postpartum underwearShare on Pinterest

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

The first few days, weeks, and — let’s be honest — months home with a new baby present a host of unforeseen challenges. The best choices for postpartum underwear doesn’t have to be one of them.

Whether your C-section scar is irritated by any contact whatsoever or you are dealing with what feels like the world’s longest post-baby menstrual period, there’s never been a better time to be a new parent. You’ve got underwear options, and they aren’t all diapers or “granny panties.”

Postpartum underwear is underwear specially designed to be worn in the days and weeks after you give birth. It’s typically absorbent or extremely accommodating of large pads. Underwear for postpartum parents is also generally made of soft, breathable materials and shaped in ways that, hopefully, won’t irritate your scar if you had a cesarean delivery.

Postpartum underwear is often high-waisted and seamless, and some pairs offer light compression to help support your body as it adjusts to not carrying a baby.

While not everyone is willing to discuss their postpartum underwear struggles, we found quite a few been-there, done-that new parents who were happy to share their favorite underwear options — and share what could have been better.

The price key below is for the cost of a single pair, but some options come in packages, so actual costs may vary.

Price guide

  • $ = under $5
  • $$ = $5-$10
  • $$$ = over $10

Just when you think you’ve finished the hardest part, you come home to a messy situation.

It’s called lochia, and it can last for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum. While it’s a not-so-lovely part of postpartum life, a few pairs of these underwear can ease the stress of what feels like the longest period ever.

Always Discreet Maximum Protection Underwear

Price: $

While the heaviest blood flow after birth usually stops within the first week or so, you’ll need maximum leak protection and support for the first few days and nights, which is where these underwear come in.

Wearing a pretty “diaper” eliminates having to find the most massive pad around and also eases the fear of leaking. If the idea of sharing the same style underwear with your infant doesn’t faze you, this is definitely the most practical option.

The brand says this design is meant for postpartum coverage, claiming there should be no concerns with fit even around your sensitive lower belly. Reviewers agreed, citing the comfort. Some even preferred them to the hospital-issued mesh undies.

Wearing disposable panties like these prevents having to pay for both huge pads and new better-fitting underwear all at once, although their throw-away nature means these are indeed a temporary option. (Of course that also means you won’t have more laundry to do!)

Pros

  • You won’t have to worry about adding these to your laundry, as they’re designed to be thrown out.
  • These are a budget-friendly option at less than 75 cents each.
  • There is plenty of coverage for those days when you’re having a lot of leakage.

Cons

  • Disposable underwear aren’t the most environmentally friendly.
  • Some individuals may not want to wear something that may feel like a diaper.

Hanes Premium Comfortsoft Waistband with Cotton Mid-Thigh Boxer Briefs

Price: $

The boxer-brief style gives a little more room for a large pad, making heavy days a bit easier. Even the most comfortable pair of pre-baby booty shorts can become cramped with a bit of postpartum weight and an overnight pad.

Reviewers love the softness of these, and how they don’t tend to ride up. The other plus of buying a cheap pack of Hanes, whether you opt for this style or something else, is you’ll always have backups without needing to hustle and do laundry. Plus they’re available in a range of sizes, up to size XXL.

Pros

  • The boxer-brief style offers plenty of room for a thick pad.
  • This is an affordable option.
  • They are available up to size XXL.

Cons

  • These aren’t specifically designed for postpartum wear, so they don’t have any compression features.
  • You don’t get to pick the colors that come in the assorted pack.

One of the somewhat unpleasant surprises for many is just how long your belly area takes to recover after birth. It can take weeks before you stop looking pregnant and, even then, things aren’t quite what they once were. It’s difficult to know how to address this area when dressing.

Some people feel better having something covering and protecting their newfound baby pooch, and find that coverage makes their clothing more comfortable. Read on if you are looking for smooth, contained, and high-rise options.

Kindred Bravely High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties

Price: $$

Cesarean delivery wounds add an extra layer of postpartum considerations. These panties from Kindred were designed with cesarean delivery parents in mind.

The fabric on this underwear is ultra-soft. In addition, the cut makes them sit quite a bit higher than other underwear — it’s designed to fall well above a cesarean delivery scar, so there’s little risk of irritation.

Reviewers love this underwear because it looks beautiful at a time when not everyone feels beautiful (though you are — you just made a human!). Wide lace is the key here — nothing digging into your skin. Many reviewers suggested sizing up for ultimate comfort and to accommodate pads during the early postpartum weeks.

Pros

  • These panties are specifically designed to hit above a C-section scar and hold a pad.
  • These have touches like lace that make them feel more feminine and more like typical underwear.
  • They are machine-washable.

Cons

  • You may need to experiment with the size, and size up for the best fit.
  • There are cheaper options if you don’t want to spend extra money on postpartum underwear.

Innersy Cotton Briefs Postpartum High-Waisted Panties

Price: $$

Innersy offers an extensive variety of styles and cuts that serve as excellent options whether your gave birth vaginally or via C-section. In particular, the high-waisted slimming panties serve multiple functions as they support the lower belly and also cover the whole booty.

They also don’t roll down, unlike some higher waisted options. Reviewers particularly liked the thickness of the fabric, remarking that they offered comfortable support without feeling binding.

Pros

  • The wide double-layer waistband offers gentle compression to the belly.
  • These come in a range of colors and patterns and you can choose from a wide range of combinations in packs of five.
  • This underwear isn’t prone to rolling down, and are tag-free for added comfort.

Cons

  • You may need to experiment with sizing and size up to find a good fit.
  • They don’t include special features for absorbing extra blood.

Say it with me, cesarean delivery parents: Don’t touch the scar! The best advice given to new parents contending with a sensitive incision area is to go high or go low with your underwear cut.

However, depending on the location of your scar, most low rise underwear still end up not being low enough, and some high rise undies can roll down or irritate sensitive skin. These tried-and-true options are scar-friendly.

Frida Mom High Waist Disposable Postpartum Underwear

Price: $

Frida Mom has been at the forefront of advocating for women in their postpartum recovery, with a commercial that realistically shows the difficulties of life “down there” in the early weeks of baby life.

These underwear are step 2 of 5 in their postpartum recovery plan, which involves other products meant to make self-care easier. Basically these are the more comfortable version of the hospital mesh panties, with a higher rise and better fabric blend (microfiber and spandex).

When you start running low on your stash of hospital panties but aren’t ready to go back to your regular ones, this is a solid transition option.

Pros

  • Since these are disposable, you won’t have to worry about laundry.
  • They are specifically designed to help keep incision bandages, etc. in place.
  • The material is extremely breathable.

Cons

  • These may not leave you feeling your sexiest.
  • Some users complained that the underwear ripped when changing pads.

Auden Seamless Bikini

Price: $$

A low-rise bikini may be the way to go after cesarean delivery — especially after you finished with the bigger pads and heavy bleeding, but still have a sensitive scar. This bikini from Auden is available in a range of colors and patterns — plus it comes in sizes XS-XL.

Depending on the location of your incision, Auden bikinis may not sit below it, but the nylon/spandex blend shouldn’t cause irritation. Reviews say that while they don’t completely live up to their “seamless” name, the fabric is soft and they fit well.

Pros

  • They’re available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
  • The panties won’t make you feel like you’re wearing a diaper.
  • Due to the lower rise, these may sit below a cesarean section scar, so you won’t have anything rubbing on it.

Cons

  • These aren’t postpartum diapers designed to hold a lot of blood or urine, so you may have to wait a bit after giving birth before switching to this style.
  • They won’t offer any compression or support for the lower belly.

Sometimes less is more, and if your panty is extremely soft or has a lightweight vibe, there’s less chance of irritation. In addition, a simple solution for whatever pair you choose can be to go up one or two sizes for maximum comfort.

Victoria’s Secret No-Show Midi Brief Panty

Price: $$$

While Victoria’s Secret may seem like the last company to provide an excellent postpartum option, this panty makes the cut for its unique V-shaped front and “barely there” feel.

These may not be your best bet in the days immediately after giving birth, as they don’t have much absorption. However, after a few weeks, you may be ready for less coverage and something a little more discrete than a postpartum diaper. That’s where these panties come in.

Reviewers remark that these panties sit higher on the hips, and walk the line of extremely comfortable yet also kind of sexy — the perfect combination for postpartum parents. Seamless underwear such as these can also be beneficial when slipping into those back-to-work pants.

Pros

  • These underwear are seamless and high-waisted, which many people find comfortable postpartum.
  • These offer a sense of sexiness and normality that postpartum diapers just don’t.
  • They’re available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Cons

  • This underwear isn’t specifically designed for postpartum, so it doesn’t have the absorption that some of the other options on our list do.
  • These are not the most budget-friendly option.

Fruit of the Loom Fit for Me Micro-Mesh Brief Panty

Price: $

Finding underwear that fits comfortably postpartum can feel like a daunting task. Fruit of the Loom aims to make it easy for changing bodies, with these super-soft Fit for Me microfiber panties that come in sizes 9 to 13. (The company also has “assorted” micro-mesh underwear, which come in sizes 5 to 10.)

If you happen to leak and the pair you’re wearing isn’t salvageable, there’s no need to fret. These underwear don’t break the bank, costing less than $3 per pair when you buy a pack of 10. They’re machine-washable, in case of smaller leaks and for regular wear.

While their micro-mesh fabric is great for airflow, these panties also include a 100 percent cotton liner for extra softness. Finally, they’re tag-free, so you have one less potential irritant rubbing against your skin.

Pros

  • These underwear are available in a range of sizes, up to size 13.
  • They are affordably priced.
  • They are tag-less and include a 100 percent cotton liner for added softness.

Cons

  • If you buy the assorted pack, you’ll receive a range of colors, some of which you may not like.
  • These are not specifically designed for the postpartum body, so they don’t have the absorption and compression features some other panties do.
UnderwearPriceMaterialBest For
Always Discreet Maximum Protection Underwear$not advertisedheavy bleeders who don’t mind feeling like they’re wearing a diaper
Hanes Premium Comfortsoft Waistband with Cotton Mid-Thigh Boxer Briefs$solids and prints: 95% cotton, 5% Spandex
heathers: 58% cotton, 37% polyester, 5% Spandex
heavy bleeders who prefer wearing a pad over something like a diaper
Kindred Bravely High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties$$body: 95% rayon, 5% Spandex
gusset: 100% cotton
parents who had cesarean deliveries, and want to look feminine while covering their lower belly
Innersy Cotton Briefs Postpartum High-Waisted Panties$$95% cotton 5% Spandex
inner crotch: 100% cotton
parents who want some extra belly support
Frida Mom High Waist Disposable Postpartum Underwear$mesh-free microfiber and Spandex blendparents who had cesarean deliveries and want something to cover the stitches/bandages
Auden Seamless Bikini$$90% nylon, 10% Spandexparents who had cesarean deliveries that don’t want anything touching their stomach
Victoria’s Secret No-Show Midi Brief Panty$$$not advertisedthose wanting to feel sexy again and hide panty lines
Fruit of the Loom Fit for Me Micro-Mesh Brief Panty$93% polyester, 7% Spandex (100% cotton linerthose struggling to find underwear in their size

Follow the manufacturer’s direction when handwashing or laundering your postpartum underwear. This will help them last longer and remain effective. It’s especially important for underwear that provides absorption, as washing incorrectly could make the underwear less effective at soaking up liquids.

No matter what postpartum underwear you choose, there are a few basic washing tips to keep in mind:

  • It’s typically best to avoid bleach, fabric softener, ironing, and high temperatures.
  • Pre-soaking can help to get some of the blood out before washing, and can also minimize staining.
  • If the underwear is machine-washable, consider laundering them in a separate mesh bag to prevent snags and rips from other items in the laundry.
  • When it comes to drying, it’s best to stick with air drying (or the lowest possible heat if the manufacturer says tumble-dry is a go.)

Can I use incontinence underwear instead of postpartum undies?

Yes, you can use incontinence underwear when you’re postpartum. (Incontinence underwear is frequently made of similar materials as postpartum underwear, with a breathable design and reinforced crotch for absorption.) Incontinence underwear can be particularly helpful if you want something you can throw away in those first days or weeks when you’re bleeding more.

Are pads or diapers better for postpartum?

Whether you prefer a pad or a diaper during the postpartum time is extremely personal. There are benefits to both, and you may favor one or the other at different times in your postpartum journey.

A diaper provides more coverage, which can be especially useful in the days immediately after giving birth when blood flow is the highest. On the other hand, many people are already used to wearing pads and may find they’re more comfortable once blood flow starts to decrease.

When can you start wearing normal underwear after birth?

Normal underwear can be worn whenever you’re ready. Because postpartum underwear and diapers absorb more liquids, many people choose to wear these options while they are experiencing postpartum bleeding (typically for the first 4 to 6 weeks). However, pads can be worn inside normal underwear to absorb blood — especially as blood flow should diminish significantly after the first few days.

Why do you need postpartum underwear?

Postpartum underwear provide necessary support, comfort, and protection in the days (or weeks) after giving birth. Not only are postpartum underwear designed to avoid rubbing potential C-section scars, but they’re created with absorption for post-delivery blood flow. Some postpartum underwear even offer compression for extra support as your body returns to a baby-less shape.

Whether you’re looking for a temporary solution for dealing with postpartum bleeding or just a more comfortable option for your healing body, it’s important to find the right underwear for you.

Feeling comfortable and confident isn’t always easy in those early post-birth weeks. Here’s hoping that finding the right pair can help you to achieve that sooner.