No matter what stage you are at in your pregnancy, you’ve come to accept a few inevitable changes. Just like you’ve traded your daily caffeine fix for prenatal vitamins, you most likely have swapped your stash of bikini cut panties and thongs for more comfortable maternity briefs. But what needs will you have after you give birth? Even the most prepared mothers-to-be may not be familiar with postpartum underwear especially when it comes to choosing the best kind for them.
Ditch the “Granny Panties”
The fact of the matter is that all women experience postpartum discharge (or “lochia”) for a few weeks after giving birth. This is normal even with a Cesarean delivery. While the intensity may vary, new moms tend to rely on heavy-duty sanitary pads. As a result, it helps to have underwear that can accommodate a hefty pad or an ice pack for postpartum aches and pains.
Some women improvise and just buy basic cotton Hanes panties or Fruit of the Loom two sizes above normal. While this may seem like an expedient solution, postpartum underwear offers features beyond these quick fixes that have added benefits in terms of post-pregnancy care. The main features to keep in mind are finding a brand that is comfortable, hygienic, and practical.
Hygienic and Occasionally Stylish
If you plan to give birth in a hospital, you will receive one or two pairs of ALC Seamless Knit Disposable Underwear. This mesh postpartum underwear is a polyester/spandex blend that is expandable and breathable. They are specifically designed with a high-waist to hold any surgery dressing in place, if needed. Between the drab colors, high waist, and long reach, these are the least fashionable option, but certainly the most affordable.
Brands like Storq offer a dressier alternative while still offering the main features. These briefs are a 74% nylon and 26% polyester blend with a low rise waist to avoid chafing against cesarean scars and offer an extended front gusset. This feature is great for any new mom experiencing heavier discharge. Rosie Pope offers the same basics, but in lace with fun fabrics. Giftpocket is another low rise option to prevent scar chafing with plenty of back coverage.
Can Postpartum Underwear be “Sexy”?
A few brands dare to bring a touch of the exotic while still offering a number of practical features. Pretty Pushers underwear is made of soft cotton jersey fabric with a discreet pouch for an ice pack or pad. These add a bit of style with a drawstring waist and an unfinished hem.
Leonisa makes an interesting contribution with their postpartum panty that comes with an adjustable belly wrap with Velcro sides. These allow you to adjust the level of compression you need to provide lower abdomen support and to prevent rubbing against Cesarean scares. These come with rear shapers as well to prevent panty lines and create a slimming effect.
Ultimately, the right brand of postpartum underwear for you will depend on your needs. If you plan to have a Cesarean delivery, then a brand with a high waist and sturdy support would be ideal. After that, you may want to switch to a lower cut to prevent chafing. All brands offer a hygienic lining and can be tossed directly into the washing machine. Whether you want to dress up your recovery with a little lace or thigh shaping is entirely up to you.