Giving birth takes a serious toll on your body. Whether you deliver vaginally or by C-section, your body is going to need some extra TLC after bringing new life into the world.
That's why an important part of your postpartum recovery is what postpartum briefs you wear. From breathable mesh panties to supportive compression undies, it's essential to stock up on a range of postpartum underwear for different points in your recovery journey.
Looking after a newborn and navigating your own postpartum care is a lot. So, we've rounded up everything you need to know about postpartum briefs, how long you need to wear them and what makes a good pair of post-birth panties.
What kind of underwear should you wear after giving birth?
As you can imagine, delivering a baby is one of the most intense experiences your body will go through. From bruising to tears and swelling, your stomach and vagina are going to be much more delicate than usual after birth.
That's why it's important to wear a specific kind of undies immediately after birth, known as mesh panties.
These disposable, lightweight undies are designed to be gentle on your body directly after birth and support your recovery, which is why we included the Kin Mesh Undies in our Postpartum Recovery Kit and C-Section Recovery Kit as they are incredibly handy for this period of healing.
What makes mesh underwear so helpful is its large, breathable design that makes it easy to wear with a super absorbent maternity pad. This takes the stress and difficulty out of changing pads (and undies) multiple times a day in your first week postpartum. Plus, these mesh panties allow plenty of natural air flow to speed up your recovery.
After the one-week mark, you'll be able to switch to other types of panties (like period briefs and light compression underwear). But, the best kind of mesh underwear can be worn for up to three months.
What is mesh underwear for?
So, why do you need disposable underwear immediately post-birth? After delivery, our bodies experience a thing called lochia (a.k.a. postpartum bleeding). In the first few days after birth, our lochia will likely be a heavy, bright red flow (similar to a heavy period) as our body works to expel the excess blood, placental tissue and fluid used to support your baby's growth.
That's why you'll need plenty of mesh underwear and a massive pad to soak up any postpartum bleeding you experience. Kin's Soothing Padsicles are incredibly handy at this point of your postpartum journey.
Not only do the padiscles provide maximum absorption to catch your postpartum bleeding but they also soothe your vulnerable bits thanks to the cooling element included in the pad. Genius, right? During your heaviest bleeding days (usually the first 10 days postpartum), you'll be changing pads plenty of times, which makes disposable undies a helpful way to change as often as you need.
While they're not designed to look great, most postpartum women find mesh panties to be a light, comfortable style to wear immediately after giving birth.
Does the hospital give you mesh underwear?
In short, yes. If you're giving birth in a hospital in Australia, you'll be given disposable surgical mesh underpants. Obviously, there isn't much choice in terms of what style of mesh underwear you'll be given in the hospital.
That's why some mums choose to stock up on disposable underwear during their pregnancy to bring with them and wear after labour. Plus, you might want to continue wearing ultra-soft disposable mesh underwear when you first arrive home, too.
The main types of postpartum undies you need to know about
In the first few weeks after giving birth, you'll become familiar with a stack of different types of underwear as a new mum.
So, let's run you through the main types of postpartum panties you'll likely be using:
- Disposable underwear: As we mentioned, mesh disposable underwear is what you'll be wearing in the hospital immediately after birth (along with a giant maternity pad) to soak up your heaviest postpartum bleeding.
- Period panties or incontinence underwear: These panties are super absorbent and used in the first few weeks postpartum to absorb your bleeding and discharge (although you might need to double-up your panties with a menstrual pad, too).
- Light compression underwear: For most women, a pair of supportive compression underwear (usually in a high waist design) will give you the ultimate comfort you need to tackle your day as a new parent.
Along with these broad types of postpartum panties, you can also choose which kind of shape you'd like your postpartum underwear to be (from high waisted briefs to boy shorts and everything in between).
The key is to find super soft, extremely comfortable underwear that helps you to feel secure and supported in your postpartum recovery.
What to look for in post-birth underwear
Whether you're on the hunt for mesh underwear for your postpartum bleeding or comfortable period underwear, there are a few things to keep in mind when comparing your options.
When it comes to period underwear or any kind of postpartum undies, remember to size up. That's because you're likely to be sore and swollen after birth (and your sensitive skin will need some extra space to breathe).
As a general rule, buy undies that are at least two sizes bigger than your pre-pregnant size. That will give you plenty of room for your massive pad and ensure your undies aren't too tight or putting unwanted pressure on your belly.
Next up, it's important to consider what fabric you're choosing for your panties. After birth, your hormones are likely to be all over the place which means you might find yourself perspiring more than usual.
So, your best bet is to look for breathable materials like cotton or microfibre that are super soft yet supportive. If you're looking for extra support, gentle compression underwear will give you that 'sucked in' feeling using materials such as stretchy spandex.
Alternatively, you might also want to consider pairing your mesh underwear with Kin's Belly Band, which helps you feel stable, improves your posture and supports loose tummy muscles while you regain strength in your core.
Plus, the best postpartum underwear will come with thoughtful additions and special features to help you navigate your postpartum recovery. In Kin's Postpartum Recovery Kit, we've included a pair of Mesh Underwear that deliver ultimate comfort and just the right amount of support.
We know that new mums swell a lot after birth and can bleed for up to 45 days (regardless of how you deliver). So, our mesh panties are designed for the first three months of recovery, with a considered design that keeps maxi-pads and our Soothing Padsicles in place.
Plus, they're beyond soft, stretchy and breathable and come in a pack of eight and are able to be washed and reused, too.
Postpartum panties after C-section
If you've given birth via a C-section, you'll have a few extra considerations when it comes to your recovery. Along with bleeding and discharge, you'll need to find underwear that doesn't irritate your incision while still providing plenty of support.
Luckily, there are specifically designed C-section underwear to provide enough absorbency and support to speed up your recovery. Remember, you'll still experience lochia even if you haven't had a vaginal birth. So, finding the right kind of underwear to absorb your postpartum flow is essential.
Here's what to look for when picking your postpartum panties are a C-section:
- Compression: The right level of compression is key to reducing swelling after your C-section surgery and will aid the healing of your weakened abdominal tissue, too.
- Support: Supportive underwear will help your uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size and help to smooth your incision.
- Comfort: Finding materials and styles that are gentle, soft and comfortable will help you speed up your recovery.
- Gentle waistband: Look for non-binding, adjustable waistbands that come with plenty of elastic to give you control over the level of compression you need.
Can mesh underwear be washed?
Depending on the style of underwear you purchase, you may be able to wash and reuse your postpartum panties. Kin's Mesh Panties give you the perfect level of support after birth and can be washed in warm water at 60°C to be reused during your postpartum period.
Before you chuck your undies into the wash, make sure to check the label and care instructions to see what steps you need to take to keep them working at their best.
How long do you wear disposable underwear after birth?
So, how long should you be wearing disposable underwear after delivery? In most cases, these surgical mesh panties are best to wear in the first few days post-birth (roughly up until 10 days postpartum).
This will give your body enough time to expel its heaviest flow before you most to reusable period briefs or other kinds of postpartum undies.
However, you know what feels right for you. The key is to listen to your body, find undies that feel comfortable and supportive and give yourself the time you need to rest and recover.