A lot has happened since Chrissy Teigen showed off her postpartum underwear on Instagram. More new mons are sharing pictures of their postpartum experiences on social media and the whole question of what to wear immediately after giving birth is becoming a hot topic.
I’ve said it before: giving birth is a messy process that puts a lot of strain on your body. Many hospitals however don’t prepare moms well enough for what happens when they come home. As if caring for a beautiful new life isn’t overwhelming enough, now there’s also your own body to worry about and care for. Nurses really want to help, but they are so overworked that often they just don’t have time to prepare moms sufficiently. Best case scenario they will give you a stack of the mesh hospital panties and a bag of maxi pads to take home. Or to quote Chrissy Teigen again: “No one told me I would be coming home in diapers too."
So what do you need? First off you will need good, comfortable postpartum underwear and the biggest, most absorbent pads you can find. Remember that the weight you’ve gained during your pregnancy won’t come off immediately with delivering the baby, so you need postpartum underwear that has maximum stretch to keep the pad snugly in place as your body returns to its pre-pregnancy size.
What you don’t want are seams or elastics, like the ones in your regular underwear. Your body has gone through a lot and your skin needs time to heal and recover its elasticity after stretching with your expanding tummy. Regular underwear is made of fabric seamed together and held in place with sewn-in elastic. The problem is that the seams and the elastics will chafe your skin and can irritate your incision if you’ve had a C-section. Good postpartum underwear is made from knitted Latex-free elastic fibers and made in one piece with the waistband knitted in and no seams except for the one in the crotch (which is covered by the pad). So the entire panty is elastic and hugs your body – like hosiery – without the need for an elastic waistband.
So what about the mesh panties like the ones Chrissy is wearing in her Instagram picture – and many hospitals in the USA still give their patients? When you look at the picture up close you will see that they look a bit like fish netting. Actually it may sound weird but they are knit on the same type of machines that make onion bags and netting for salami. Their biggest selling point is that they are light, breathable and very cheap. But as is so often the case: you get what you pay for.
Now take a look at the contoured seamless panties you can buy from AltroCare. They are made on the same type of high tech circular knitting machines that make our high end postpartum wear (more about that in a follow-up blog post) and they have no seams on the side that press into your sensitive skin. They offer more coverage and if you’ve had a C-section they won’t sit right on your incision like the low-rise mesh panties. They also have about 3 times more elastic fabric, which means better fixation for that maxi pad. They are made of moisture wicking microfiber that is just as breathable as the fishnet mesh but will stand up to 25 washings in a normal household laundry machine.
And let’s be honest about it: they simply look a lot better. I leave it up to you if you want to show off your postpartum tummy on social media. But if you post a picture of our panties on social media we’ll gladly send you a second 5-pack for free.