Recent consumer demand for a more personal and natural childbirth experience is stimulating change in the setting and conduct of birth for low-risk deliveries. Parents are opting for a more home-like, clean birth experience rather than an institutionalized aseptic delivery. With these changes, there is also a change in professional attire for delivery. No longer is surgical garb seen at every hospital birth. A review of the literature, including obstetric medical and nursing texts, professional standards documents, and periodicals from 1800 to the present provide an overview of the historical development of aseptic practices. Discoveries by Holmes, Semmelweis, Pasteur, and Lister were the basis for the development of aseptic practices and professional apparel at delivery. Over the 200-year time span, practices ranged from harmful interventions in an attempt to sterilize the birth canal, to protective measures using antiseptics and sterile clothing to prevent the introduction of pathogens. Today, the necessary professional attire at delivery is still a debatable issue.