Children’s Minnesota debuts new modest hospital gown for kids

A person poses at a podium
Hilal Ibrahim, CEO and founder of Henna & Hijabs speaks to a crowd about the new gowns.
Courtesy of CT Ryan

Children’s Minnesota on Tuesday debuted one of the country’s first modest hospital gowns for kids.

The hospital system partnered with local design business Henna and Hijabs to create a medical grade modesty gown with a detachable hijab, three-quarter length sleeves and closures that can be worn in the front or back that allow medical providers access for IV lines or breathing tubes.

The idea was born from a need in the Muslim community, which values modesty, said Hilal Ibrahim, CEO of Henna & Hijabs and health care partner company H&H Med Co.

“We heard many stories of kids feeling embarrassed. They were exposed from the backside,” Ibrahim said. “And I mean, as an adult, who doesn’t feel embarrassed when they’re wearing a standard hospital gown where the backside is exposed?”

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As someone with a decade of experience in health care, Ibrahim said she soon realized the gown would benefit everyone.

“It went beyond the needs of just Muslims. It went beyond cultural and religious lines everywhere. This is about human dignity and feeling dignified in a vulnerable space,” she said.

The designer said her company worked with nurses and parents at Children’s to create the gown that will now be available at Children’s Minneapolis with a roll out of 1,000 gowns on one floor of the hospital while they work out distribution.

It’s part of the hospital's plan to provide inclusive and culturally sensitive care, said Chief Medical Officer and executive sponsor of the Muslim Employee Resource Group Emily Chapman.

“In medical settings, we far too often design our care and the tools that we use around the provider and around the health system,” Chapman said. “We thought it was critical that we design these things around our patient population.”

People pose for a photo
Pictured from left to right, Allen Malicsi, Dr. Emily Chapman, Mona Rippy and Hilal Ibrahim.
Courtesy of CT Ryan

Chapman said in order for healing to be effective there needs to be trust. She believes these gowns will help build those relationships.

“We heard from patients and their families that they felt disrespected, that they felt not included and that they felt exposed and uncomfortable in those settings,” Chapman said. “And we certainly know that healing relationship begins with our being able to offer them peace and respect.”

Children’s Minnesota will roll out the new gowns slowly but intends to have them available in all units in the future. 

Ibrahim said she is waiting for a patent for the gown she designed and hopes all hospitals in Minnesota and across the country consider offering the modest gowns to their patients.