Throughout my first pregnancy, I spent many hours preparing for my daughter’s arrival. I consulted countless baby and pregnancy lists and stocked up on everything I thought I would need for my mini-me-to-be and me.
There were items stashed in every crevice of our London apartment. You could not take two steps without bumping into a piece of baby paraphernalia (stroller, bassinet, crib, pack n’ play).
There was no space that was not overflowing with bags and boxes from Amazon, Babies R Us, or hand-me-downs from relatives and friends.
Admittedly, the emphasis was heavy on the baby, but not so heavy on me. My focus shifted considerably as I approached my expected due date and started thinking about preparing my hospital bag.
Being the organized mom-to-be that I was, I consulted a hospital bag checklist similar to this one from Babylist.
- Birth plan ✔
- Robe ✔
- Toiletries ✔
- Comfy clothes ✔
- Adult diapers x
“Excuse me??? Adult diapers???” I must admit, my initial reaction was one of surprise.
I recall asking a trusted friend who had just given birth, “Surely I just need to stash a pack of heavy-duty maxi pads along with a few pairs of the ‘granny panties’ in my hospital bag?”
My surprise turned into dismay as she, as well as several other friends, acquaintances, and even strangers on the Internet forums agreed with the adult diaper suggestion.
“Exactly how much fluid is going to be leaking from my body after I give birth?” I thought.
Not wanting to be unprepared, I waddled down to the local supermarket about a week before my due date and bought the smallest pack of adult diapers I could find. I even made sure to tuck the receipt away somewhere safe so I could waddle back and return them after I had given birth.
As it turns out, I did not need the receipt. Nor did I need to wait until after I had given birth to experience my first foray into the world of adult diapers.
The Best Postpartum Underwear
Always Discreet Postpartum Underwear
Always Discreet Postpartum Underwear will come in handy if, like me, your waters break while you are at home. I still remember the moment I got out of bed and felt a rush of water down my legs!
That rush soon became a trickle that did not go away for the next two days as I waited for labor to start naturally. It continued for another two days after I was induced! Needless to say, I was happy I had made that trip to the supermarket the week before.
With elastic around the legs and a thick “rapid dry” core, these disposables can make light work of amniotic fluid. Because they are disposable, they can also get tossed straight into the trash instead of a laundry bag! They come in multiple sizes from XS-XL and have a feminine design with an interlocking floral pattern at the waistband.
The good news does not stop there! For those of you with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), packs of these postpartum briefs are considered an FSA approved-purchase. Use your FSA card to pay and splurge your hard-earned cash on a postpartum adult beverage instead!
I continued to wear my disposables for roughly four weeks after giving birth, as I contended with postpartum blood loss or “lochia”. I only wish I had purchased more than one pack, to begin with. My other half could have done without the frantic middle-of-the-night shopping trip to the 24-hour pharmacy when I realized I was down to my last pair of disposable underwear!
Frida Postpartum Underwear
Another contender for best postpartum underwear are these cute boyshort-style disposables by Frida. Described as “supersoft and stretchy” these powerful panties are an improved version of the mesh counterparts normally provided by the hospital.
They are latex-free and tagless. They can be purchased in two sizes; petite and regular, and are also available in a “high-waisted C-section cut”.
Please note that these disposables are designed to keep maxi pads, which need to be purchased separately, in place. Fortunately, Frida has made this a no brainer as the underwear are one component of a “five-step system”.
Before you check out your shopping cart, make sure you snag Frida’s Upside Down Peri Bottle for Postpartum Care, 2-in-1 Postpartum Absorbent Perineal Ice Maxi Pads, Witch Hazel Medicated Pad Liners, and Witch Hazel Healing Foam. You will be feeling cool and leak-free in no time at all!
Leonisa C-Section Postpartum High Waist Panty with Adjustable Belly Wrap
Looking for structured support after a C-section? Then check out Leonisa C-Section Postpartum High Waist Panty with Adjustable Belly Wrap. While these panties do not offer protection against postpartum leaks, they are designed to compress the tummy, reduce post-surgical swelling, and protect C-section incisions.
Available in beige and black, these high waisted girdle style panties are available in sizes XS-XL. They also feature an adjustable front panel that wraps across the belly and fastens with Velcro at the sides.
Due to the fabric composition, they are a polyamide/spandex blend – they must be hand washed. With all the loads of laundry that come with the baby’s arrival, your washing machine will be happy to have one less job to do!
The Leonisa wrap will put a considerable dent in your wallet and is only available as a stand-alone item.
Postpartum Seamless Support Panty
A more affordable option is the Postpartum Seamless Support Panty by Motherhood Maternity. Available in nude and black, these panties are a comfortable, breathable blend of cotton and nylon spandex. Featuring an adjustable fold-over waistband, they can be purchased in sizes S/M and L/XL.
The seamless technology means that they will offer support under your clothes without a hint of unsightly panty lines. Unlike other postpartum shapewear options, there is no need to contort your body to get them on. Simply slide them over your legs and pull!
These postpartum panties are designed to support your belly rather than absorb any leaks. Make sure you remember to purchase maxi pads separately if you plan on wearing these during the first couple weeks after you give birth.
They are another hand-wash only contender so be sure to separate them from the rest of your load of laundry. This will ensure they see you through the duration of your postpartum recovery period.
High Waisted Cotton Soft Full Briefs
If you like the look of the Motherhood Maternity range but want a more varied color palette, then check out these High Waisted Cotton Soft Full Briefs by Wirapa. Available in packs of four, you can choose from an astounding fifteen color combinations. The range of sizes; XS to 5XL, is nearly as impressive and makes this brand a great choice for moms of all shapes and sizes.
These panties sit right at the waistline or belly button and offer moderate support for post-C-section incisions and the postpartum baby belly. The crotch area is made from double-layered moisture-wicking cotton and the full coverage bottom allows for the addition of a thick postpartum maxi pad.
Like the Motherhood Maternity panties, these are easy on, easy off. As far as cleaning goes, simply throw these wonders in a mesh laundry bag and add them to the ever-increasing pile of baby’s laundry.
Fruit of the Loom Beyond Soft Panties
If you are looking for another comfortable option that will go easy on your wallet, then look no further than Fruit of the Loom Beyond Soft Panties. They come in packs of six or twelve and are available in multiple styles and pastel color combinations.
Like a regular pant, these undergarments can be purchased in sizes 5-13. If you are purchasing them for postpartum wear, you will want to check out the “brief” or “plus-size brief” version.
The cotton/polyester blend is touted by the manufacturer as being shrink and fade resistant and free from panty lines. They sit comfortably at your belly button and also boast full bottom coverage, making them an ideal choice to wear along with a maxi pad.
No need to hand wash these colored cotton wonders. Simply throw them in the machine and wash on a cold setting and finish with a spin in the tumble dryer.
You can even continue to wear this design well after your postpartum recovery is finished since they are not marketed specifically as a post-pregnancy panty.
Innersy Cotton High Waisted Panties
Innersy Cotton High Waisted Panties are another ideal postpartum underwear option, especially if you are looking for a more interesting color palette. Along with the standard neutrals and pastels, they are also available in rich jewel tones and stripes. Available in sizes S-3XL, the cotton and spandex blend means they will stretch to accommodate your post-birth baby bump and/or any post-C-section swelling.
The high waistline is designed to offer light compression which will cover your post-C-section incision. The full bottom design will cover your backside and accommodate the addition of maxi pads needed for postpartum bleeding.
These candy-colored undergarments may be purchased in packs of three or five, making them an affordable choice for money conscious moms. The manufacturer recommends washing them in a mesh laundry bag in a cold setting to ensure longevity.
C-Section and Postpartum Recovery Undies and Anti-Panti Leak-Resistant Undies
Got some extra cash to splurge? Look no further than these C-Section and Postpartum Recovery Undies and Anti-Panti Leak Reistant Undies. Both are products of Belly Bandit. They are available in two neutral colors – nude and black. Sizes range from XS-XXL.
The C-section version rests just below the breasts and fastens with hook and eye closures. Do not let this put you off. Belly Bandit promises that you can step in and out of these high-waisted undergarments with the clasps completely fastened.
Bladder control not what it was pre-pregnancy? Simply pull aside the fabric and go.
Made from a blend of polyamide and spandex, these high-end undies will help reduce swelling and provide much-needed support and stability as you move around postpartum. They are also suitable for wear after a vaginal delivery as muscles start to contract and shrink.
The leak-resistant panty option features a much lower cut than its C-section counterpart. They are suitable for wear during pregnancy and after you give birth. The seamless waistband will sit below a growing baby bump as well as your post-birth baby belly.
The comfy nylon and spandex blend is touted as “second skin” and promises “no panty lines”. You will still need to insert a maxi pad as the leak-proof technology will only protect your clothes from a “sprinkle, not a full tinkle”.
To help offset the higher price point of both Belly Bandit choices you may be able to seek reimbursement via your health insurance companies and your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account).
High Waist Postpartum Underwear & C-Section Recovery Maternity Panties
After months of living in “granny panties”, you might be looking for a more feminine undergarment to see you through postpartum recovery. If you want style without sacrificing comfort, then try the High Waist Postpartum Underwear & C-Section Recovery Maternity Panties by Kindred Bravely.
Available in packs of five from sizes XS-XXL, there are size and color options to suit a range of moms. You can choose from two color palettes, “assorted” (five rich jewel tones); and “neutral” (black and nude). Both feature a delicate, yet wide lace waistband that is designed to provide support and sit well above a C-section incision.
The rayon and spandex blend offers ultimate comfort and will hold post-surgical dressings, maxi pads, and your postpartum baby belly in place. This option is not only easy on the wallet, but it can also go into the washing machine with baby’s delicates.
My parting words of advice? Do not be dismayed by all the choices above. Start with one of the disposable options because let’s face it, you will want to enjoy time with your baby rather than adding to your laundry pile in the days immediately after birth. As your body adjusts postpartum, listen to its cues and choose the washable options that will work for you.
The beauty of being at home with your baby is that any of these options are only a click away!