After I had my eldest, I didn’t think about my underwear. It’s not like I was running around in a thong before I went into labor, but I just packed my grandma panties as I’d called them, the ones I used to trot out when my period would show up.
It’s funny because I don’t remember being dressed or that they had fitted me with a jumbo maxi pad in my underwear from home. What I do remember is that my husband had to lovingly wash and hang-dry my crummy period underwear while I was still in bed with the catheter after my c-section.
Hence, all my period underwear became utterly disgusting at this point. Despite his scrubbing, they were all permanently stained. He wound up buying me new ones, but until my blood flow slowed, I used the ugly grandma panties because they were already ruined.
I’ve to admit that…
Friends back home told me stories of the mesh underwear they’d received at their hospitals, and I was envious. When I got pregnant with my youngest, I vowed to get the best post-c-section underwear I could find.
I wish I’d known all this before having my eldest! 😒
You might be thinking, “But Leslie, short of wearing a thong, isn’t any jumbo pair of panties good enough?” Well, no, it’s not. They might look similar, but they do different things that will really help you be more at ease after enduring such excruciating labor and pain.
Table of Content
- Why You Need Postnatal Underwear
- How to Shop for the Best Postpartum Panties?
- 12 Best Postpartum Underwear in 2021
- Always Discreet Postpartum Incontinence
- Cauniss High Waisted Full Coverage Recovery Underwear
- UpSpring High Waist C-Section Support
- UMMISS Full Coverage Brief Panty
- Always Discreet Boutique, Incontinence
- Annenmy Women’s Stretchy Brief
- Kindred Bravely Maternity Panties
- INNERSY Postpartum High Waisted Panties
- Motherhood Maternity Fold Over Belly Waistband
- Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum Underwear
- Hansilk Mesh Multi-purpose Disposable Underwear
- Intimate Portal Under Bump Maternity Underwear
Why You Need Postnatal Underwear
Postnatal underwear tackles the troubles you don’t fully realize you’re going to have after having your baby until you’re in the thick of it. You’ll be sore literally everywhere, well, I was when the pain meds would wear off, and you’ll be bleeding for a few weeks and will need to hold pads in place. Having a little supportive control also helps.
Regular underwear will ride up, and you will NOT want to wear your thongs, I promise you this. I couldn’t get comfortable in a thong again for MONTHS after having my first, even when the bleeding ceased.
Another important consideration is to choose breathable material. Air needs to flow easily to keep you from getting an infection. The only thing more unbearable than all the pain during and after birth would be to get a vaginal infection or a UTI neither of which are ideal under normal circumstances.
Postnatal underwear is essential and should be in your hospital bag, ready to go. When you find the kind you like, buy a bunch because you will love them for that comfort. And don’t worry…there are some cute ones too that won’t make you feel like an old maid!
How to Shop for the Best Postpartum Panties?
There are definitely a few things to consider as you shop for postnatal underwear. You want a good, comfortable fit plus something that stays in place and won’t slip down or ride up. Something that supports is ideal too. You’ll need it.
As for materials, it must be breathable, so here’s what I recommend to look at:
- Cotton – it’s one of the most breathable options and is soft, which feels good on your tender bits.
- Mesh – this one is usually a disposable type, which might be a good choice for your hospital bag if you just want to toss out the ones you destroy. Some hospitals will provide you with these, while others won’t. It might help to call your doctor or hospital to find out.
- Microfiber – it’s much like mesh though more durable and highly absorbent.
- Spandex – it provides support and compression all at once.
- Silicone panels – these might be the best underwear for after c-section because it supports the incision area for more comfort.
There are plenty of styles of postpartum panties to choose from too. You can find disposable ones, compression, full briefs, low-rise options, and even those designed for c-section mamas.
The style is more your choice, but what counts most is choosing a material that keeps your vaginal area and incision area dry, allowing airflow to these tender areas so they can heal most efficiently.
12 Best Postpartum Underwear in 2021
Without further ado, here are 12 different postnatal panties that may suit you best. They’re not in any particular order and I’ve given you 12 options that can fit your own specific needs.
Always Discreet Postpartum Incontinence
Great disposable ideal for hospital use!
Ok, look, I know what you’re thinking. I had the same thought, but these I deliberately added to the list after my friend Ashely swore by them after having her twins. I have a friend that has never had children that uses these for her insanely heavy periods and she chimed in to tell me she never uses pads or tampons anymore…only this Always Discreet underwear.
I’ll admit it looks like a diaper, but you’re not going to care what it looks like in the hospital. And while I’ve never used it myself, 2 of my friends have come forward to tell me they absolutely love this product and that they did not feel like they were in diapers while wearing them.
“Pads have always made me feel like I had a diaper on, but not these,” Ashley told me.
Always is one of the most trusted brands for feminine products, so it’s a natural choice. It features a RapidDry core that has protection for heavy leaks from front to back along with 360° elastic-bound FormFit that curves with your body to give you the perfect fit. Innovative double leak guards pull wetness away from the edges to provide you with full confidence that you’re not leaving a puddle in your wake.
Once you do get out of the hospital bed, these fit very discreetly under your clothes so no one will ever know. While I wouldn’t recommend wearing them for the next few months, these will be so handy in the hospital because you can throw them out when done. You’ll also want some at home until the blood flow becomes less heavy, and then you can use regular postpartum undies.
Cauniss High Waisted Full Coverage Recovery Underwear
Affordable c-section comfort and compression!
Cauniss has designed this 5-pack of colorful postpartum underwear specifically for c-section moms. Each pair is a blend of cotton (95%) and spandex (5%) to give you the comfort, compression, and breathability you need after the baby.
In the crotch area, it features a double-layer of cotton to help with air flow and avoid infections. The amount of stretch will gently conform to your curves while adding gentle compression atop your abdomen without rolling down or inching up your behind.
When you have a c-section, having postpartum underwear that comes up over the incision bandage is extremely helpful because it holds it in place and offers extra cushioning to keep you from wincing in pain. Believe me, you’ll have those moments where you accidentally hit it, or the baby kicks it, and every bit of protection matters.
Because of the gentle compression, these will also be useful as you work to get your body back down to pre-pregnancy size. It can smooth over your belly to give you more confidence when you wear form-fitting clothing. Another great feature is that these are remarkably high quality at a very affordable price.
UpSpring High Waist C-Section Support
A great high-waisted silicone panel choice for extra support!
After your c-section, UpSpring has you fully covered with this ultra-high postpartum underwear for tummy control. They’re made from nylon (92%) and spandex (8%) and come all the way up to just under your boobs to give gentle compression support. The brand was designed by a mom who underwent a c-section herself and a medical team, thoughtfully including a silicone panel that falls right onto your c-section incision site to help recovery speed along.
Unlike belly bands, it provides comfortable postpartum recovery and support while working to reduce irritation. While it can be worn right after birth, this might not be your first choice right after delivery, but a few weeks later, you will definitely appreciate the silicone panel and gentle support of these postpartum undies when you go anywhere.
UMMISS Full Coverage Brief Panty
The most versatile pair of maternity underwear after birth!
What I like about this multi-pack of 5 postnatal panties, besides the great color choices, is that they are incredibly versatile. These are the kind of underwear you’ll want as you go through your maternity, after birth, and long after that when you have your period return and want comfort and support. I’m not planning on having more kids, but I might just order these for that time of the month.
They’re made from cotton (95%) and spandex (5%), so they are soft, breathable, and easy to wear. There’s a double layer of fabric on the waistband to keep it from rolling or bunching. While it’s not compression underwear, it rises high to give just enough tummy support and smooth over any muffin top.
The crotch area is wide and double-layered to offer more coverage with breathability. You can comfortably wear a pad with it without it riding up. As we all know, that’s a big deal!
Always Discreet Boutique, Incontinence
Great odor and leak protection in the disposable form!
If the other Always option at the top of my list made you think “diapers,” then the Discreet Boutique version may be a better disposable option. It uses a soft fabric imprinted with delicate lace designs that give these more fancy looks.
They feature that same RapidDry core that locks in liquid and converts it to gel so you can feel confident no matter how much blood is flowing. The double leak guards keep anything from flowing over the sides, but the clincher here is the OdorLock feature.
I was personally worried that I smelled and that everyone around me could smell it too. I would have LOVED these while I was in the hospital.
Annenmy Women’s Stretchy Brief
Comfortable with plus size availability that works for multi-use purposes!
I have to be honest…I love it when underwear comes in packs. This one gives you 5 pairs in an array of fun color options, all made from cotton (95%) and elastane (5%) that provide soft, breathable comfort. While they do make them in all sizes, it’s nice to know they have plus sizes available for anyone who needs them.
The fabric isn’t just breathable but also moisture-wicking. This is why I rated it as a multi-use option because there are times when your hormones will make you crazy. One minute you’ll be hot and sweaty and the next, shivering. When your underwear gets moist, it’s so uncomfortable. You have to change it too because you don’t want to risk getting an infection. So hooray to Annenmy for getting that right!
These come in a beautiful, flattering brief style with a waistband that stays put. Gentle tummy support keeps you looking smooth and slimmed underneath your clothing, and there are no visible panty lines too.
Kindred Bravely Maternity Panties
Most luxury in style!
Ok, so you know you don’t want to ruin your pretty panties right now. The best post-pregnancy underwear for you if you like lace and feminine things is this awesome 5-pack by Kindred Bravely. The material is composed of rayon (95%) and spandex (5%). It also features lace trim on the waistband. And lest you think it doesn’t have you covered in breathability, you have a 100% cotton gusset to let things air out thoroughly.
Designed to accommodate c-section moms, it is thoughtfully composed to keep from nagging at your waistline while securing your bandage and keeping pads in place. If you would rather eat glass than wear ugly panties or disposable ones, these will make you feel sexy again.
Oh, and that lace? It’s ultra-soft and won’t leave you feeling itchy and annoyed. You’ll be one hot mama in these!
INNERSY Postpartum High Waisted Panties
Your most comfortable high waisted option!
INNERSY commands comfort in this 5-pack made from cotton (95%) and spandex (5%) with the inner crotch full-on cotton. It’s designed for breathability and to keep you from feeling sweaty down there.
The high waisted design gives a touch of support while keeping your c-section incision covered. It also boasts lifting your butt, which I can tell you is something you’re going to love because you will feel like everything is sagging after all this, believe me. At the back, you won’t feel a tightened sensation either. My friend Lila ordered these and said she honestly felt like she was wearing nothing at all.
Direct quote from her: “I was wearing a nursing dress that was really free-flowing and I’d been so scatterbrained after the birth that on my first outing with the baby, I sat there and convinced myself I’d forgotten to put underwear on. I ran to the bathroom to check and nope! These were on me, and I’ve never had a more comfortable pair ever.”
Motherhood Maternity Fold Over Belly Waistband
Fold-over comfort in cute styles!
For mamas that want underwear that will work for postnatal underwear too, Motherhood Maternity has you covered. Made from cotton (95%) and spandex (5%), the elastic waistband holds its own with a unique fold-over design at the waistband to accommodate your body as it changes.
You can wear it over the bump or to get a smooth finish under clothes. Or fold them down to fit under your belly. It’s nice to have options! These come in a 3-pack and are really soft, comfortable, and stylish. You’ll find them to be a fantastic choice during and after your pregnancy.
Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum Underwear
Mesh-free disposable that’s perfect for sensitive skin!
While I didn’t get mesh underwear at the hospital in China, plenty of friends were happy to fill me in on what I was missing. Or what I wasn’t. “They were so uncomfortable,” my friend Amber told me. And my friend Brittany had an allergic reaction to the ones they gave her.
I can’t turn up what the ones given out in the hospital are made from beside a vague “mesh”, but there seem to be several others who had skin irritation, which brings me to my point here. Frida Mom makes this disposable postpartum underwear that is made from microfiber and spandex.
They’re very stretchy, comfortable, and the brand stresses no use of latex, which I have heard rumors is what’s in the mesh offerings at the hospital but can’t find a confirmation of that.
In any event, latex-free is a good thing, and these have a high waistband to keep from rolling down. They’re not made to last, and some say that Frida Mom could be a little more enduring for a disposable, but they will certainly hold your pad in place and keep you comfortable.
Hansilk Mesh Multi-purpose Disposable Underwear
Mesh panty post-pregnancy disposable underwear like the hospital but better!
I’ve been told that these mesh postpartum panties are similar to the ones that certain hospitals give out, only better. These are disposable, but you can wash them and reuse them until they start falling apart.
Made from polyester and spandex, they offer a seamless, stretchy, and breathable option that if you bleed all over, you can just toss and use a new one. Hansilk also mentions it’s a latex-free option so it won’t irritate your skin. You will still need to use a pad with these, but they hold them well and feel comfortable accordingly.
Intimate Portal Under Bump Maternity Underwear
Unique under-belly design for pregnancy and postnatal wear!
You should buy Intimate Portal’s Under The Bump panties during your pregnancy. They have a smart feature that includes a light 100% cotton inner lining that makes it easy for you to notice any unusual spotting or changes in discharge.
Made from refined cotton (95%) and spandex (5%), it offers a cute cross-over bikini style that goes under your baby bump for a gentle way to find comfort. It works after birth too, and those are so cute, you won’t want to bleed over them, so tuck them away for use after you get through the first few weeks. They’ll still be cute long after you recover too!
Everyone wants to know more about postpartum underwear, so here are your questions, answered!
How long do you wear disposable underwear after birth?
Lochia, or postpartum bleeding, can last for as long as 6 weeks. Generally, though, it will be heavy for the first week to 10 days. If they give you some in the hospital, you may want to tuck some into your bag, but as my friends who have worn them say, they’re not as comfortable. You may want to get a package of quality disposable underwear to stay comfortable in the first week or two.
How many pairs of postpartum underwear do you need?
For disposable, you will want to have enough to get through those first couple weeks. If you have any leftovers, save them for your period when it comes back. For postnatal underwear, you may want to have 5 to 7 pairs so that you won’t run out before you do laundry.
What type of underwear is best for postpartum?
This is purely your choice. You may love the mesh or the other disposable. You may find high-waisted gives you better support. The style is up to you though I insist you choose something that allows breathability. Versatility is good, too, because you can use them during pregnancy and beyond.
Does wearing underwear help recover faster after pregnancy?
Well, I’ve never been one to skip underwear ever in my life, but I will say this…if you tend to go bare, DON’T during this part of your life. You will want to have something that keeps you from leaving lochia everywhere in your wake.
Though perhaps the better question is if high-waisted versions help you recover faster, and to that end, I say yes because they protect your c-section incision if you have one. For all mamas, they provide gentle support to help your body fall back into line once again.
Last nugget of advice… (important)
Postpartum underwear is definitely a must. How much you spend and the styles you choose are entirely your own. If I had to do it again, though, I’d choose the Always Discreet odor protection option for immediately after and then do something soft, high-waisted and cottony after that, but that’s just me. Which one will you choose? 🤔