Compression Garments or Comfy Clothes: What to Wear Postpartum After a C-Section?


Congratulations! After nine long months, your sweet little bundle of joy is here and it's time to transition from maternity clothes to postpartum ones. If you’ve had a C-section, you might be just figuring out the best clothes to wear now.  

Should you go for compression garments and postpartum girdles and wraps, or are yoga pants and other maternity clothing acceptable? How can you fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes faster? Well, there's great news on all accounts. Many of your maternity clothes (like yoga pants) can still be worn after a C-section and be paired with compression garments. We know you've got your hands full with your new baby, so we made it easy on you by curating our favorite C-section and postpartum recovery clothes. 

What to Keep in Mind about Clothes to Wear After a C Section

C-sections are common and many mums find themselves not fully prepared with the right items for their recovery after birth – including the correct clothes and other support garments. If you've recently given birth via C-section and are transitioning from maternity clothes to postpartum clothes, you'll want to consider a few things first:  

  • Is the material breathable?
  • Does it offer compression or support?
  • Do I already have this item in my maternity clothes selection?
  • Can I breastfeed easily in this?
  • Does it have buttons, extra latches or devices that I'll have to fiddle with?
  • How easy is it to throw on if I'm breastfeeding and need to open the door for a delivery or visitor?

It can take six to 10 weeks for your uterus to shrink back to its original size after birth1 and it may take around this same time for a C-section cut to heal. The C-section cut is typically about a four to six-inch incision made horizontally just below the pubic hairline. As the cut heals, it’s important that you select the correct type of clothes – especially undergarments – that either hold compression over the incision or avoid it all together. 

No matter whether you've had a C-section or a vaginal birth, you'll want to help your body with compression around the abdominal area to reduce swelling, inflammation and bloating. Belly wraps with built-in bone support can help support your lower back while breastfeeding, as well as slim your belly faster by supporting the abdominal muscles as they heal and your uterus as it goes back to its original size.

 

In Singapore, belly binding or bengkung after giving birth is common. Here, a long piece of cloth is expertly wrapped around the new mum’s belly and is thought to provide compression and support, encourage healing and shrinking of the womb. However, C-section mums can only do this traditional form of belly binding once their cut dries up, usually after around six weeks (which is a long time to wait).

You don’t need to fret though if you are a C-section mummy, as there are some amazing options for you, too.

Clothes and Compression Garments to Wear After a C-Section

1. C-Panty C-Section Recovery Underwear High Waist

These are postpartum panties that were specifically designed for C-section recovery and have medical-grade compression. They were invented in the U.S. by ER nurse Catherine Brooks, after she underwent an emergency c-section and could not find anything on the market that was designed specifically for C-section recovery.

What makes the C-Panty special is that it provides safe levels of compression for C-section mums, helps provide incision care, and could also assist with postpartum slimming.

It’s important to mention that the amount of compression provided by the C-Panty is clinically determined and carefully calibrated. Too little compression won’t provide the support you need. But too much pressure can be dangerous because it could push post-surgical fluids into the cut area, which could lead to swelling, fluid retention, and discomfort, slowing down the healing process.

The C-Panty also features a sewn-in medical-grade silicone panel that helps reduce itchiness and scarring. Medical grade silicone is non-toxic and does not irritate the skin or react to body fluids or other tissue. In fact, it has been shown to be therapeutic for scar treatment,2 and might help reduce the chances of infection around the cut, too.

What’s more, there are no straps, hooks or other materials in the C-Panty that could rub against and irritate your tender cut area.

Note: While the C-Panty can be used immediately after delivery for up to 12 months, if your incision has not fully healed, please be sure to cover the silicone panel with a pad or panty liner. Once the incision has closed (about 7 to 10 days), covering the silicone panel is no longer required. If you have any concerns, please contact your doctor prior to wearing the C-Panty.  

To learn more about the C-Panty, click here. 

2. Yoga Pants

There's a reason people have declared that the “mum uniform” consists of yoga pants and dry shampoo. Between breastfeeding sessions, baby snuggles and trying to heal after giving birth, C-section mums especially want the easiest, most comfortable clothes that won’t irritate their cut site. Yoga pants are a great way to get mobility and comfort as you go about your day.

You can buy these from almost any clothes shop – online or physical – in Singapore. Just make sure they’re made of comfortable t-shirt-material and have a soft, high-waisted panel. You could also easily wear the C-Panty or any of the Shrinkx wraps underneath yoga pants.

 3.  Shrinkx Belly Bamboo Wrap, Triple-Point Compression

The Shrinkx Belly Bamboo Wrap by UpSpring combines cutting edge bamboo charcoal fibre technology and triple compression to help slim your belly and waist, while supporting your core muscles. Unlike traditional wraps, C-section mums can start wearing this just after giving birth, of course after checking with the doctor. This wrap also helps reduce postpartum swelling and bloating, especially in the belly area.   

Read more about the Shrinkx Belly Bamboo Wrap here

4. Wrap dresses

Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

These dresses are ideal for the postpartum period since they can be adjusted to accommodate your belly area, draping over your mid-section comfortably. Support undergarments like the C-Panty or any of UpSpring’s wraps can be comfortably worn underneath a wrap dress. It’s also easy to breastfeed while wearing one – just take out a breast, get baby to latch on, and you’re good to go whether in public or at home. These dresses can also be worn long after your C-section cut has healed. Look for wrap dresses in soft, light, cotton material, or stretchy t-shirt material.

5. Shrinkx Belly Latex-Free Wrap, Ultra Slimming Triple-Point Compression

The Shrinkx Belly postpartum ultra-slimming belly wrap uses triple compression to support recovery after birth by compressing your belly and supporting your uterus, spine, and core. This also helps move extra fluid out of the tissues, resulting in less swelling and bloating. The built-in boning gives extra support, especially to your posture during those long hours of sitting in one place and breastfeeding.

Shrinkx Belly is made using lightweight, latex-free mesh fabric comprised of 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex, making it comfortable to wear in Singapore’s hot weather and easy to wash and dry fast. C-section mums can start wearing it as soon as they are comfortable to do so after delivery – no need to wait for weeks. As always, if you have any concerns, please contact your physician prior to wearing the Shrinkx Belly Wrap.

To learn more about the Shrinkx Belly Wrap, click here. 

6. Shrinkx Hips Postpartum Hip Compression Belt

Shrinkx Hips is clinically proven to help narrow the hips after birth. In the Shrinkx Hips Clinical Study, 95% of mums who used it returned to their pre-pregnancy hip size, or smaller, after wearing Shrinkx Hips.

Patented Shrinkx Hips applies pressure directly to the hips, helping to guide them back to their pre-pregnancy position. It also holds your hips in place while your pelvic joints are stabilizing. Shrinkx Hips is designed to be used within an eight-week window after delivery, while the hormone relaxin is still present in your body, keeping your hips malleable.  

The triple-point compression in Shrinkx Hips helps to maximise the results, while being gentle on your body. It is made of soft nylon and spandex, which keeps you comfortable even in Singapore’s warm weather. C-section mummies will need to wait until all their staples or stitches have been removed before wearing Shrinkx Hips. 

To find out more about Shrinkx Hips, click here.

Giving birth has often been likened to running a marathon. It's a long, difficult process and your body will need the proper items and time for recovery. As you heal from birth, whether it was vaginal or via a Caesarean, know that you are amazing! You've grown and birthed a human. As your body begins to heal, be sure to give yourself grace and buy quality postpartum clothes to wear after a C-section that will help with your recovery. Between compression and comfort is where you'll find the ideal mix for your postpartum recovery, and we hope the options we’ve presented in the article will help. 

References

  1. Vaginal Delivery Recovery. WebMD. Retrieved on July 6, 2021 from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/recovery-vaginal-delivery#
  2. Efficacy of topical silicone gel in scar management: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int Wound J. Published on February 19, 2020. Retrieved on July 6, 2021 from Efficacy of topical silicone gel in scar management: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials - Wang - 2020 - International Wound Journal - Wiley Online Library