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9 Best Postpartum Underwear, According to New Moms

When it comes to postpartum undies, comfort is key. Here are the best options, according to new moms who tested them out.
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mother wearing postpartum underwear and holding baby
Image: Nyssa
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In a nutshell:

Based on expert interviews, reviews from real parents and survey feedback from over 300 members of The Bump community, we chose the Bodily All-In Panty as the overall best postpartum underwear solution thanks to the soft, stretchy material, comfortable fit and affordable price point.

In the busy final days of your third trimester, chances are you’ll be pretty preoccupied. Between reviewing your birth plan, setting up gear and planning baby’s coming home outfit, you may forget to pick up a few post-birth essentials—like postpartum underwear. While you can certainly grab a few free pairs of disposable panties at the hospital, it’s a good idea to stock up on some more comfortable underwear for the weeks ahead.

Remember when it comes to postpartum undies practicality trumps style every time. “Don’t expect to wear your thong or ‘cute’ underwear during the postpartum period—you’ll be sad when they get ruined,” says Heather Bartos, MD, an ob-gyn and medical director at Be. Women’s Health & Wellness in Frisco, Texas. Keep reading to discover why you’ll need practical panties and what to look for—as well as our picks for the best postpartum underwear available now, including this year’s Best of The Bump award winner.

How We Tested the Postpartum Underwear

Image: Kyla, Julie, Karina

To help you find the best postpartum underwear on the market today, The Bump editors did extensive research to identify the most popular, cleverly designed and all-around top-notch products out there, combing through user reviews, leveraging our familiarity with leading pregnancy brands and relying on our own experiences as new and expectant parents. From there we took the following steps to identify the best options on the market:

  • We interviewed an ob-gyn and women’s health expert to learn more about why postpartum underwear is necessary and asked her for tips on what to look for.
  • In May 2023 we surveyed 300 members of The Bump community. We asked this sample of new parents to rate the high chairs they’ve used with their own kids and to comment on their overall experience. We evaluated this data and used it to inform our product choices.
  • We enlisted the help of new moms who were in the first week or two of their parenting journeys. They wore and washed the leading options on the market, and evaluated each pair of postpartum undies for effectiveness, comfort, fit, ease of use, quality, style and value for money.

Pairing this rigorous testing protocol with our own expertise and insights, we bestowed the prestigious Best of The Bump award to the overall best postpartum underwear. And then we went one step further, using the testing results to identify other standout options that are particularly good for your specific needs, whether you’re looking for a high waist to clear a c-section incision, an affordable option that will fit your new-baby budget or something super-absorbent to handle postpartum leaks. All this to ensure that you find a quality product with plenty of bang for your buck that’ll prove a good fit for you and your lifestyle.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Best Postpartum Underwear for Every Need

Overall best postpartum underwear

The All-In Panty Single
Image: Bodily
Buying Options
Bodily|$16
What We Love
  • Wide gusset
  • Fabric offers light compression
  • High waist works for c-section
Things To Consider
  • Some users say the undies rides up

Bodily calls the All-In Panty the "most comfortable maternity-to-postpartum and c-section panty"—and we wholeheartedly agree. The All-In Panty is this year’s Best of The Bump winner, thanks to its comfy fit, just-right support and high-quality material that delivers for all shapes, sizes and deliveries—vaginal and c-section alike. (See all of this year’s Best of The Bump winners)

The high-waist fit and wide elastic waist band sit well above your bump without pinching, while the smooth, lightweight micromodal fabric feels good on your skin. "I love the material and how breathable it is. It’s very soft and fits me just right," said our postpartum tester, who also noted that the fabric held up well in the wash.

Just as important, these undies deliver on functionality. A wider-than-typical gusset offers more room for those bulky postpartum maxi pads, so you don't have to stress about leaks. And the stretchy fabric works with your transitioning postpartum body; things won't feel uncomfortably tight around your belly or thighs if you're dealing with some residual swelling, but at the same time the light compression fabric doesn’t skimp on support. They even come in several fun colors, along with basic black and nude.

To top it all off? At just $16 a pair, these postpartum panties are a fraction of the cost of many competitor brands. Which is nice, since if you’ve just had a baby, you've probably got a few other new expenses in your budget right now. Our product tester gave the All-In Panty an impressive 5 out of 5 across all testing categories, making this a truly top-tier product at an affordable price.

Sizes: S to 3X | Fabric: 93% micromodal/7% spandex | Washing instructions: Machine wash warm, tumble dry low | Color options: 5

Our product tester says:
"It’s extremely comfortable to wear and even sleep in. I love that it’s high-waisted and the fit is just right."

Our community says:

“Incredibly comfortable and soft—not afraid to leak or spot because I know they come clean. Don’t love how large they are several weeks postpartum now that I'm a bit more healed.” - Sarah, mother and The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best disposable postpartum underwear

What We Love
  • Latex-free
  • Tear-off removal
  • Plenty of coverage
Things To Consider
  • Limited size options

These throwaway undies ticked all the boxes for our tester, who loved the fact that the seamless, stretchy and breathable material performed—and felt like—regular panties. "Although they were thin and comfy, the quality felt like they were sturdy," she said, giving the postpartum disposable underwear 5 out of 5 for comfort and style. She told us the fabric was “sleek and easily hidden. Not bulky and didn’t show through any of my postpartum clothing.”

Unlike many other disposable options, these modal-spandex undies are soft instead of scratchy, while the boyshort cut serves up support where you need it and can easily hold your postpartum pad in place. "I think this would be a good fit for multiple body styles and shapes, not just my own," our tester added. This product also comes in a high-waist cut, but many users report that the waist on the boyshort is high enough to work for c-sections too.

Even though they're disposable, the postpartum panties are easy to pull up and down without feeling like they're going to rip. But when you're ready to take them off for good, you can tear them off at the sides for quick and easy tossing. And if that doesn’t justify our tester’s 5 out of 5 rating for ease of use, we don’t know what does.

Sizes: Petite (waist 23" to 34”) or regular (waist 28" to 42") | Fabric: Microfiber/spandex | Washing instructions: Dispose after wearing; do not wash | Color options: 1

Our product tester says:
"The product was effective—I didn’t experience any overflow or discomfort with the underwear. They absorbed everything perfectly and were very comfy."

Our community says:

“Loved that they were disposable but held up and didn’t stretch throughout the day.” - Ellen, mother and The Bump survey respondent

Buy Now

Best mesh postpartum underwear

Mesh Undies 5-Pack
Image: Bodily
Buying Options
Bodily|$14
What We Love
  • Material is thin but sturdy
  • High waist works for c-section incisions
  • Disposable, but can be washed
Things To Consider
  • Delicate wash in a lingerie bag
  • Some say it's hard for pads to stick to the mesh material

If you're looking for a no-frills, toss-'em-when-you're-done mesh option that just feels really good, Bodily Mesh Undies are it. Described by our product tester as “one of the most comfortable postpartum underwears I’ve tried,” the soft, lightweight fabric is more substantial than the freebies you get from the hospital—you can even run the undies in the wash a few times (in a lingerie bag on delicate, please) before throwing them out. Plus, the boyshort cut gives you plenty of coverage and easily holds your postpartum maxi pad in place.

Our product tester described the disposable panties as “both affordable and comfortable.” Like hospital undies, these postpartum mesh underwear are also one-size-fits-all and made to conform to your changing postpartum body, thanks to the mega-stretchy material. "I love how it fits! Especially postpartum, it sizes to your body shape at the time.” No wonder she gave Bodily Mesh Undies a 5 out of 5 for both fit and comfort!

Sizes: One size | Fabric: 90% nylon/10% spandex | Washing instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, line dry | Color options: 1

Our product tester says:
"I honestly love how simple they are. …All in all they will get the job done. They are comfortable and practical."

Buy Now

Best c-section underwear

Fourthwear Postpartum Recovery Underwear
Image: Nyssa
Buying Options
Nyssa|$39
What We Love
  • Soft, stretchy material
  • Pocket holds ice or heat pack
  • High waist sits over C-section incision
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • Some sizes on backorder

A high waist that sits well above your incision is a must-have feature for postpartum underwear after a c-section. But Nyssa's undies go a step further, with a genius 360-degree pocket designed to hold ice or heat therapy at the site of your incision and anywhere else you might need it, like between your legs or around your back. To make your life easy, you can order the c-section underwear in a bundle with Nyssa’s reusable ice and heat pack, which are a perfect fit for the pocket and contoured to fit your curves (although if you've already got your own ice and heat packs, you can use those too).

Also fantastic? The thick, buttery-smooth fabric that makes you feel supported while still offering plenty of movement. And because it's totally seamless, you won't feel any weird poking or digging. "I would recommend the product just off the feel of the fabric alone," our product tester wrote, awarding it top marks for comfort, fit and quality. "They got the job done and did it well.”

Sizes: XXS/XS to 2X/3X | Fabric: 85% recycled polyester/15% spandex | Washing instructions: Machine wash cold | Color options: 1

Our product tester says:
"The underwear was made from some of the best material I've felt for undergarments."

Buy Now

Best postpartum compression underwear

The Women's Seamless Belly Brief, Sand
Image: Maisonette
What We Love
  • Offers light compression
  • Full-coverage cut
  • Fun color options
Things To Consider
  • High price point
  • Limited plus-size options
  • Line-dry only

Sometimes, during those hazy postpartum days, a good hug makes all the difference. And Hatch's seamless, high-waisted brief feels like a hug around your healing belly in the best possible way. These compression briefs are supportive and just firm enough without being overbearing. Our product tester, awarding the briefs a 5 out of 5 for effectiveness, summed it up this way: "The compression is just right. It holds everything together but to the point where it’s not too tight either."

The stretchy modal fabric is plenty soft, and the generous cut (rated 5 out of 5 for fit) offers plenty of coverage that won't ride up. Our tester reported that the material "is actually so stretchy that I could've gotten a size down.” This flexibility made it “super easy to put on,” and she “loved the quality and material … it seems like it’s going to last me a while!”

You can opt for basic black or cream, but there's also a soothing sky blue and a moody burgundy, because why can't underwear for new moms also be kinda fun? And when underwear works as well as our product tester says this one does, you can go ahead and treat yourself to a little style as well.

Sizes: 0 (XS) to 4 (XL) | Fabric: 84% modal/13% nylon/3% spandex | Washing instructions: Machine wash cold, line dry | Color options: 4

Our product testers says:
"I love how it has the compression I needed, yet it’s SO comfortable! The material is so thin you barely feel like you have any underwear on."

Buy Now

Best postpartum underwear for incontinence

Postpartum Leakproof Bikini
Image: Belly Bandit
Buying Options
Belly Bandit|$39
What We Love
  • Super-absorbent
  • Bikini cut
  • Soft, stretchy fabric
Things To Consider
  • On the pricier side
  • Low-rise cut won't work for c-section incisions

In addition to heavy bleeding, you might have to deal with some pee leaks in the weeks after childbirth. It happens! So even with those heavy-duty postpartum maxi pads, sometimes it can be nice to know you have a little extra insurance. Belly Bandit's postpartum underwear boast a multilayer absorbent lining that pulls moisture away from the body to keep you dry and comfortable.

The lower-rise bikini cut is definitely a no-go if you're still recovering from a c-section incision. But if you were cool with under-the-bump bottoms during your pregnancy, you'll feel good in these, which earned 5 out of 5 ratings for comfort and fit from our product tester. “It was very comfortable,” she said. “The material felt nice on the skin … fit me just right and true to size.” And the back coverage is pretty substantial, our tester says, so you shouldn't have to worry about them riding up.

Of course, with incontinence underwear, it’s important to know how well it holds in leaks. Plus, our tester gave them a 5 out of 5 for effectiveness, reporting, "They offered light compression and great absorption.” The undies are designed to hold up to four regular tampons’ worth of liquid, so you can experiment with wearing them with or without a pad, depending on your needs.

Sizes: XS to XL | Fabric: 84% modal/13% nylon/3% spandex | Washing instructions: Machine wash on cold and delicate, hang or lay flat to dry | Color options: 2

Our product testers says:
"It's a great value for the money and a good investment. I loved it overall."

Buy Now

Best plus-size postpartum underwear

Plus Size Post Pregnancy Panty Shaper
Image: Motherhood Maternity
What We Love
  • Soft, flexible fabric with light compression and shaping
  • High waist works for c-sections
  • Comes in a two-pack
Things To Consider
  • Only available in plus sizes
  • Hand wash only

Made of a soft but substantial cotton/nylon/spandex blend, these waisted undies are made with plus-sized moms in mind. "I loved the high-waist style; it was comfortable and seemed natural on my body. The material was nice and comfy," our product tester wrote.

The fabric is plenty stretchy to fit your unique contours, while still offering just the right amount of compression and support for some mild smoothing action. The ultra-high waist is just right for c-sections too. "The light compression didn't bother my incision or my postpartum hematoma and made my shape look a little nicer," our tester said, giving the underwear a 5 out of 5 for fit and comfort. And that comfort doesn’t come with an uncomfortable price tag: At $30 for a two-pack, these undies are less pricey than some of the offerings from the other big maternity brands, so you can stock up on a few extra pairs.

Sizes: 1X to 3X | Fabric: 63% cotton/23% nylon/14% spandex | Washing instructions: Hand-wash | Color options: 2

Our product tester says:
"I love the quality of the material. It has a light spandex feel, but it’s comfortable."

Buy Now

Best high-waisted postpartum underwear

High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties
Image: Kindred Bravely
What We Love
  • High waist doesn't squish or pinch
  • Machine-washable
  • Available in plus-size
Things To Consider
  • Lace may break down after multiple washes

The majority of postpartum underwear come with some form of high waist, because when it comes to the postpartum healing process, comfort and support are the name of the game. But Kindred Bravely's affordable five-packs were an especially big hit with our tester, who noted, "the high-waisted band does a great job of staying in place. It sucks in the lower belly while remaining comfortable and not showing any panty lines."

The soft, silky rayon-spandex blend feels soft to the touch and offers a solid amount of stretch. It's thin rather than bulky, but still substantial enough to keep pads and ice packs from moving around. "They were good at keeping everything in place," our tester commented, giving Kindred Bravely a 5 out of 5 for effectiveness, fit and ease of use.

Another plus? They're fine to toss in the washer and dryer. Plus, with five undies in every pack, you won’t need to constantly do laundry—which is amazing news, since as a new mama you probably have other things on your mind besides running loads right now!

Sizes: S to XXL | Fabric: 95% rayon/5% spandex (body); 100% cotton (lace) | Washing instructions: Machine-wash cold on gentle cycle and tumble dry low | Color options: 7

Our product testers says:
"The fit is perfect. It's not too tight or too loose."

Buy Now

Best budget-friendly postpartum underwear

Always Discreet Boutique Incontinence Underwear, Maximum Protection
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Budget-friendly
  • High, stretchy waistband
  • Soft material feels like real underwear
Things To Consider
  • Lightly scented
  • Single-use

At a little over a dollar per wear, these postpartum disposable underwear deliver maximum absorbency and plenty of comfort for an affordable price. "They're very absorbent and thick," our tester noted, and can handle both bleeding and urine leaks. Plus, the ultra-thin core absorbs liquids quickly to leave you feeling dry and fresh.

As for the sizing? It earned a perfect 5 out of 5 for fit from our product tester. “The sizing is generous," she said, “but the soft waistband adjusts to fit just right.” Just keep in mind that the undies come in regular (not maternity) sizes, so you'll need to factor that in to find your perfect fit. If your pre-pregnancy size was a medium, for instance, consider getting a large.

While these disposable undies excel in performance, they don’t sacrifice comfort. The stretchy waistband, form-fitting cut and silk-like fabric feels like real underwear, and can adjust to your rapidly changing body. “The waistband is very soft and not too tight on your postpartum belly,” our product tester shared. “With sensitive skin on my stomach after delivering, these felt very nice.”

Sizes: S/M to XL | Fabric: Unspecified | Washing instructions: Disposable | Color options: 2

Our product tester says:
"I’ve used another brand of single-use underwear and they are not nearly as soft as these are."

Buy Now

Postpartum Underwear Comparison Chart

Overall best postpartum underwearBest disposable postpartum underwearBest mesh postpartum underwearBest c-section underwearBest postpartum compression underwearBest postpartum underwear for incontinenceBest plus-size postpartum underwearBest high-waisted postpartum underwearBest budget-friendly postpartum underwear
Overall Best
Bodily All-In Panty
Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum Underwear (Boyshort)
Bodily Mesh Undies
Nyssa FourthWear Postpartum Recovery Underwear
HATCH Collection The Seamless Belly Brief
Belly Bandit Postpartum Leakproof Bikini
Motherhood Maternity Plus Size Post Pregnancy Panty Shaper
Kindred Bravely High-Waisted Postpartum Recovery Panties
Always Discreet Boutique Incontinence Underwear
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
TypeCompressionDisposableMeshHigh-waistedCompressionAbsorbentCompressionHigh-waistedDisposable
Suitable for c-section
SizesS to 3XPetite or regularOne sizeXXS/XS to 2X/3XXS to XL XS to XL1X to 3X S to XXLS/M to XL
Light compression
Number of colors511142272
Buy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full Review

Do You Need Postpartum Underwear?

Yes, new parents will need some form of postpartum underwear after labor. Every person’s postpartum recovery is different, but bleeding after birth is par for the course. Lochia—aka postpartum bleeding—occurs after both vaginal and c-section deliveries. “Bleeding can be heavy, like the first few days of a period, for a week or two. After that, it usually ends up looking like the last few days of your period,” explains Bartos. The bleeding can last for up to six weeks, but she says most women find that it generally eases up by week two or three. Having disposable underwear on hand means you won’t have to worry about staining. Moreover, postpartum underwear is soft and stretchy enough to accommodate ice packs and large maxi pads, which you’ll definitely need at this stage of recovery.

Types of Postpartum Underwear

Different underwear styles can be useful for different postpartum experiences, and according to our survey data, many women try more than one kind. To help you choose the best option for your needs, here are the four main types on offer:

  • Postpartum mesh underwear: According to our survey, 39 percent of new moms used this type of postpartum underwear—and it’s easy to see why! Mesh briefs are super-stretchy and designed to hold heavy-duty postpartum pads. The soft material and high-waisted cut won’t aggravate vaginal soreness or irritate a c-section incision. Mesh underwear is typically disposable, but some brands create styles that can be washed and worn multiple times. This type is freely available at the hospital when you give birth, so it’s worth stashing a few pairs in your bag to use at home. Bartos is also a big fan of these “magnificent mesh panties,” as they’re seriously comfortable and practical.
  • Postpartum compression underwear: Intimate wear that offers light compression can be helpful for some people in the postpartum period, especially after a c-section. Our survey data shows that 30 percent of new moms chose this panty style. While some may compare them to postpartum belly wraps or even shapewear, there are a few key differences. Namely, postpartum compression underwear has been thoughtfully designed to support abdominal muscles after giving birth. Alternatively, the latter options are about holding your shape for comfort or aesthetic purposes.
  • Disposable postpartum underwear: Designed to be worn once and thrown away, disposable panties are sure to come in handy during postpartum recovery. In fact, 92% of new moms surveyed by our team said they opted for this style at least once during their postpartum recovery. Aside from bleeding and discharge, urinary incontinence is a typical side effect of pregnancy. After having a (roughly) 8-pound baby sitting on your bladder for the last month of pregnancy—and then going through delivery—Bartos says, “incontinence isn’t even common postpartum—it’s expected.” Can’t face the thought of washing pee-soaked undergarments? You’re in luck: Many brands create postpartum disposable underwear with an absorbent core to keep you feeling fresh, even if you do leak a little when you laugh.
  • Absorbent postpartum underwear: Absorbent underwear has changed the game when it comes to sanitary products. They look just like regular undies, but the moisture-wicking material actually absorbs blood, discharge and bladder leaks. While most brands market these products as period panties, there are options designed specifically for new moms too. Our survey data shows that 15 percent of new moms wore this style of postpartum underwear in the fourth trimester.

Things to Consider When Buying Postpartum Underwear

Still not sure what to look for? Here are a few things to consider when shopping for postpartum panties.

  • Cut and fabric: Swelling, tenderness and pain are common during the postpartum recovery period, so the last thing you want is scratchy, uncomfortable underwear. If possible, opt for soft, breathable fabrics and a full-coverage cut. Intimate wear with a touch of spandex is also a good option, as it offers plenty of stretch. According to Bartos, “anything high-waisted (for tummy support) and breathable (cotton or bamboo) will do just fine.”
  • Size: It can take some time for your uterus to shrink, meaning your bump won’t immediately disappear. With this in mind, you may want to size up when purchasing postpartum underwear. Plus, roomy undies can easily accommodate sanitary towels and ice packs. When in doubt, check the brand’s size guidelines for more information.
  • Cost: Weigh up your needs and decide how much you’d like to spend ahead of time. Although disposable mesh undies are cheap, you’ll need a fair few pairs, so the dollars can add up. On the other hand, washable postpartum panties are more of an investment, but they offer better cost per wear. While absorbent underwear tends to be the most expensive option, they may save you money on sanitary products in the long run—and they’re better for the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wear postpartum underwear for?

Though all moms experience lochia post-birth, the time varies depending on the individual. Some may have heavy bleeding and discharge for a few days after delivery, while others may have it for up to six weeks. That said, you can wear postpartum underwear as long as you’d like—but many use it solely for those first weeks of recovery.

How many pairs of postpartum underwear will I need?

Count on wearing at least two pairs of postpartum underwear in the early weeks of the fourth trimester. If you plan on having laundry done regularly—say every one to two days—you could get away with four pairs of postpartum underwear. However, if you plan on washing them once a week, you’re better off getting seven to 14 pairs. All in all, the amount you need depends on how often you’ll be changing and washing them.

Can you use period underwear postpartum?

In short, yes, you can use period underwear postpartum. An array of moisture-wicking styles are available, ranging from light to super-heavy flow absorbencies. However, it’s worth noting that while they are leakproof, many haven’t been specifically designed with post-birth recovery in mind. As a result, period underwear may not meet all of your postpartum needs.

About the writer:

Marygrace Taylor is a Philadelphia-based health journalist who writes about pregnancy and parenting. A mom of one, she’s worn her fair share of maternity and postpartum garments (undies included!). Visit her at marygracetaylor.com.

Interested in becoming a product tester for The Bump? Head here to apply.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

Sources

Heather Bartos, MD, is an ob-gyn and the medical director of Be. Women’s Health & Wellness in Frisco, Texas. A navy veteran, she spent 12 years serving the women and spouses of the armed forces, and was an associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine, and earned her medical degree at the University of Texas.

The Bump May 2023 Survey. Editors conducted a survey of 300 new and expectant parents from among The Bump community, and asked what type of postpartum underwear new moms wore after giving birth.

Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial process.

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