Regardless if you had a c section at a hospital or gave birth vaginally at home, finding the best postpartum underwear is key to a comfortable recovery.
If you've given birth in a hospital, you know they give you disposable surgical mesh underpants and load it up with chucks, perineum ice packs, tucks, and more. You can certainly purchase those for recovering at home as well, but you have other options we'll talk about in this post from postpartum diapers to period panties for after birth and more!
- Best Postpartum Underwear
- Best Postpartum Underwear Overall: Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear & C-Section Recovery Maternity Panties
- Best Postpartum Diapers: Always Discreet Disposable Postpartum Incontinence Underwear
- Best Organic + Sustainable Postpartum Underwear: WAMA
- Best Periods Panties After Birth: THINX
- Best Postpartum Mesh Underwear: Seamless Mesh Postpartum Underwear
- Best Postpartum Underwear with Icepack: FridaBaby Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit
- Best C-Section Postpartum Underwear: Motherhood Maternity Postpartum Seamless Support Panty
- Best Postpartum Briefs: ASIMOON Full Coverage Cotton Briefs
- Best Postpartum Thong: Hatch Seamless Postpartum Thong
- Best Moisture Wicking Comfort Postpartum Underwear: Fruit of the Loom Women's Underwear Microfiber Panties
- Best Postpartum Disposable Underwear: Surgical Mesh Underpants
- What To Consider Before Buying Postpartum Underwear:
- FAQS about Postpartum Underwear
- Final Thoughts:
Best Postpartum Underwear Overall: Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear & C-Section Recovery Maternity Panties
A high waist combines with a classic style that will still leave you feeling cute with these Kindred Bravely postpartum undies. We like that these briefs feature full coverage and offer a bit of compression thanks to the five percent spandex content.
You’ll also like that these panties are made from breathable material with a generous cut that can even hold post-surgery dressings, postpartum pads, or even an ice pack. And a bit of lace trim gives you a stylish touch. Choose from a neutral or colorful five-pack in sizes small through 2XL.
- High waisted design to protect c-section incisions
- 5% spandex for added compression support
- Designed to accommodate pads and dressings
- May need to size up for comfort
Best Postpartum Diapers: Always Discreet Disposable Postpartum Incontinence Underwear
If you’re struggling to juggle caring for a newborn and managing recovery, thinking about washing your postpartum underwear might be the last thing on your mind. In that case, even though these Always Discreet disposable underwear are designed for incontinence, they easily tackle postpartum recovery.
With a fit that feels like real underwear, you’ll also appreciate the padded crotch made with an absorbent material that attracts and locks moisture to keep you dry. These postpartum diapers eliminate the need for postpartum pads which can shift and bunch over time or cause irritation. In our experience, postpartum diapers are the most comfortable option those first few days! Available in sizes small through 2XL.
- Disposable design
- Built-in leak protection and absorbance
- Available sizes S – 2XL
- May not be a pick for women focused on sustainability
Best Organic + Sustainable Postpartum Underwear: WAMA
Wama underwear were my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE for keeping postpartum pads in place. Plus they are made from hemp fabric, which is organic and eco-friendly plus naturally anti-bacterial, with anti-odor properties – two things you'll definitely want in postpartum undies!
They are super comfortable, breathable and gets softer with every wash. They come in several styles: high waisted (great for c section recovery after the hospital!), boy short, thong, bikini, and hipster. I personally loved them for wearing pads, because they felt sturdier and seemed to hold everything in place better compared to traditional cotton blend underwear.
They come in 7 colors (including several skin tone shades!) Wama also offers a satisfaction guarantee, so if you're not happy with your first pair of hemp underwear they'll make everything right and they offer free shipping in the US. Click here for 20% off your first order!
- High waisted design to protect c-section incisions
- 5% spandex for added compression support
- Designed to accommodate pads and dressings
- Common complaint that may need to size up for comfort
Best Periods Panties After Birth: THINX
Thinx has been my go-to period panty brand for well over 5 years now! Read my full Thinx period panty review here!
Their products are high quality, last for years, and work for postpartum bleeding too in my experience – though now the first couple of weeks!
I wouldn't use these the first week or two after birth when lochia and bleeding is the thickest/most mucus-y and filled with tissue. But these were my SAVING GRACE once things thinned out and I couldn't stand wearing a postpartum pad for another minute!
Because lochia is different than a menstrual period, you may need to wash these twice or add hydrogen peroxide to the gusset if you notice the a strong build up.
I'm speaking from experience as I was actually wearing these when I had my bloody show and my water broke in labor and they got QUITE A BIT of thick mucus build up on them. They were good as new after one wash though!
- Durable and long lasting
- Very secure against leaks
- Reusable beyond postpartum into your menstrual cycle
- Not truly designed for lochia/postpartum bleeding
Best Postpartum Mesh Underwear: Seamless Mesh Postpartum Underwear
The first few days after giving birth, the last thing you want to think about is having to wash your underwear. This six-pack of postpartum disposable underwear from Hansilk is a great go-to; although you can still wash and reuse them if you prefer.
The high waist provides added protection for c-section recoverers while the breathable material aids in healing. They are similar, but more stylish and comfortable than the hospital surgical mesh underpants. Plus the larger size range makes this ideal for use with pads, liners, or ice packs. Sizes range from M/L to 3X.
- Reusable but also disposable underwear for postpartum for ease of use
- Larger size range from M/L to 3XL
- Breathable polyester/spandex material
- Wash on delicate or by hand
Best Postpartum Underwear with Icepack: FridaBaby Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit
There aren't any postpartum underwear options with a built in icepack, but the Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit from FridaBaby is a complete postpartum recovery kit that features underwear with built-in ice maxi pads, healing foam, and cooling pad liners.
We think this is a smart choice to gift to a mom who just gave birth. Along with the four pairs of disposable mesh underwear, you’ll also get 24 witch hazel pad liners and four perineum ice packs — all in a caddy that can easily be stored in the bathroom.
- All-in-one kit
- Disposable mesh underwear
- Includes pain relief pads, liners, and foam
- Perineum ice packs
- Might only cover a one-week supply
- Underwear may rip easily
Best C-Section Postpartum Underwear: Motherhood Maternity Postpartum Seamless Support Panty
The Motherhood Maternity seamless postpartum panties are perfect for c-section recovery or if you're looking for postpartum compression underwear.
This two-pack features a stretch cotton blend fabric with a high waistband with a seamless finish. Plus the 14% spandex content provides gentle compression for support and a smoothing effect. Available in sizes small through 3X.
- Seamless construction won’t irritate c-section scars
- Breathable cotton blend with 14% spandex
- High waist with compression for support and smoothing
- Waistband may roll down easily if the fit isn't right
Best Postpartum Briefs: ASIMOON Full Coverage Cotton Briefs
These cotton briefs are perfect for postpartum with their generous cut, higher waist, and full coverage.
While these aren’t officially postpartum underwear, we love the wide color range options and the breathable cotton blend that includes five percent spandex for a comfortable fit.
They come in a very generous size range from small through 5XL making them great plus size maternity panties. You’ll get flat seams, a double-layer crotch, and they're machine-washable fabric. The higher waist makes them a great potential option for C-section recovery as well.
- Inclusive size range S – 5XL
- High waist and full coverage
- Breathable cotton blend with 5% spandex
- Not a true postpartum panty
Best Postpartum Thong: Hatch Seamless Postpartum Thong
Who says you can’t be sexy even during postpartum? If you’re the type who loves a good thong, then the Hatch Seamless Thong is a smart choice as it combines a cut you love with the essential comfort features you need as you recover from delivering your bundle of joy.
The high waist design is perfect from pregnancy through postpartum. The modal blend material provides plenty of stretch while the seamless construction won’t irritate; though we wouldn't recommend a thong of any style the first week or two – especially if recovering from an episiotomy or perineal tear. Thanks to the three percent elastane, you’ll get light supportive compression that also smooths your silhouette. Available in three colors and sizes small through XL.
- Thong cut
- Seamless construction
- High waist coverage
- Limited size range S – XL
Best Moisture Wicking Comfort Postpartum Underwear: Fruit of the Loom Women's Underwear Microfiber Panties
Breathability is so important as you recover from delivery. These Fruit of the Loom microfiber panties are perfect for not only absorbency but aiding in airflow. Available in a variety of cuts including bikini, hi-cut, brief, and plus size brief, we love the wide color range and the higher waistline.
This underwear promises not to create panty lines with a smooth texture that won’t irritate sensitive skin. Although these aren’t true postpartum panties, they’re a brand and cut that’s widely available at physical retailers too, making them a smart choice for mamas that might not feel comfortable ordering online. Available in sizes four through 13, making them great plus size maternity panties.
- Multiple cuts available
- Wide size range from 4 to 13
- Breathable microfiber material
- Not a true postpartum panty
Best Postpartum Disposable Underwear: Surgical Mesh Underpants
If you simply LOVE the hospital mesh underwear, then you'll love these mesh postpartum disposable underwear! They come in a pack of 10, making them the most affordable postpartum underwear option on the list.
While they are disposable, in our experience you can wash them a few times and reuse them. They are an extremely stretchy spandex and polyester blend that comes in sizes medium to XXXL, making them another plus size maternity panty option.
- High waisted and elastic free design to protect c-section incisions
- Just like the hospital mesh underwear
- Designed to accommodate postpartum pads and dressings
- Not the most eco-friendly option
What To Consider Before Buying Postpartum Underwear:
During the initial postpartum period, you may find your underwear needs change. You'll likely want postpartum underwear that can either hold a postpartum pad or hold the afterbirth bleeding you'll experience, regardless of how you delivered.
Finding underwear options that are comfortable and nontoxic should also be a priority as everything is more sensitive down there after giving birth.
Comfort should be your biggest priority when you’re shopping for postpartum underwear. There are a few options when it comes to the materials used.
- Mesh: You’ll most likely receive mesh underwear when you’re in the hospital. While not always the most attractive, it’s incredibly breathable which aids in healing. More importantly, mesh underwear is often disposable — meaning that it might also have pad-like material in the crotch — taking one more to-do off your list.
- Cotton: Breathable and durable — making it ideal as you move beyond the first 6 weeks of the postpartum period.
- Microfiber: Very absorbent and ideal for night sweats or any discharge that may have leaked
- Spandex: This type of underwear offers compression, which can be especially helpful as your body recovers from labor.
- Hemp: Organic and eco-friendly plus naturally anti-bacterial, with anti-odor properties – breathable and sturdy too!
Just like with normal underwear, postpartum panties come in a variety of styles. Depending on your goals, each has unique benefits or drawbacks.
- Disposable: While these might not always be the most sustainable choice, especially in the beginning when you’re experiencing the heaviest discharge and sweat, disposable panties can make life a bit easier
- Compression: Considering that early postpartum moms are encouraged to wear postpartum wraps or belly binders, compression underwear can be a nice addition to help the body heal after giving birth. Plus, that compression can aid in creating a smooth silhouette when you want to head out of the house.
- Full Briefs: Full briefs are similar to mini shorts or fitted boxers and can really help hold large pads in place while providing you with fuller coverage and more comfort as they don't typically ride up your behind like cheekier underwear options
- High Rise: Similar to compression postpartum panties, high-rise styles also help to hold everything in and provide a smooth silhouette. However, these panties tend to feature a much higher waistline that may go above your natural waist and many women opt for this if they've had a c-section to protect the stitches.
Depending on how your postpartum recovery progresses, some of these features might be more important than others. But as a general rule, the following aspects are the priority when shopping for postpartum underwear.
- Moisture Wicking: A must have for the postpartum night sweats and discharge. It keeps you dry and aids in airflow is going to be essential to support a speedy recovery.
- Fit: If you had a c-section, you may want something that covers the incision. Either way, you'll want a comfortable fit that can accommodate pads and keep everything secure, while remaining comfortable.
- Silicone Panels:Some postpartum undies come with silicone panels. This can be ideal especially for mamas recovering from a c-section as it can aid in healing your scar or hold ice packs.
- Ice packs: Some postpartum underwear like these come with built in ice packs or provide additional space and support for securely wearing ice packs.
FAQS about Postpartum Underwear
Do I really need post maternity underwear?
In our experience, yes, at the very minimum you need special post maternity underwear for at least the first few days to a week. But ideally for the first 2 weeks.
You'll appreciate the more generous cut, breathable fabrics, and in some cases high waist and compression like these can make your recovery period more comfortable.
How many postpartum underwear panties do I need?
Every woman will have different needs and there is no magical number. Ideally you'll want enough on hand that you can do laundry while still having a couple of clean pairs on standby.
Should you size up for postpartum underwear?
You may want to consider buying postpartum underwear that’s a size larger than you’d normally need; or that fits under your belly in the third trimester.
Along with giving you a bit more room so you can be comfortable, opting to go up a size also means you have space to easily accommodate postpartum pads or ice packs. You'll just want to make sure the waistband fits you so you aren't pulling them up constantly.
Ultimately though, it depends on the underwear. For underwear whose waistbands tend to be a bit looser, you can likely stick with your regular size. Check the manufacturer's sizing guide.
Can you use incontinence underwear for postpartum?
Yes you can wear incontinence underwear postpartum — especially in the first few postpartum days where discharge is more frequent.
Incontinence underwear is often made of similar material as disposable postpartum underwear, featuring a breathable construction and reinforced crotch with absorbent material.
When can you wear regular underwear postpartum?
The physical healing process of postpartum recovery is estimated to last six weeks with most women experiencing the heaviest discharge anywhere from a week to 10 days after giving birth.
If you have a toddler or other kids at home, expect your postpartum recovery to be a bit more challenging and know the after birth bleeding and discharge could last longer if you're picking up your kids and doing more than you did with your first; we'd suggest mentally preparing for discharge to last 2-3 weeks in that case.
There’s no hard deadline that will apply to everyone though.
With my first, I was in regular underwear by a week; with my second, I was in period panties around week 3 and regular underwear at week 4.
As you shop for postpartum panties, you’ll want to look for comfortable options that let your skin breathe without irritating you. Likewise, added features like a roomy fit and even seamless construction are also important.
What is the best postpartum underwear?
Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear was one of our favorites as it's features accommodate most mom's needs: space for postpartum pads or ice packs, five percent spandex content for gentle compression, a high waist to protect c-section incisions, and offered a decent size range from small through 2XL.
We also love WAMA underwear for the organic, naturally anti-bacterial, with anti-odor material and found them really sturdy and comfortable for keeping postpartum pads in place. The only reason they didn't win “best overall” is due to the low/mid rise waist, which may not be suitable for recovering from a c section.
With that said, you can't go wrong with any of the options on the list!
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