There are a few different types of underwear you should have at home for your postpartum recovery. Here’s our list featuring the best of the best.
There are many things to consider when planning for the arrival of a new baby. Sometimes, expecting or new moms can forget or overlook the essential postpartum recovery items. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
So, if you’re in the market to find the best postpartum underwear, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up our personal tried-and-true favorites and detailed why these undies are top-notch picks for postpartum recovery.
Shop the best postpartum underwear for:
- Birth to one week
- One week to one month
- One month to three months
- Cesarean birth recovery
- Leak-proof underwear
- Underwear for incontinence
How to choose the best underwear for postpartum
If you’re unsure where to start when picking out the best underwear for recovery after birth, there are a few essential aspects to keep in mind while you shop.
How long ago you gave birth
We believe you’ll need a few different postpartum underwear styles for ultimate comfort and recovery support throughout your healing process. Which postpartum underwear you choose depends on how long ago you gave birth.
For example, when you’re at the hospital freshly postpartum, you’ll need stretchy mesh-like underwear to accommodate a sizeable postpartum pad for discharge and bleeding (also known as lochia).
You can switch to more supportive underwear and a smaller pad as you heal, eventually returning to your “normal” underwear.
Read next: What Pads to Use for Postpartum Bleeding
Your delivery type
How you gave birth – vaginally or cesarean – is critical to consider which type of postpartum underwear is best for you.
Those who had a c-section have a significant wound to consider, and the underwear you choose must be thoughtfully designed to not interfere with healing or cause extra pain or pressure on the area.
If you had a vaginal birth, you have a little more flexibility on the postpartum underwear you choose, particularly how high (or low) the rise of the underwear falls.
Underwear qualities to consider
Keep in mind the specific underwear qualities of each pair. To help you get started, here are some points to consider:
- Material (ideally something stretchy and breathable)
- Are they reusable or one-time use?
- Color (darker is best to hide stains)
- Waistband height (important for c-section parents)
How many pairs of postpartum underwear do I need?
The answer to this question can vary depending on which underwear you choose (ex: is it disposable or reusable?) and how often you plan on doing laundry. To help, we’re sharing general guidelines below.
A quick reference list:
- Mesh underwear: 10 pairs if disposable, a 5-pack if reusable
- Support underwear: 3 pairs minimum
- Comfy underwear: 3 pairs minimum
If you’re buying your mesh underwear, it’s best to have at least two per day – a fresh pair in the morning and a new pair before bed.
Once you graduate to support underwear, it’s ideal to have a minimum of three pairs. That way, you can always (fingers crossed) have a clean pair, even if two are in the laundry basket. You shouldn’t need more than five pairs total.
Finally, when it comes to comfy postpartum underwear, three pairs is the minimum we’d recommend. Like the support underwear, with three pairs of comfortable postpartum underwear, you’ll always have a clean pair available.
Some new moms prefer to have more than three pairs depending on how long they intend to stay in postpartum underwear before returning to “normal” underwear.
More on the transition to your usual undies below.
Our List: Best Postpartum Underwear
Birth to one week:
One week to one month:
One to three months
Birth to one week: best mesh underwear
Immediately after birth, you’ll need to wear mesh underwear until about one-week postpartum. These are incredibly stretchy and can easily fit the large pad you’ll need after birth.
While you probably won’t need mesh underwear for an entire week (probably more like two to three days), it’s nice to have some extra pairs at home because they are very comfortable and can be excellent for sleeping.
If you gave birth in a hospital, they’d provide them. If you are giving birth at home or want to choose them ahead of time, you’ll need to provide your own. Our two favorite picks for mesh postpartum underwear are below.
1. Frida Mom Disposable Mesh Underwear
The disposable mesh underwear by FridaMom comes in two sizes – regular and petite – giving moms options to help find their best fit.
- Made from microfiber and spandex
- Completely latex-free
- Breathable and comfortable
- Not see-through like hospital mesh underwear
- Full coverage, boyshort-like fit
2. Bodily Washable Mesh Underwear
If you’d like a more eco-friendly, reusable option, the Bodily washable mesh underwear is perfect. They come in a pack of five.
- Machine washable
- Open-knit fabric for maximum breathability
- Fits sizes 2-24
- Nylon and spandex blend
One week to one month: best supportive underwear
Supportive postpartum underwear is essential to help support your stretched (or cut!) abdominal muscles and give your back and abdomen a break.
There’s nothing like that sigh of relief when slipping on a pair of supportive underwear while in recovery.
1. BaoBei Scallop Support Bloomer
A physical therapist and mom founded BaoBei, so the products you find from there are as functional as they are comfortable and supportive. The Scalloped Support Bloomers are no exception. Plus, how cute are they?
- Provide a lifting and hugging sensation
- Unique design to encourage abdominal healing
- Seamless design for maximum comfort
- Wide enough to accommodate pads
- Nylon and spandex blend with cotton gusset
You can save 15% on your order with code hellopostpartum15 at checkout.
2. UpSpring Post Baby Panty
Like the BaoBei Support Bloomer, the UpSpring Recovery Panty encourages abdominal healing with gentle support and hug.
- Ultra high-waist design
- Gentle compression
- Wide enough to accommodate pads
- Clinically-proven for recovery
- Nylon and cotton blend
One to three months: most comfortable underwear
1. Bodily All-In Postpartum Panty
Made from micromodal fabric to ease friction (postpartum skin is sensitive!), the All-In Postpartum Panty from Bodily defines comfort.
- Super-high rise fit
- Slightly cheeky, modern back
- Gentle support for your core
- Available in five colors
- Sizes S-3X
2. Kindred Bravely Bamboo Hipster Panty
The lowest of our postpartum underwear picks, the Kindred Bravely Bamboo Hipster Panty is an excellent choice for transitioning away from support underwear to more “normal” underwear.
- Non-rolling, crossover waistband
- Super soft bamboo fabric
- Full coverage in back
- Lightweight and breathable
Best postpartum underwear for c-section
Those who gave birth via c-section have different postpartum underwear needs than those who had a vaginal birth. This is due to a few factors:
- You have a new incision on your lower abdomen
- Your abdominal muscles (and six other layers) were cut to reach your baby
With these points in mind, it’s critical to find a pair of undies that are supportive and have a waistband high enough to clear your incision.
You probably don’t want to spend a fortune on underwear you’ll wear for a limited amount of time, so cost is probably another consideration.
We’ve tried a lot of post-cesarean underwear and have one clear winner in mind (see below!). You’ll transition to these support underwear after you’ve graduated from your mesh underwear.
Available in a pack of five, the Kindred Bravely Recovery Panty provides a touch of style. Available in sizes S-XXL.
- Super high-waist design
- Lace trim waistband detail
- Wide enough to accommodate pads
- Soft and stretchy fabric
- Rayon and spandex blend with cotton gusset
Best leak-proof postpartum underwear
Our pick: Knix Super Leakproof High Rise
If you’re no longer experiencing super heavy lochia (remember, that’s a technical term for postpartum bleeding), you could consider trying out leak-proof underwear.
These undies are specially designed to catch and absorb blood without wearing a pad (they’re great for periods, too!).
You can wash and reuse them many times, making them an eco-friendly option. This is essential considering the average new mom uses about 150 pads during their bleeding period.
Why would you need leak-proof underwear? You don’t need them, but leak-proof postpartum underwear is excellent if you don’t want to mess with a pad or want extra protection while sleeping. We know, what’s sleep?
Here are some leak-proof postpartum underwear options to explore:
Best postpartum underwear for incontinence
Our pick: Always Discreet Incontinence Underwear
For some after birth, not only will you bleed (totally normal, remember?), but you might also experience incontinence or the leaking of urine or feces.
If this is the case, a box of incontinence underwear – along with your regular postpartum underwear – might be helpful as your body heals from birth.
Keep in mind: while incontinence is common in postpartum and beyond, it’s not normal. Some providers and new moms may even overlook incontinence and write it off as “part of motherhood,” but that’s simply not the case.
There are clear signs of when it’s time to ask for pelvic floor support and you are deserving of getting the help you need.
Here are some incontinence underwear options to explore:
- Always Discreet Postpartum Underwear
- Speax by Thinx Incontinence Underwear
- Depend Silhouette Maximum Absorbency
When can you start wearing normal underwear after birth?
You can expect to wear “normal” non-postpartum underwear about four to six weeks after birth. Keep in mind this timeline can vary greatly depending on if you have a c-section incision and how heavy your bleeding is at this point.
Even if you are still lightly bleeding, you can wear your regular underwear with an everyday liner for light absorbency and added protection.
If your “normal” underwear doesn’t feel normal after giving birth, try not to be so hard on yourself and remain patient.
Remember: your body went through the incredible process of growing a human for nine months, and it may take some time for your regular underwear to feel normal again. Body acceptance of your postpartum body can come with time and practice.