Looking for the best postpartum underwear? As your first layer of clothing underwear will protect your tender tummy after birth and handle your bleeding. A good pair of postpartum panties will not only save your nice lingerie from being misshapen or stained but will also be comfortable and practical to wear.
When it comes to maternity underwear there is a lot of choice. A buying guide can help you know what to look for and find the most suitable underwear for your needs. We’ve researched what’s available on the market and selected the best performing underwear for wearing after birth. Let’s find out which ones made the cut.
5 Best Postpartum Underwear Reviews
Always Discreet, Incontinence Underwear
Pros: discreet, no need for pads, convenient, comfortable
Cons: scented, not eco friendly
The ultimate postpartum pants have to be Always Discreet disposables. These pants act like underwear and a pad in one. No need to deal with leaks or stains panties, just dispose of them once you’re finished. These are the best solution if you want convenience after having your baby. They are great to wear in hospital until you get home, so no need to bring home dirty underwear.
The material is non-woven so no need to worry about any stitches being pulled. They are also quite thin and discreet to wear. We would highly recommend these, even just for night use so you don’t leak any blood onto your bed sheets.
UpSpring Baby C-Panty
Pros: protects your scar, helps to heal, reduces swelling, comfortable
Cons: expensive, sizing
The Upspring Baby c-Panty are designed especially for women who have had a caesarean birth. The pants are compression grade to promote good blood flow and reduce swelling. They have an area of silicone gel lined right where your incision site. This is indented to help your wound heal quickly.
The pants sit high up so your whole tummy benefits from the compression and your wound is protected. Moms who have worn these post section swear by them. The biggest concern was the price tag, but they are worth investing in at least one pair.
Anita Maternity Brief
Pros: supportive, stretch material, don’t roll up
Cons: use with winged pads
The Anita maternity briefs are perfect for using in pregnancy and after baby arrives. The fabric is a stretchy nylon with elastane which adjusts to the size of your tummy. They are quite firm and offer your postpartum tummy support.
They won’t roll down or ride up, making them really comfortable to wear, even if you have had a C-section. We particularly love the shaping at the back which helps them to sit better without ‘bagging’. With no seams and wide edge they won’t dig into your skin or cause any marks, so a great sleeping option. We recommend using these with winded liners as some maternity pads have trouble sticking to the fabric.
Fruit of the Loom Beyond Soft Panties
Pros: inexpensive, very comfortable, soft, durable, machine washable
Cons: big made, thin waistband
The Fruit of the Loom Beyond Soft Briefs are a great inexpensive option for postpartum use. The cotton and polyester fabric is very soft and comfortable to wear. The full brief style makes them sit very high up onto your tummy. This is perfect for those first couple of weeks until your tummy shrinks back down.
We found them suitable for using after both natural and C-section births. They are easy to wash and are suitable for the machine. For a great price you get 6 pairs of panties in a range of nice modern colors. Beware as these pants do run large and they won’t shrink much in the wash.
Intimate Portal Maternity Bikini Panties
Pros: low rise, breathable cotton, comfortable, easy wash
Cons: not suitable for C-section, sizes run small
These bikini pants by Intimate portal are great is you don’t want full coverage. Unfortunately for some women the postpartum period is a time you need to wear panties and pads, even if you don’t normal do so. This can make you feel really uncomfortable. These panties are a great compromise. They offer little coverage with enough to support a maternity pad.
The band sits just under your hip line and is quite discreet under clothes. We wouldn’t recommend these if you have a C-section as the band will rub at you incision area. The breathable, cotton fabric makes them very soft and can aid the recovery of any perineal stitches. They come in a big variety of colors and pretty lace edges.
Postpartum Underwear Basics
Types of Postpartum Underwear
Underwear comes in a range of styles each with their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each type to find the one which suits you best.
As the name suggests these are single use only underwear. You can buy them as a single mesh panty or as incontinence panties which double as maternity pads. This style is very lightweight to wear and convenient for using in hospital or night time. You don’t need to worry about washing them or dealing with blood stained underwear or linen. This type is fine for short term use and we would recommend them for the first week after baby arrives.
A full brief panty can be work both when you are pregnant and once you’ve had baby. These pants are large and offer full coverage usually above your belly button. An elasticated fibre is a good feature as it allows the underwear to grow and shrink with you. Full briefs offer support all over your tummy as well as protecting a C-section would without seams rubbing. The also provide good support for maternity pads.
This type has a strong and supportive fabric which compresses your abdomen. These are similar to a postpartum girdle but with less compression. Theses can benefit you by improving your blood flow, helping your muscles to recover and reduce swelling. Compression underwear offers full length coverage, reaching just underneath your breasts. This can be used as shape wear to smooth out your lump and bumps to get back into your regular clothing.
No they don’t wear non-prescription glasses or have beards! They are a low rise style which sits on or below the hips. This type of panty gives a minimal coverage. For women who don’t want to wear underwear that cover their whole tummy it provides enough fabric to hold a pad in place. These style is discreet and lightweight to wear. We don’t recommend this style for C-section recovery as the band may rub on your wound area causing irritation.
A common underwear fabric as it is soft and breathable. Cotton is a great option for preventing infection or caring for stitches. The downside of cotton it that it can stain easily.
Mesh underwear is very light and thin. It doesn’t offer much support but it can be thrown away after using.
Also known as spandex it’s a man-made poly fiber. Elastane is well known for providing support and stretch to underwear. It is also known to be moisture resistant.
This is often a polyester or nylon blend. It’s well known for being soft and naturally wicking for sweat. It’s a great durable alternative to cotton.
Underwear is the layer of clothing that will come into contact with you skin. It needs to be comfortable, fit right and be practical. After birth you’ll be failing more tender than usual, you may even have an incision and you’ll have to deal with post birth bleeding.
The fit of your underwear will depend on the size and style you have chosen. Ultimately you want the underwear to stay in the places you would like it to. That means no riding up or rolling down. A tighter fit can provide support but may also dig in and be uncomfortable. A loose fit can offer comfort but may not be very discreet under clothes.
This is important as you’ll need to keep your underwear free from blood or bacteria. You’ll want your underwear to withstand frequent washing and prevent staining. Underwear which is machine washable, stain resistant and odor proof score highly.
Consider the areas where you would like to provide support. You may want full abdominal support especially for C-section to provide protection for your wound. Support may also slim you down to help you fit back into your old clothes. Even perineal support can help stitches recover. If you want minimal coverage, ensure the underwear provides enough support for a maternity pad.
Like any underwear you can get good performers for both budget and luxury price ranges. If you plan to wear the underwear through the end of pregnancy and postpartum you should invest in a good pair. If you want short term use then inexpensive underwear may be suitable.
Benefits of Postpartum Underwear
You underwear will provide support for your postpartum tummy or vagina. Women with caesarean or perineal stitches may fear them bursting open. Without good support you will reduce that anxiety. You can check out our postpartum girdle reviews and buying guide here.
Coverage for your wound is important to prevent it being bumped or stitches snagged. If your wound is seeps, underwear can help to keep bandages or dressing clean and dry.
You’ll need to wear pads to catch your postpartum bleeding regardless of your delivery. Tampons are not recommend due to risk of infection. Thick or large pads are recommended to deal with a heavy flow for at least the first week. You’ll need underwear to accommodate using these, as unfortunately a thong won’t cut it. Check out our reviews on the best postpartum pads to use after birth.
Did you know that ‘Mom sweats’ are a thing after birth? You’ll sweat (and pee) profusely to get rid of all that extra water weight. That may mean your get an extra sweaty crotch or bottom. Sweat wicking or breathable fabrics for your underwear can help to minimize any discomfort this will cause you.
Postpartum compression or shaping underwear can help you pull in your tummy, waist and hips. These areas can be a little flabby after birth as you gain weight here to support your pregnancy and breastfeeding. By slimming them down you can get back into your regular clothes and feel a little more human again after nine long months.
Do you have a favorite brand you like to wear after you’ve had a baby? Share your wisdom with other moms and leave us a comment below.