The six weeks following the birth of your baby can be a challenging time full of odd things, such as postpartum underwear.
Formally called the postpartum period, this is a time when your body gets back to whatever is normal for you. Nothing during this period is unheard of or weird. It’s a very odd time where you may not feel like yourself, and that’s perfectly ok.
There’s no need to feel embarrassed or anything else about what’s going on. Everyone who has given birth can sympathize with you. In fact, all those who came before you have paved the way with advice and products that can make things easier for you.
Postpartum Underwear that Doesn’t Suck
One of the first things you will want to secure is some postpartum underwear. Your regular underwear won’t cut it. You definitely won’t feel like wearing lacy thongs or anything similar.
What you need is underwear that is soft and won’t irritate you. They need to be breathable, so they stay dry. The last thing you need is an infection to combat on top of everything else.
They have to be stretchy to accommodate your ever-changing tummy area and also supportive to help hold things in place as it shrinks. You’ll also enjoy the support if you had a c-section or tubal ligation as things may be sore if they move around too much.
You also need to have full coverage. You’ll be going through lochia, or postpartum bleeding, which requires the use of large pads to hold your flow.
Mesh and disposable postpartum underwear
You’ve probably heard some of your friends or family members sing the praises of the mesh underwear the hospital provides after delivery. Honestly, these are probably the best underwear in the world despite the fact that they look incredibly cheap and flimsy.
There’s just something about them that works wonders. Luckily, Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum Underwear is just like the hospital underwear, but they are a little more durable.
Postpartum disposable underwear is also pretty popular. We like Always Discreet Boutique Underwear because they are a pad and underwear in one. They’re perfect for heavy bleeding. Plus, it’s one less thing you have to worry about washing, which is huge when you’ve got a new baby who will dirty clothing at lightning speed.
Some new mothers may not be feeling the mesh underwear or the disposable ones. They may crave something a bit more normal. If you want to feel pretty and get past feeling like an alien has taken over your body, try Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear.
What we love about these is that they have a design for postpartum needs but look a little sexy. They fit a pad well, offer good support, and have lacy details that make you feel good.
A Word About Postpartum Underwear and Pads
Speaking of pads, you’re going to need a bunch of them. No matter how you give birth, you will experience postpartum bleeding.
What to Expect explains this isn’t like a regular period, at least for the first 3 to 10 days. You are shedding the membrane that lined your uterus during your pregnancy, which is some heavy-duty stuff.
Don’t try to use regular period pads. You’ll end up disappointed and messy. You need pads with the ability to hold a postpartum flow, such as Abena Maternity Pads.
They are thick and absorbent, minimize odor, and quickly remove moisture from the surface. They also help prevent irritation, which is something with which you certainly do not want to deal.
The key to choosing the right pads is to make sure that they provide full coverage. Do not be afraid to go big, at least for the first week or so. It must cover you from front to back if you want to avoid mishaps.
Trust us, the last thing you want to do is spend those precious hours when your baby is asleep and needs nothing from you scrubbing blood out of your pants.
Everyone’s flow is different, so you may get luckily and only have bleeding for a short time, or you could bleed for six weeks or more. Everything is normal when it comes to lochia.
Don’t shy away from thick and long pads because you think you won’t need them. We promise you that you’ll be glad you have them on hand.
Essentials You’ll Thank the Gods You Have After a Vaginal Delivery
Underwear is only part of your postpartum concerns. You have to deal with the direct aftermath of the birth. If you had a vaginal delivery, then that means seeking some comfort for your perineal area, which is likely to be quite sore. You may also have stitches.
The Mayo Clinic explains that there are a few things you can do to feel more comfortable and avoid irritation in this area. Soothe the area by using an ice pack or chilled witch hazel pad. This can help with itching, too, which may happen if you have stitches.
One innovative option is a pad that also does double duty as an ice pack, like Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads. We love that these do not require any freezing before use and that they not only provide soothing relief but also work wonderfully as a full coverage pad.
You can also use a peri bottle, which is a squeeze bottle you fill with warm water. It has a unique design that makes it easy for you to spray it. Peri bottles are ideal to use after going to the bathroom instead of toilet paper, which can feel like sandpaper on a sensitive perineum.
Give the Cynpel Peri Bottle a try. It has a long, angled neck that means you won’t have to contort your poor body to use it. Plus, it comes with a cute carrying bag so you can take it everywhere you go, and nobody will be the wiser.
Products That Will Pamper Your Bottom
While your lady bits go through the wringer during birth and require some healing time afterward, you also may want to give some attention to your bottom.
Hemorrhoids are no joke. You may have dealt with them during pregnancy, but after delivery, when everything else down there is sore, hemorrhoids are just one more annoyance.
Remember to follow the general advice your doctor probably gave you while you were pregnant about eating enough fiber and not straining when you try to go.
You can also use a stool softener to help make things go easier. Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads also work wonders with the cooling witch hazel that provides instant relief.
If your hemorrhoids are a massive pain in the butt or even a minor irritation that is about to make you lose your mind, try out a sitz bath. This is a little tub that you can fit on your toilet.
You sit in it, and it soaks your bottom. It’s fantastic for hemorrhoids and all the other irritation you have in this area of your body.
We love the Ralthy Over the Toilet Sitz Bath. It fits most toilets and folds for storage so that you can keep it out of the way. It’s also really easy to use and so soothing.
If you experience severe bleeding or pain from your hemorrhoids, don’t hesitate to see your doctor. You want to take anything of concern to him or her since it could indicate a more serious issue.
Special Pampering for the C-Section Mom
A lot of people make light of c-section moms as if having your body cut apart is no big deal, but we understand it isn’t easy to give birth no matter how you do it. C-section deliveries come with their own issues, and they also usually take longer to heal.
Not to mention that you may have gone throw the labor process and have many of the same issues as someone who had a vaginal birth. C-section moms are tough cookies, no doubt.
Of course, the biggest concern after such a delivery is the incision. It’s going to take some time to heal completely, and infection is always a concern until it heals.
This requires making sure that you keep it clean by wiping it every day with soap and water. Of course, you also want to talk to your doctor about the specifics of care.
As we mentioned earlier, you need to choose your postpartum underwear carefully.
You may want to wait until after your delivery to choose some to buy so that you know the fit you need, but it’s hard to go wrong with a high-waisted option that won’t rub on your incision site, such as UpSpring C-Section Underwear.
Just be cautious with high-waisted underwear that has a tight fit. You have to be sure they are incredibly stretchy and will conform, not construct your incision area.
We also suggest using an ointment for pain and to reduce scarring, such as Motherlove C-Section Cream. It soothes and minimizes the appearance of scars. Again, check with your doctor to be sure it is safe to use such a cream.
Support Where You Need It
Not every woman will have hernia issues after giving birth, but if you do, then you will need some extra support.
A belly band can be a perfect choice, such as the KeaBelly Slimming Belt. It’s specifically for postpartum use and helps to reduce swelling while also supporting your stomach and back.
While you need to discuss your hernia care with your doctor since many require surgery, you also can do some things to ease the pain. Make sure that you maintain correct posture, and don’t do things that put a strain on your abdomen, such as wearing high heels.
Don’t Forget the Girls
Your midsection undergoes the most obvious changes during pregnancy, but it isn’t the only thing that will morph from your usual look to an oversized version of you. Your breasts are also going to grow and change.
Whether you will breastfeed or not, you have to deal with your milk coming in. If you don’t breastfeed, then you need to avoid stimulation of any kind as it will only encourage milk production.
Instead, wear a supportive bra that does not bind your breasts. You can use ice packs to soothe the pain and reduce swelling as you wait for the milk to dry up.
If you will breastfeed, then you need to stock up on some products that will help you through the learning curve. Start with a supportive bra. There are many options for breastfeeding bras on the market. We like the BAOMOSI Nursing Bra for several reasons.
First, these are seamless, which means you can wear them under a t-shirt with no bumps or lumps. They also have an easy clip to lower the panel for breastfeeding or pumping that is not evasive or obvious.
These bras come in a nice variety of colors, too, which can help you feel pretty and less like a milk cow.
You also will deal with cracked and sore nipples, which are pretty much a given when you breastfeed for the first time. Give your battered nipples some TLC with Earth Mama Organics Organic Nipple Butter. It soothes and is safe for baby.
You can also use something like Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Packs. These provide you with the option to cool or heat them for the right kind of therapy. They can encourage let down and help with engorgement while also providing pain relief.
Go Forth, Strong Mama
There’s no doubt that creating and birthing a human is a huge accomplishment. You are amazing, even if you don’t quite feel that way.
The postpartum period is challenging, but your body just did something incredible, so cut it some slack and pamper it a little bit.
Stock up on postpartum underwear and other supplies so that when the time comes, you are ready to tackle this next step in your journey like the boss you are.
Do you have a postpartum item you think all moms should know about? Let us know in the comments below.