Best Postpartum Underwear
Best Postpartum Underwear
November 3, 2022

Best Postpartum Underwear

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Best Postpartum Underwear.
Best Postpartum Underwear

Whether you have a C-section or a vaginal birth, you’ll experience vaginal bleeding (also called lochia) for about four to six weeks after giving birth. It’s almost exactly like having your period, but for much longer. The bleeding is heaviest for the first few days—expect to fill two to three large maxi pads per day for about two to four days. Things will lighten up after that, but you’ll still need at least a few liners per day, if not regular pads.

Why we recommend postpartum underwear

You can’t use tampons or menstrual cups for postpartum bleeding, and you could put pads in your regular underwear, but for maximum comfort and dryness, postpartum underwear are the way to go. They’re made specifically with postpartum healing in mind, so they stretch to accommodate your now shrinking belly and provide extra support and compression for your lower abdominals (super helpful if you’ve had a C-section). Some postpartum underwear feel very similar to regular underwear, some are disposable and some are even leakproof and absorbent so you don’t have to worry about pads.

How many pairs of postpartum underwear do I need?

If you go for reusable underwear, including the absorbent kind, the amount you need depends on how often you change your underwear and how often you want to wash them:

  • Every other day: 2-4 pairs of underwear
  • Twice per week: 4-6 pairs of underwear
  • Once per week: 7-14 pairs of underwear

It can seem like a wide range, but if you want to wear the same pair for 24 hours, opt for the lower end. If you’d prefer to get a fresh pair for overnight (which is recommended with absorbent underwear), go for the higher number.

If you’re planning to wear only disposable underwear, count one or two pairs for every day for the first two to three weeks. As your bleeding lessens, you might reevaluate how many you need, or you may switch back to your regular underwear if your bleeding is extra light and you’re mostly healed. Some disposable underwear claim to be reusable if you hand wash them or put them through a delicate cycle in a laundry bag, but they’ve been known to unravel when you remove pads, so don’t count on being able to reuse them for the entire six week bleeding period.

Our best advice is to get a mix of both disposable and reusable postpartum underwear. Use the disposable kind during the first week for your heaviest bleeding days just in case you leak out of the maxi pads, then use the reusable kind for lighter bleeding and more support as you heal.

Whatever you choose, here are our favorites of each kind of postpartum underwear:

Best Absorbent Underwear

No pads necessary, here! From regular absorbency for light-to-medium bleeding to heavy absorbency for those first few days, these underwear keep you dry all on their own. The sets from Thinx and Saalt are reusable, so they can be washed and re-worn even after soaking up two pads’ worth of blood. The underwear from Always are disposable—they’re technically adult diapers, but they certainly don’t look or feel like it.

Best Disposable Underwear

Loved the disposable mesh underwear you got at the hospital? Now you can stock your bathroom at home with enough to get you through all your postpartum bleeding. Bodily and Frida make extra soft and comfortable mesh undies, but if you’re really missing your hospital sets, you can get those same ones delivered to you! (Or you could ask your hospital care team to send you home with extras—just keep in mind that they might charge you on your final hospital bill.)

Best Postpartum Underwear for C-Section Recovery

C-section recovery involves taking good care of your incision, including applying hot or cold compresses and covering it with gauze if recommended by your doctor. High-waisted and breathable compression underwear can help keep those things in place (the underwear from Nyssa even have a special pocket for compresses), plus provide support to weakened abdominal muscles and reduce swelling around your incision.

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