Having a child is empowering. The ability of your body to grow life is amazing. What’s not so amazing? Postpartum bleeding.
File this under “things-they-didn’t-warn-you-about.” Postpartum bleeding occurs after giving birth—even if you have a c-section—and can last up to six weeks. Unlike your period, you won’t be able to use tampons, so you’ll need other period care options during this time.
Your new baby will be keeping you busy with plenty of snuggles, feedings, and—yes—dirty diapers. For more personal protection, security, and comfort during the weeks of postpartum care, and to reduce the amount of “changing” you’ll have to do, many women are opting to use postpartum underwear instead of traditional pads.
Postpartum underwear are designed to help you deal with the inconsistent flow you may experience after having a baby. They help you care for your own body while you care for your newborn.
At Rael, we know you’ve got questions. We make it our mission to offer you the best, holistic period care options available, and we’re also here to support you through every stage of your life, including post-pregnancy.
We’ll give you all the information you need about postpartum bleeding and help you choose the best postpartum underwear. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to use period underwear to keep you comfortable and confident during your postpartum weeks.
What Is Postpartum Bleeding?
Postpartum bleeding is a completely normal part of giving birth. It happens because blood vessels that run from the placenta to your uterus are broken when you have your baby. The uterus begins to contract to close these blood vessels. This process causes postpartum bleeding.
You may begin bleeding immediately after having your baby, but it is more likely that bleeding will begin a day or so after giving birth.
Postpartum bleeding can feel inconvenient, especially when caring for a new baby, but it doesn’t last forever. Here’s what you can expect.
- Bleeding will be heavy for the first few days. You’ll likely soak through a pad every hour or sooner.
- Bleeding may increase after nursing or physical activity.
- You may experience blood clots, especially in the 24-48 hours immediately after giving birth.
- Postpartum bleeding will eventually cease around 4-6 weeks after giving birth. You may not have a regular period again for a few more months, especially if you are breastfeeding.
What’s Not Normal
Feeling dizzy, noticing an increase in blood flow, and running a fever are all signs you should call your doctor. If you feel your bleeding is abnormal, call your doctor.
How To Choose the Best Postpartum Underwear
If you arrive at the hospital or birthing center unprepared for postpartum care, you’ll be provided with the standard, mesh underwear that they keep on hand. These underwear are effective in holding postpartum flow, but they’re not comfortable and definitely not the best you can do.
Instead, pack your own postpartum underwear so you can feel comfortable and protected without feeling like you’re rocking an adult diaper. Here’s what you need to consider before buying postpartum undies.
You’re so ready to be back to prepregnancy weight, but remember this is a journey, and you may not be ready for the same size underwear you wore before becoming pregnant.
Even if you wore the same size underwear during your pregnancy, plan on buying a size larger in postpartum underwear to allow for pads and to give your most sensitive area room to breathe. If you had a vaginal delivery, you won’t want anything constricting.
There are two things to consider when selecting a fabric for your postpartum underwear.
- Hormone changes. Your hormones change rapidly after birth. Breastfeeding also plays a role in hormone changes. These changes typically cause you to sweat more than you normally do.
The fabric of your postpartum underwear should be breathable and absorbent. Stick to cotton options to reduce sweating.
- Sensitive skin. Whether you’ve had a c-section or a vaginal delivery, your underwear will be covering some pretty sensitive areas.
Your doctor may recommend that you don’t place underwear over a healing c-section scar. If you’re able to wear underwear over the scar, you’ll want a soft fabric that won’t snag or harm the incision.
If you’ve had a vaginal delivery, you’ll want ultra-soft fabric while you heal.
The first few days postpartum, you’ll likely need to wear an ultra-absorbent pad at all times. Overnight pads are usually the preferred choice for new mothers. Look for pads that are made with 100% cotton and don’t contain harsh chemicals that could irritate your skin.
To increase absorbency, you can also opt to use period underwear. Period panties are designed to hold the same amount of flow as three tampons, making them a great option for the weeks of postpartum bleeding. Our disposable Organic Cotton Period Underwear combines an overnight pad with period underwear for convenient comfort.
Not all postpartum underwear are created equally, and some are created with harsh chemicals that could be dangerous to your body. Make sure your postpartum underwear has been made without chemical treatment that could cause future fertility issues or even cancer.
How Many To Buy
When searching for postpartum underwear, remember you’ll be experiencing postpartum symptoms for up to six weeks. It’s important to make sure you have all the supplies you need on hand. Having a baby makes even a routine trip to the store a little more challenging.
We recommend purchasing enough for one to two pairs of disposable underwear each day and keeping a month’s supply on hand. You can also opt to keep a few reusable period underwear options on hand as a backup if you run out of disposables sooner than expected!
How To Use Period Underwear for Postpostarum
Period underwear, also known as period panties, are a great option for postpartum bleeding because they help you stay comfortable, dry, and more confident. Period underwear come in both disposable and reusable options, and both can be used even after you’re done with postpartum bleeding.
Not sure how to incorporate period underwear in your postpartum care? We’ve got your back. Here’s how to make period underwear your postpartum hero.
Pack Them for the Hospital or Birthing Center
Remember, you’ll be given mesh underwear that may feel uncomfortable if you don’t pack your own supplies. Feeling a little more comfortable after childbirth makes a huge difference in recovery. Pack your disposable cotton period underwear in your hospital bag and avoid the mesh.
You can also pick up our First Mom Gift Set for extra postpartum support. It includes 2 Overnight Pads, 2 Long Liners, 2 packs of Natural Feminine Wipes, Organic Cotton Water Wipes, and a Collagen Sheet Mask Set to give you that little extra TLC you deserve.
Use Them With a Pad
The first 24-48 hours after giving birth is when your bleeding will be at its heaviest. During this time, make sure you use an overnight pad along with your period underwear. Rael’s innovative Organic Cotton Period Underwear already combines our disposable period underwear with an overnight pad, so you can rest easy knowing Rael’s got you covered.
Wear Them Alone
After the first 5-10 days, your postpartum bleeding will level out, and you’ll have a much lighter flow. For these weeks, period underwear are an absolute game-changer.
Rael’s disposable period underwear are made with a 100% organic cotton cover and super stretchy waistband that hug your curves seamlessly. They’re able to hold the same amount of flow as four regular pads, which means one pair of undies could last you all day.
Not having to worry about repeat trips to the bathroom or leaks while you’re taking care of a newborn—that’s a win.
Stash Them in Your Diaper Bag
It’s a great idea to keep a pair of postpartum underwear in your diaper bag in case of an emergency. Rael’s lightweight disposable period underwear is lightweight and discrete, making it convenient to replace a used pair with a new pair when you’re on the go.
Caring for Postpartum Underwear
One of the best aspects of disposable postpartum underwear is that they can be easily disposed of whenever you’re ready for a new pair. Be sure to dispose of your Organic Cotton Period Underwear in the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet.
Choosing a disposable underwear means you’ll save time pre-rinsing, washing, and air drying your underwear, and you’ll never need to worry about damaging the absorbency of your underwear with bleach or fabric softener. Taking care of your newborn can be a full-time job, and saving time on undergarment care means you can focus on what really matters—feeding, snuggling, and taking care of your adorable little one.
Caring for your baby is essential, and caring for your postpartum body is too! Period underwear can help you do both better.
Rael offers the best in holistic monthly care items, self-care, and skin care items to help keep you feeling radiant and secure no matter where you’re at in the month or in life.
Postpartum is a time for change, and you can do it confidently with the proper products that help you keep your mind off your postpartum flow so you can save your energy for that adorable little human you created!
Bleeding After Birth (health.gld.gov.au)
Your body after baby the first 6 weeks (marchofdimes.org)
Basic Information on PFAS | Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) (epa.gov)