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What to Wear After a C-Section

Updated February 2019

If you’re wondering about post c-section attire, you’re not alone. I’m not gonna lie – the c-section incision site (just below your bikini line, unless you have a vertical incision) will be painful at first. Remember that a c-section is a major abdominal surgery that takes approximately 6-8 weeks (or so) to fully recover from, so take it easy!

After your surgery, you won’t be able to wear your regular underwear (not that you would anyway – hello, mesh undies and massive pads!), or just any pair of pants or leggings. You’ll want high-waist underwear (think granny panties) that reach above your incision site, and dresses or loose-fitting pants that won’t rub against your incision or squeeze your abdominal area. In short, anything that chafes your scar (like elastic) will not feel good.

So what can you wear? Here are some suggestions:

Maternity Dress (or nightgown)

As one reader explained, “the only thing I wish I had taken to the hospital for the c-section was a long dress to come home in. I took some loose pants, but it was still a little painful, no matter how loose the elastic is.”

A regular nightgown will do the trick, but some moms prefer a maternity and/or nursing nightgown as their post c-section attire. Here are some favorites ~

PinkBlush Maternity Maxi Dresses ~$varies

Maternity maxi dresses are loose and forgiving on your c-section area and shrinking belly. Make sure to get ones that are easy for nursing (pull-down or side-pull).

Kindred Bravely: The Angelina Ultra Soft Maternity & Nursing Nightgown Dress ~ $29

This super-soft nightgown from Kindred Bravely also passes for a stylish dress. Some reviewers even noted they’ve worn it out on the town at night. It’s a great choice to wear home from the hospital because it’s cute, comfortable, and simple (discreet!) to nurse in.

2-in-1 Baby Be Mine Nursing Nightgown ~ $19- $29

This super cute nightie comes in several colors and patterns (seriously – this is not your typical nursing nightgown!). Reviewers love that it’s stylish, comfortable and practical (easy to nurse in).

C-Section Underwear

One option is to purchase regular high-waisted underwear (just make sure the elastic reaches above your c-section incision), but there are some panties that are made especially for c-section mamas. If you want to go that route, here are some solid choices:

Kindred Bravely High Waist C-Section Recovery Panties ~ $6

*Let me start by saying your tummy will not be this flat right after your c-section, ha!!! It takes time for everything to decompress.

If high-waist granny panties aren’t your thing, these beauties may be more up your alley. They look more like lingerie than they do postpartum panties, are super soft, stretchy, and sit well above your incision. The wide crotch area will fit your post-delivery pads. I’ve worn these well into the first year, haha.

post c-section attire

C-Panty ~$40

These can be worn immediately following your c-section. What’s cool about the C-Panty is that it has a medical-grade silicone panel that goes over your incision site for extra comfort and healing. In addition, the compression supposedly helps reduce swelling, supports weakened muscles (due to pregnancy and surgery), and may even help slim your postpartum pooch (again, ha!).

That said, the C-panty has definitely received mixed reviews. Some mamas complain that they run too big (even the smallest size) and don’t offer enough support or compression around the belly.  Many also say the C-panty is too pricey and simply not worth the money. Still, most reviewers say these are supportive, comfy and (miraculously?) do aid in recovery after a c-section, but be aware of the mixed reviews.
post c-section attire

Shymay Women’s Panty Girdle Adjustable Belly Wrap Postpartum Control Panties ~$22

For about half the price of the C-Panty (and with roughly the same user rating), the Shymay panty/girdle also has a high-waist to compress and protect the post-op belly. Like the C-Panty, the claim is that they aid in a quicker c-section recovery and help to reshape the tummy (I’ll believe it when I see it!).

Many reviewers say these are comfortable, offer good support, and like their adjustable nature (you can pull the sides as tight (or loose) as you want, and then Velcro them to the back of the panty). This is key in getting a good fit. Still other reviewers complain they are poorly made, and that the Velcro tabs break easily and scratch the skin. Still, most are happy with what they get for the price.

post c-section attire

Basketball Shorts

Yeah, that’s right: basketball shorts. Short of stealing your husband’s underwear, these make for great post c-section attire because the loose waistband won’t rub against or irritate your incision. Here are two easy options:

Women’s Swish Basketball Short ~$14

Can’t go wrong with these. This short comes in a variety of colors and has a loose fit.

post c-section attire

Nike Essential Women’s Basketball Short ~$29

If you prefer a brand name, these will do nicely — they’re comfortable and won’t rub against your incision.

post c-section attire

See also:

Good luck, mommy!!!

~ Your friends at Lucie’s List

This article has 7 comments

  1. Do you have any suggestions for pants? I’d love some options for a winter baby.

  2. […] note: Check out our guide on what to wear after a c-section and our thoughts on postpartum […]

  3. […] note: Check out our guide on what to wear after a c-section and our thoughts on postpartum […]

  4. […] — A going home outfit for you (your giant uterus will look/feel about 6 months preggo, so stick to loose maternity clothes). Check out our guide on what to wear after a c-section. […]

  5. […] What to wear after a c-section […]

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