually extends around back and down (as viewable in FIG. 5) to ultimately sweep forward to emerge again as the waist-tieband 22,—which opposite ends are shown terminated in a simple user executed tieband-loop 22′. Additionally, one can also see the conventional hospital installed I.V.-unit with integral inserted-needle 12, which associated feedline 12′ can be routed up through left respective sleeve 14 and out the wearer's neck-opening 13′ if desired for better snag prevention (or can just be routed exteriorly to an unshown nearby existing I.V.-bottle).

[0032] Reference to FIG. 2 depicts the mother in a comfortable reclined position, here with her right breast protruding slightly through the right Slit-vent where only the left-edge seam 20L portion is visible;—noting as in FIG. 1 that the unused relaxed and freely draping closed Slit-vent is actually not generally even noticable, owing to the inherently effective closure action of the overlapping vertical edge-seams.

[0033] Study of FIG. 3 further shows how my Slit-vent design is highly effective in reclosing as to belie its presence until its usage is required for infant feeding purposes; hence, I have emplaced an arrow with a question-mark (?) as to denote that one cannot normally detect the presence of my novel substantially concealed Slit-vents 18′. There remain subtle, however vital other differences which are to become herein more evident and understood as important improvements. For example, FIG. 3 also reveals the special construction of both the left (here shown open) and right sleeves;—whereto portion 14′ is the frontal portion which is separable from the adjoining rear portion 14″,—facilitating tangle-free dressing/undressing of the garment relative to the usual presence of the potentially entangling I.V.-line 12′. These two adjoining sleeve portions are thus readily rejoined via conventional sleeve-fasteners, here exemplified as VELCRO® which 1st-portion 15′ (generally being the “looped” strip-fastener) while 2nd-portion 15″ (would thus be the “hooked” strip-fastener),—that are simply join together to create a normally secure reattachment of the at once then ordinary appearing garment sleeve. Thus it is regarded as a mere design-choice as to whether one might rather prefer to substitute usage of a linear series of conventional male/female snap-fasteners, or a linear series of ordinary buttons and their associated respectfully aligning button-holes.—The end result is a recloseable avulsable sieve seam, necessarily extending preferably straight from neck-opening 13′ to the distal outer-terminus 14t of the sleeve. Note also in FIG. 3 that the size of the garment can be made to virtually any length, possibly as short as an upper jacket or blouse like article, to as long as the proximal ankel length iteration seen in FIG. 5. The further illustration of FIG. 4 serves to demonstrate how the infant 11 may be readily shifted over to the mother's alternate feeding-breast 11′ (in contrast to the example of FIG. 2); or, in the case of twin-infants, both Vent-slits may be accessed simultaneously.

[0034] Thus, it is readily understood how the preferred and generic-variant embodiments of this invention contemplate performing functions in a novel way not heretofore available nor realized. It is implicit that the utility of the foregoing adaptations of this invention are not necessarily dependent upon any prevailing invention patent; and, while the present invention has been well described hereinbefore by way of certain illustrated embodiments, it is to be expected that various changes, alterations, rearrangements, and obvious modifications may be resorted to by those skilled in the art to which it relates, without substantially departing from the implied spirit and scope of the instant invention. Therefore, the invention has been disclosed herein by way of example, and not as imposed limitation, while the appended claims set out the scope of the invention sought, and are to be construed as broadly as the terminology therein employed permits, reckoning that the invention verily comprehends every use of which it is susceptible. Accordingly, the embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or proprietary privilege is claimed, are defined as follows.