Postpartum clothes are some of the many things you’ll want to think about when preparing your postpartum essentials. In fact, you should consider it a baby gear necessity, because you have to take care of yourself, too. Chances are, you’ve already loaded up on diapers of all sizes, found the safest bassinet, the best baby bottles, and you even have all the baby clothes and snuggly blankets washed and ready to go for Baby. Now, take a moment and think about what “new mom clothes” you’ll need, because once baby comes you aren’t going to have a moment to think about it, let alone shop.
“New moms should select items that will provide support, are easy wear and easy care, and versatile,” says Marla Ryan, Brand Executive Vice President at Motherhood Maternity. “As a new mom is growing into her role as a mama and letting her body recover, whether she’s nursing or not, the changes at this stage remain dramatic. Simple nursing solutions to make feeding a breeze, and compression solutions that help with recovery. The goal of our new mom collection is to help women feel like themselves again while embracing their new, amazing, life-giving body.”
Do you have postpartum pajamas that allow for easy access for breastfeeding or pumping (and you’ll want a few pairs ’cause things will get M-E-S-S-Y)? How about postpartum loungewear, like sweatpants or supportive leggings, that are comfy enough for home but cute enough to wear out of the house? You may want to grab some postpartum jeans that are supportive yet stretchy or some work-appropriate pants for your return to the office (bleh). And if you have a special event on the books — be it a wedding, your baby’s christening, or a formal work event — you’ll want some suitable options that are elegant and flattering without feeling restricting on your healing body.
“One of the most important items a woman needs is a well-fitting bra maternity and nursing bra,” adds Ryan. “While pregnant, the sudden growth in breast tissue results in soreness and tenderness and continues throughout pregnancy and in the first few weeks after delivery when milk supply is coming in and establishing to baby’s demand. The breast tissue of a woman who is pregnant or nursing is roughly 35% heavier than the breast tissue of the same size in non-pregnancy/lactating woman. Milk ducts begin forming early on in pregnancy and with an ill-fitting bra, this can result in clogged ducts or even mastitis, even before you start nursing.”
Your post-baby bod is not going to be the one you had pre-baby, or your pregnancy body, either — which is totally normal. So turn to the right postpartum clothes to help you feel and look great during this transition. But don’t wait until baby is already here, make sure you have a few things ready to go. Below, see our favorite postpartum clothing picks for any occasion!
Treat yourself (or someone else) to the soft luxury of the Bella Maternity 3-piece pajama set from Cosabella. The black cotton modal nursing pajamas plus robe is the perfect put-together loungewear for hospital or home visitors. One new mom reviewed on Amazon, “I bought this to wear in the hospital after my first baby and it was perfect – I can’t recommend this set enough. First, it is so soft and comfortable which is all you will want after delivery. Second, some people told me not to bother because I would just wear a hospital gown the whole time. But for me, once I started nursing, the gown was very irritating on my nipples so this tank was a godsend. After delivery you might feel like an alien in your own body a bit so treat yourself (or a pregnant friend!) to these beautiful pajamas!”
Don’t spend your delivery, labor, and recovery in a giant hospital gown sack. Buy your own soft, true-to-size hospital gown with a snap-down and easy access for nursing. One Amazon customer reviewed, “This was perfect. I actually wore it backwards so that I could nurse and do skin to skin and then when I got home I wore it the right way to nurse. The material is very soft and comfortable. I felt much more comfortable in the hospital once I showered and put this on. I will be purchasing these for friends and family having babies as well.” A comfier alternative to the standard hospital smocks, this gown is one of the best postpartum clothing pieces for the hospital and those first days back home.
Proof that nursing/postpartum jammies can be cute! If it’s chilly where you are, consider getting long sleeves and pants for sleeping so you stay warm as you hop in and out of bed all night. This combo is made with soft material and has a nursing panel for easy breastfeeding or pumping access (meaning you won’t freeze by stripping down every 3 hours). These bestselling PJs are available in a handful of striped and solid colors, and you may want to grab two sets — you’ll want a backup *when* the other one gets spit up/peed/spilled/pooped on.
After the initial shock to the body of giving birth – yes this will include a swollen midsection, sore muscles and possibly a few incisions to heal – sliding into your old skinny jeans is likely not so appealing or possible. The smart mamas at Motherhood maternity know that postpartum clothes are different than maternity or regular clothes. So they have modified their most popular maternity jean to comfortably support weak postpartum midsections while smoothing softer post-baby bodies with their signature power mesh belly band. Say goodbye to your 4th trimester muffin top with the most comfortable postpartum jeans, the Mama Prima post-pregnancy jeans from Motherhood Maternity.
Honest truth, your pre-pregnancy go-to denim is not likely to fit right after pushing that baby out. (For some of us, our old jeans will never quite fit right, and that’s okay, too!) Embrace that incredible life-creating body of yours, looking and feeling your best in the Everlane Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny Jean. A perfect postpartum jean — which isn’t even designed with the 4th trimester in mind — it has a flattering super-high 11” rise and comes in a range of sizes (23-35 waist), washes, and lengths. Go ahead, show off that waist and tuck in your shirt! The zip fly and button closure jeans sit about an inch or so above the belly button at your natural high waist, making these postpartum dream jeans last way beyond the 4th trimester.
Love your Levi’s? You may not be able to fit into your regular denim just yet, but you can snag a pair of super-stretch pull-on jeans to wear postpartum and help you feel *almost* like yourself again. These bestsellers have a whopping 36,000 Amazon reviews, come in a full range of sizes, three lengths, and eight colors. Even better, most of them are under $30, so go ahead and grab a few.
Postpartum Work Pants
Yep, this pair of Levi’s is making a second appearance because the colored styles — particularly black, burgundy, and olive green — make great back-to-work pants. These stretchy pull-on pants also feature a tummy-supportive mid-rise and an ankle length that works flawlessly with heels or dress shoes. Go get ’em, Mama!
Bootcut more your style? Rekucci’s work pants aren’t *technically* “postpartum” (maybe you prefer it that way?) but their stretchy pull-on style and tummy-supporting mid-rise make them suitable for workwear when you return to the office post-baby. These are available in sizes 0 to 18 and short, regular, and tall lengths, plus a huge array of colors including grays, khakis, blues, and patterns like pinstripes and checks.
These bow-accented pants are so cute, no one will realize they’re perfect for accommodating a postpartum body! A high-waist cut emphasizes your narrowest part and won’t irritate C-section scars, plus pleating and a bow work together to camouflage a post-baby pooch. The back is stretchy elastic to fit your changing body, and reviewers rave about how comfortable and flattering these pants are (hence, the high 4.4-star rating out of over 5,000 reviews). They come in an impressive 33 shades, but pro tip: A few reviewers note that the darker colors are the most slimming, if that’s what you’re after.
Since there’s no “wear literally anywhere” category, we’re adding these under work pants, because yes, you can wear them to the office, too. That said, they’re the ideal WFH pant because you can feel put together, comfortable, and ready for any last-minute outings that come your way. And oh yeah — did we mention you can wear these soft, stretchy pants with a growing belly, too? Made with modal, pima cotton, and spandex, they’re definitely a staple worth investing in, whether you’re very pregnant, newly postpartum, or it’s been 5 years since you had your baby. Get ’em in black or light-tan latte.
Besides staring at your newborn in awe, much of your time in the hospital will be spent feeding your new baby. With doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, and visitors popping in and out constantly, the nursing tank from Motherhood Maternity is a must-have piece of postpartum clothing for modest, comfortable feedings at the hospital. One mom reviewed on Amazon, “These are amazing. As a five-time breastfeeding mother, I wish I had discovered and utilized these while nursing my 4 other children. But I am so grateful to have found these this time. This makes feeding and pumping so much more convenient. It’s super comfortable, perfect to just hang out in or (to) wear as an undershirt.”
Sitting in the hospital bed recovering (or breastfeeding, or pumping …) can get chilly. Make sure to pack light layers in your birthing bag, like this wear-everywhere wrap sweatshirt. The open front wrap is the perfect postpartum wardrobe addition with pockets to stash your phone and pacifiers, and is fully machine-washable for all those spit ups and other newborn accidents. “Super lux!” reviewed a mom on Amazon. “This open cardigan is super soft, and looks more expensive than it is. It’s described as a sweatshirt, but this is not your mother’s sweatshirt material. It flows nicely, it’s not too thick, and does not cling to any lumps or bumps…Win!”
Don’t trade style for comfort when you can be comfortably fashionable with the Athleta studio jogger. These lightweight, super soft joggers have a key postpartum design element for new moms: A move-with-you fold-over waistband that won’t squeeze too tight. The perfect postpartum bottoms for right after baby arrives, these harem pants have plenty of room in the crotch, because let’s face it, after birth most of us don’t want anything near where that baby came out. Great for traveling home from the hospital or stealing an afternoon nap on the couch (remember, you gotta sleep when baby does), you will be grabbing for these Athleta studio joggers daily.
If you plan on living in sweatpants, you might as well get some good ones. RicherPoorer’s Terry Classic Sweatpant features smooth, tight woven terry (versus fleece) that’s ideal for all seasons. You’ll love the weighty, quality material of these bottoms, plus the thick elastic band is relaxed and especially forgiving. There’s also a drawstring at the waist, making them adjustable for your body in the weeks and months post-birth (and long after).
These shorts are. The. Comfiest … and over 10,000 Amazon reviewers agree. While they’re definitely on the lounge-y side, they’re still stylish enough to wear out of the house for those times when, you know, you can’t fathom putting on bottoms with a button. They also maintain their shape and are long enough to provide some coverage so you’re not constantly pulling them down. Overall, a must-have for your summer loungewear wardrobe — postpartum or not.
A must-have for c-sections births or new moms battling Diastasis Recti (where your abdominal muscles separate), the SRC Postpartum Compression Shorts will not only suck it all in, but speed up recovery and support weak healing muscles. “These shorts have helped my ‘Mummy Tummy’ shrink back postpartum so fast! I felt so jiggly in the hospital but once I got home and got these on, I felt more secure. As I wear them more and more I feel my stomach firming up! These shorts are a MUST for all postpartum moms. Worth the price!!” raves a new mom on Amazon. Plus, SRC compression shorts are specifically designed for postpartum bodies, giving support to the pelvic and abdominal muscles for added mobility after birth.
We couldn’t agree more with this new mom’s review on Amazon: “Bye bye muffin top, love handles and postpartum tummy! Like many new moms, I desperately needed a few key pieces to help me feel good in my new body during this transition period. These leggings have been a life saver! They are extremely comfortable, but much better, they provide a slimming effect and smooth out little bulges and uneven skin texture. On top of that, the compression helps with my leg circulation and my legs seem less tired when I have these leggings on.” In sum, the high-waisted, moisture wicking, seamless compression legging from Mother’s Essentials are just that – essential!
In those days and weeks (and months) after birth, it’s nice to have the added support of high-waisted leggings. This pair by SYRINX is ideal for lounging, running errands, or wearing for new baby meet-and-greets. Even better, they come in a huge variety of colors and patterns, including multi-packs of three or seven so you can stock up. While these leggings aren’t specific for postpartum moms, many of the 26,000 + (!) reviewers say they loved wearing these after leaving the hospital. “I used these for postpartum and they are so soft and comfortable for after having a baby!” says an Amazon reviewer.
An activewear brand specifically designed for pregnant and postpartum moms? Yes, please! These ridiculously soft compression shorts will keep you feeling comfy and secure in the weeks after birth. Even better, you can add these to your activewear collection long after you’ve recovered. With features like a high-waist cut, a no-slip silicone grip waistband, and smooth side pockets for stashing your phone, keys, and more, these have everything you want in a pair of compression or exercise shorts — postpartum or not.
Snug enough for support but not tight enough to hurt, the 90 Degree By Reflex “Squat Proof” Leggings are moisture-wicking and lightweight with a smooth feel. They offer a little extra coverage in those weeks and months post-birth and are ideal for errands, entertaining guests, or gentle exercises like walking, yoga, or of course, squats (once the doc gives the okay, of course). Even after you’ve recovered, you’ll enjoy wearing these for gym workouts, hikes, or running around town.
Postpartum Clothes For Weddings & Special Occasions
This dress is ideal for any special occasions you have postpartum for so many reasons. One, it’s soft, drapey fabric is comfy and forgiving. Two, lace sleeves add beautiful feminine detail, but it’s simple enough for any event, from a wedding to your baby’s christening. Three, the faux wrap V-neck means it’s breastfeeding-friendly. You’ll wear this little number for all your “fancy” events postpartum, and probably long after. Snag it in seven gorgeous go-with-anything colors.
Did we mention we love wrap dresses? This Amazon brand beauty is made of soft jersey and has a flattering wrap silhouette, plus the crossover-top offers easy access for nursing moms. And as if it wasn’t versatile enough — wear it on a dinner date, to church, to work, on vacation, or (yes) to a wedding — it comes in 23 different colors and patterns to suit any occasion. BTW, you’ll keep wearing this pretty dress post-postpartum recovery, too.
You may not be comfortable wearing a dress just yet, so Mama, a jumpsuit is the style for you! This Adrianna Papell design is on the pricier side, but you’ll feel like a million bucks while wearing it (and, it’s definitely a good investment if you have multiple formal occasions on the calendar). The front ruffle panel cleverly skims over postpartum bumps, while the one-shoulder style shows just the right amount of skin for it to be sexy. It’s available in red, black, emerald, powder blue, and ivory (not that you’d ever wear white to wedding, but it’d be perfect for your baby’s baptism!) and size 0-18, both regular and petite.
The reason Birdy Grey’s Kaia dress is ideal for special events in the months after giving birth? Its elastic-backed waistband bump-friendly for expecting moms in the first 6 months of pregnancy, meaning it’s also suitable for postpartum bumps. You can wear this floaty number as a wedding guest, or — even better — if you’re a bridesmaid. The Kaia comes in 15 lovely shades, plus Birdy Grey has other bump-friendly styles, too. Just note: This dress can take several weeks to ship, so be sure to order ahead of time.
Postpartum Casual Tops & Dresses
Stay cute and nursing-accessible with the sure-to-be workhorse of your postpartum nursing wardrobe, the Smallshow breastfeeding tee. The pack of three soft, stretchy modal t-shirts come in classic color combinations featuring fun stripes and modern colors (blush anyone?). “I’m currently nursing my fourth baby and was wanting to add to my breastfeeding wardrobe. I purchased the grey, brown, and black set,” reviews one Amazon customer. She adds that it features, “a relaxed fit that is good for my postpartum body, neutral colors that can easily be accessorized or layered, and a great price.”
The dress that goes from snuggling on the couch with Baby to lunch with friends, the one-and-done Smallshow nursing dress is a new mom’s best friend. “Great nursing dress,” reviews one nursing mom on Amazon. “The dress fits great and is very comfortable. (It’s) loose and flattering, skims over the parts I don’t want to show right now, but (it’s) not a shapeless sack. It has a modest neckline and is easy to nurse discreetly in. I love it.” Destined to be a favorite among your postpartum clothes, the ¾ sleeve modal rayon midi dress is also available in short sleeves for those warmer months and in a long sleeve maxi for full coverage.
Comfort is key when building your postpartum wardrobe. But for those of you who don’t want to sacrifice style, welcome to the nursing-to-errands onesie. Part of the Hatch loungewear capsule collection, this super-luxe French terry wrap jumpsuit is designed for feeding and styled for the street — we think it goes just as well with sneakers as it does with heels. “My new favorite outfit,” raves a new mom on Hatchcolletion.com. “This onesie is perfect for nursing. Soft, comfortable, stretchy, and flattering, this outfit allows for effortless nursing while looking amazing. I would wear it everyday if I could…wait, I have worn it almost every day since I got it. Love, love, love.”
An absolute must in a breastfeeding mother’s 4th trimester wardrobe, this nursing popover hoodie zips at the breast for easy, discreet feeding. The Bearsland popover breastfeeding sweatshirt comes in a ton of patterns and colors, keeping mama warm on those chilly nights or brisk days out and about. One nursing mama reviewed on Amazon, “I now own three of these and I will probably continue to buy more!! Amazing quality and super warm and soft. I am constantly getting complimented on it when I am out nursing because it’s so discreet. It’s definitely worth the money!!”
We know this piece is an investment, but it’ll make you feel more like yourself again without sacrificing comfort … and you deserve it, Mama! Plus, it’s a versatile piece that’ll last throughout your postpartum months and beyond so you can really get your money’s worth. M.M. LaFleur’s fine terry Harris Sweatshirt features a modern relaxed fit and cozy cowl neck. With a chic silhouette and soft sweatshirt feel, you’ll love wearing this forgiving top with jeans, leggings, or joggers throughout your kiddo’s toddler years. And since it’s such good quality, it’ll last you at least as long. Available in pearl and smoky taupe shades.
We love Bobeau’s Cozy Surplice Top for those times you want to leave the house looking put together and polished without expending too much of your precious energy or effort. This pick offers a super flattering silhouette thanks to its relaxed fit, crossed front, and feminine V, which also offers easy access for breastfeeding. It’s made with a soft, cozy material that feels like loungewear. The feel of a sweatshirt plus the look of a blouse; all in all, the perfect top for postpartum wear (and long afterward), if you ask us.
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Postpartum Underwear & Bras
We guarantee at least one friend who’s had a baby before you will advise you to steal as many of the mesh underwear the hospital gives you. Yup, underwear is going to be an important postpartum wardrobe essential, starting at the hospital. Avoid the itchy hospital stuff and pack your own high-waisted postpartum underwear from Kindred Bravely. “These are soft and comfortable.” reviewed one new mom on Amazon. “After a week in the hospital wearing mesh disposable panties, putting these on made me feel so much more human. The rise is high enough that they don’t bother my C-section incision and they’re a little wider in the gusset than most underwear, so they hold a postpartum pad in place more securely and prevents leaks. In short, these panties are a nice little luxury to make recovery more pleasant.”
If you’re undecided about whether you’d rather wear your panties over or under your post-baby bump —or you want the ability to choose depending on your preferences that day — this trio from Motherhood Maternity can be worn either way (and let’s face it, you have enough choices to make right now). They’re made with 5% spandex for extra stretch, plus they fold down to accommodate your tummy, even if you’e had a C-section. BTW, you can also wear them throughout your entire pregnancy.
Do not sleep on the opportunity to snag a great sleep bra. They’re soft and comfy (think: PJs for your boobs!), they can hold a nursing pad to absorb any overnight leakage, and they offer easy access for all-hours snack sessions. This one has the perfect amount of support (you want to feel secure, but not constricted) and a simple snap hook to let down before you, well, let down. And for the record, even if you don’t plan on nursing (no shame in that, Mama!), you’ll still want a stretchy bra to accommodate any postpartum breast change sizes and and that lovely milk leakage. Ryan says this bra is a Motherhood Maternity top seller.
“Select a hands-free pumping bra, a 2-in-1 pumping bra and nursing bra, and overall nursing bras, designed for breastfeeding to fit and support fluctuating breast weight and shape when nursing,” suggests Ryan. In addition to doing it all, this pick fro Motherhood Maternity is soft, stretchy, and comfy for day and night.
“Post-pregnancy wraps, such as post-pregnancy support belts or post-pregnancy belly wraps, provide compression,” explains Ryan. “Post-pregnancy panties add additional support and comfort as new moms heal.” This one is made of soft, lightweight material that’s comfy and breathable. It’s also made in the USA.
After delivery, the nurses are going to have you up and waddling around before you know it. Don’t get stuck wandering the hospital halls barefoot. Treat those tired (and likely swollen) feet right with the warm luxury of UGG Scuffette slippers. “Exactly what you would expect from UGG. Gorgeous slippers, super comfy and warm. These are the ultimate in cozy,” reviewed one Amazon customer. Just as perfect scuffing around the hospital halls as home, these sheepskin slippers are a postpartum wardrobe staple that will be loved for years to come.
Whether you’re a month or two years postpartum, comfortable shoes are key for moms — especially those with little kids. The flexible fabric and memory foam souls of BZees make you feel like you’re walking on air (or waddling, or running — depending on how far along postpartum you are). The Golden Knit Slip On Sneaker means no tying, which is great whether it still hurts to bend over or if you’re rushing out the door with a tot. And since these are machine washable (!) they’ll last you for years across all the postpartum stages, so they’re worth the investment. Get them in white, taupe, metallic black, or subtle camo print.