More categories
More categories

Smart Shopper is reader supported. When you shop our picks, we may receive a commission.

Get the best postpartum underwear to aid with your recovery journey

Postpartum recovery is often a messy and painful journey but with the right pair of underwear, new moms will get to rest comfortably while healing.

Published Oct 20, 2023
6 min. reading time
Image of mom in underwear holding a baby

Many mothers would agree, childbirth is an incomparable experience. And while bringing a new life into the world is incredible, the first few weeks post-birth can be daunting, especially when caring for a newborn and managing your own recovery. 

Along with other challenges, new mothers often feel uncomfortable moving around with fresh C-section incisions and postpartum bleeding. This is where having the right pair of maternity underwear will help.

To help ease the burden, we’ve scoured the net for the best postpartum panties that will help you with bleeding, incisions and discomfort. Read more to find one that suits you.

Read more: Get the best gifts for new parents here

Black postpartum underwear with pads
Best overall
Kindred Bravely Soothing Fourth Trimester Panty
$40 at Kindred Bravely
White mesh underwear and image of pregnant mom wearing product
Top postpartum mesh underwear
HANSILK Mesh Postpartum Underwear (3 pcs)
$11.99 at Amazon
Upspring postpartum underwear in packaging
Top post C-section underwear pick
UpSpring C-Panty C-Section Recovery High Waist Underwear
$19.99 at Target
High-waisted postpartum undies in different colors
Best value for money
High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties (5-Pack)
$36 at Kindred Bravely
Pros & Cons
  • Comes with two gel packs

  • Gentle compression

  • Suitable to use for menstrual pain

  • One reviewer says it has a bulky fit

  • Only available in black

Whether you just had a vaginal birth or a C-section, this incontinence underwear from Kindred Bravely is everything you need to keep you comfortable on your road to recovery.

It comes with two gel packs that can be heated or cooled in the freezer to soothe pain after childbirth. The panty has three separate pockets that are strategically placed for the gel to assist with perineal pain from vaginal delivery, stomach pain from C-section and the back for any back cramps after labor.

It’s also lightly compressed to make you feel more comfortable and you can continue to use it long after you’ve recovered as it also helps with menstrual pain.

Top postpartum mesh underwear

Pros & Cons
  • Holds maternity pads in place

  • Leak-proof

  • High elasticity

  • A few reviewers say they run small

  • Only available in larger sizes

This postpartum mesh underwear from HANSILK makes the perfect companion for mothers newly discharged from the hospital. It’s designed to be similar to mesh underwear hospitals often provide and it holds incontinence liners, maxi pads and maternity pads in place to aid with postpartum bleeding.

It’s designed to be high-waisted so it won’t irritate any surgical incisions. It’s also leak-proof and elastic so it adapts to your changing body shape. Plus, we love that it's reusable and machine washable.

Top post C-section underwear pick

Pros & Cons
  • Targeted compression

  • Built-in 100% silicone panel

  • Only for use after incision is fully healed

This UpSpring C-Panty C-Section Recovery High Waist Underwear is the best underwear after C-section for new moms. It’s comfortable to be worn immediately after your C-section for up to 12 months and has a built-in 100% silicone panel to protect your incision. It can also help with reducing itchiness and scarring.

The targeted compression design reduces swelling and supports your abdominal muscles during recovery. Plus, it has no waistbands, hooks or closure to provide ultimate protection for your incision, making it the best C-section underwear on our list.

Pros & Cons
  • Sits above C-section incision

  • Machine-washable

  • Handle with care as lace waistband can fray

If you’re on the hunt for after-birth underwear that provides bang for your buck, look no further than this 5-pack high rise panties from Kindred Bravely. This super soft underwear is made from stretch fabric that wraps comfortably around your changing body and sits just above your waist, making it compatible even for those who just had C-section surgery.

It’s designed to leave plenty of room for your pads while still allowing you to feel stylish while wearing it. When it’s time to wash, simply throw it in the washing machine and tumble dry low.

Pros & Cons
  • Adjustable wrap with velcro

  • Firm compression for tummy

  • Higher price point

Looking for a high-quality postpartum compression underwear to hold your tummy as you heal? This panty from Leonisa is all you need. Designed with adjustable wrap and velcro straps, it’s focused on flattening your midsection without harming your incision.

We love that it has an inner layer of PowerSlim to help with sculpting and you can adjust the compression level to fit your changing body. It can also assist those recovering from prolapsed bladder while keeping you feeling comfortable all day long.

Best for postpartum bleeding

Thinx postpartum brief sets in black
Photo: Thinx

Thinx Postpartum Comfort Set

You save $28 (14.74%)
Pros & Cons
  • Absorbs five times more than regular tampon

  • Five different underwear styles included

  • Higher price point

One of the biggest worries after giving birth is dealing with messy bleeding and leaks from incontinence and postpartum bleeding. Thankfully, with this Thinx Postpartum Comfort Set, these worries will be a thing of the past.

This set comes with two super hiphugger panties, which provide maximum absorbency, two heavy hiphuggers that protect against leaks and sleep shorts that absorb bleeding even when you’re tossing and turning. With all these combined, it’s definitely a period underwear set worth buying.

Top disposable pick

Pros & Cons
  • Latex-free

  • Breathable

  • Affordable

  • Only available in two sizes

  • Material tears easily

The Frida Mom underwear is a must-have essential to pack along in your hospital bag prior to delivery. That’s because this high-waisted postpartum disposable underwear is a great alternative to using the mesh underwear provided in the delivery ward after childbirth.

Made from a soft blend of microfiber and spandex, these maternity briefs provide a comfy, stretchy fit — while keeping your pads in place. And because it’s disposable, you won’t have to worry about doing extra laundry when you return home with your newborn.

Best for plus-size

Pros & Cons
  • Available up to 3XL

  • Machine-washable

  • Some reviewers say they can ride up

We highly recommend Bodily The All-In Panty for plus-size moms who need extra support during postpartum recovery. Available up to size 3XL, it’s made with OEKO-TEX-certified material that is gentle on sensitive skin, making it a great choice for those with C-section incisions. 

Its ultra-stretchy material also grows with you throughout pregnancy and postpartum while the wide gusset design is made to hold maxi pads to assist with incontinence and postpartum bleeding.

Top choice for postpartum belly

Pros & Cons
  • Core and back support

  • Gusset opening for easy toilet access

  • Not absorbent

Looking for underwear that will help with your postpartum belly? Look no further than the Belly Bandit Postpartum Sculpting Girdle. This girdle is made with two layers of SecureStretch fabric to provide core and back support.

It also has a gusset opening for easy toilet access so you can wear the girdle without any hassle. However, for those who’ve had a C-section surgery, we recommend seeing your OB-GYN for advice before starting to wear this girdle.

What to know before buying postpartum underwear

Childbirth already takes a toll on you, so researching the best postpartum underwear shouldn’t be added to your to-do list. To help you choose the right pair, we’ve got answers to your burning questions.

Disposable underwear vs diapers: Which is better?

Hospitals typically provide new moms with disposable diapers after delivery to assist with heavy bleeding. However, these pairs are usually quite basic. If you purchase your own postpartum underwear, many available options will fit and function better. For example, some postpartum underwear have pockets for ice packs or gel pads to aid with abdominal and muscle pain — while others are absorbent to help you manage postpartum bleeding.

How many pairs will I need?

While everyone’s needs and recovery time will differ, we’d recommend having enough pairs to last you for two to three weeks postpartum. And you may need multiple pairs per day. Also, you’ll need to decide whether to purchase disposable or washable pairs. The former will save you time and the latter may save you money. 

What to look for in postpartum underwear?

When shopping for postpartum underwear, consider the following factors.

Size: It’s essential to wear something that holds your pads in place without restricting your movement and causing irritation to your incisions. Some brands have a wider size range of up to 3XL while others are limited to XL. Remember to consider your body changes before making a decision.

Material: Ideally, you’lll want to look for organic materials, such as cotton and spandex — as it’s soft on your skin and stretchy enough to adjust with your body as it changes. Some undergarments also have extra features, such as silicon pads and compression, to assist with healing.

Birth type: Depending on whether you have a C-section or vaginal birth, you’ll need different features to assist with your recovery. Those having C-section birth would benefit from having silicon pads placed directly on your incision that will aid with healing or an underwear that is designed to sit below your incision to avoid irritation. Those with vaginal birth can benefit from having an underwear that is absorbent or one with pockets to place your pads.

Which postpartum underwear do we like best?

Of the postpartum underwear we’ve reviewed, these options get our stamp of approval — and stand out among competing options. 

Don’t just take our word for it, try them for yourself!

Did you like this article? For more great deals and shopping ideas, find us now on your favorite social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Prices updated on 10/20/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Afina Najib Professional Headshot
Written by
Afina Najib

A journalism graduate from Curtin University, Afina Najib specializes in writing tech, finance, automotive and wellness content. Now residing in Kuala Lumpur, Afina spends her weekends hitting the gym or watching Formula 1 races.

Specialized topics