Maternity Lingerie That Every New Mom Deserves
Everything changes with pregnancy. One of the biggest challenges that women face is getting used to a new shape and function of their body. Well before a baby is born, the mother is contending with dramatic physical changes that can include weight gain, weight loss, changing breast and hip sizes, stretch marks, ligament pain, and rounded abdominal areas.
It’s normal to want to still look good and feel good when we’re expecting and beyond, but the ups and downs of pregnancy and postpartum bodily changes can take a serious toll on new mothers. Skin changes during pregnancy can leave moms feeling hot, itchy, and uncomfortable. Underwires can poke sensitive tissue, and formerly favorite bras may be tossed aside because they’re not nursing friendly.
It is not surprising, then, that as much as new moms and non-cisgender parents appreciate sexy underthings and statement pieces, their priorities also tend to shift as they face new, unusual needs: more coverage, more protection, stronger straps, breastfeeding access, soft fabrics, wire-free support, larger cup sizes, and more. With that in mind, here are ten questions that will help you choose your best maternity and postpartum lingerie:
1. Is It Comfortable?
This is the number one consideration with any pregnancy or postpartum undergarment! Nobody has energy to be attending to their new baby in a midst of sleep deprivation in uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting clothes. Look for tag-free, wire-free, machine-washable, breathable pieces. If it’s stretchy enough to grow with your changing body, so much the better.
Try: MAMA 2-Pack Padded Nursing Bras, $34.99, H&M
2. Is It Restrictive?
Nobody wants to get poked by a stray underwire! Growing bodies demand supportive and stretchy materials, especially after the first trimester. Functionality takes precedence when shopping for maternity lingerie.
Waiting for our postpartum figures to sort themselves out can take a while, though, so there’s no need to compromise on style. Look for luxe fabrics and wire-free bras that feel pleasurable (or at least not unpleasant) to wear!
Try: Lace Non-Padded Maternity to Nursing Bra, $39, Seraphine
3. Does It Boost Your Confidence?
New mothers are taking on unprecedented responsibilities and at the same time their bodies and hormones are undergoing extreme changes, but moms are still human. Most of us still want to feel attractive, at least some of the time. The right maternity lingerie can help us feel ready to reconnect with partners or give us a much-needed mood booster.
Maternity lingerie doesn’t always have to be labeled as such. Watch for bump-friendly cuts such as baby dolls and empire waists.
Try: Lovehoney Plus Size Late Night Liaison Blue Lace Babydoll Set, $36.99, Lovehoney US
4. Is It a Pain to Care For?
Trust us, pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period are no time to be hand-washing fragile delicates. Look for durable, multi-functional, machine-friendly pieces that will hold their shape and flatter your features without pilling, shredding, or losing pads or ties.
Try: 3-in-1 Maternity Labor, Delivery, and Nursing Gown, $29, A Pea In the Pod
5. Will I Be Nursing In It?
Ahh, the old breast-or-bottle question. Every baby—and every mother—is different. Plans can change, but if you have at least some idea of whether you will or won't be breastfeeding, make sure to factor that into your maternity lingerie hunts. You’ll be thanking yourself later when you’re not struggling for discreet pumping access.
There’s no reason nursing bras have to be worn only when nursing, too. They’re fine for pregnancy and comfortable for postpartum wear even if you determine that nursing isn’t right for you.
Try: 2-in-1 Nursing & Pumping Bra for Wearable Pumps, $35, A Pea In the Pod
6. Will It Aggravate Scars and Healing Areas?
No matter how the baby exits, there’s going to be some recovery time. Even moms who don’t need C-sections may still require other surgeries or have scar tissue from previous births. Make it easier on yourself by selecting postpartum lingerie that protects or avoids your incisions as they heal.
Try: Upspring C-Panty High Waist C-Section Recovery Panty, $31.99, buybuy BABY
7. Do I Feel Like Myself When I Wear It?
For plus-sized, disabled, or non-cisgender-identified parents, the search for comfortable, practical pregnancy and postpartum lingerie can be even harder. Thinx, a leading innovator in the period underwear space, offers gender-neutral options and a postpartum underwear line that includes hip-huggers, shorts, and briefs styles. JBC Lingerie is another brand that bills itself as both size and shape inclusive and has extensive custom sizing options for lingerie not already in stock.
Try: THINX Postpartum Cotton Set, $152, THINX.com
8. Does It Provide the Coverage I Want Without Riding Up or Bunching?
The physical changes that come with pregnancy are challenging enough without having to worry about whether your underwear is holding and hiding everything you want it to! Consider adding camisoles, belly bands, full-coverage nursing bras, and high-waisted maternity lingerie into your routine to avoid those leaks and pesky wardrobe malfunctions.
Try: Maternity High Rise Briefs, $11, Gap
9. Does It Support My New or Changing Body Shape?
Uh-oh, back pain. (And rib, hip, leg, neck, shoulder, and rear pains). If you’re feeling the need for something to help hold yourself together, or whip you back into proper posture, you’re not alone. There are loads of maternity belts, belly bands, harnesses, trainers, and garters designed just for this purpose.
Try: NeoTech Care Pregnancy Support Maternity Belt, $24, Amazon
10. Is It Medically Necessary?
The challenges that come with pregnancy and birth can also impact lingerie needs. Nobody wants underwear that’s going to rub on a C-section scar. Conditions such as diastasis recti or pelvic pain can also be relieved by the right lingerie choices.
Try: Belly Bandit C Section Undies, $59.95, Motherhood Maternity
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Kate is a journalist, editor, and mom to five adopted and biological children.