I stared blankly at my dresser drawers. I literally didn’t have anything to wear. Every pair of pants I owned were either maternity or a few sizes too small at two weeks postpartum.
I signed and grabbed a pair of maternity pants out of desperation.
I shimmed them up over my hips only to find that the thick seam where the panel met the jean material, landed perfectly across my C-Section incision.
Nope. I pulled them off.
There are few things more frustrating for a woman than feeling uncomfortable in her clothes, but add feeling uncomfortable in your body and you’ve got a recipe for frustration.
Pants after a C-Section are a special challenge that only C-Section mamas understand. Flowy dresses are often recommended as the best option. But not everyone feels comfortable in dresses. And after wearing a hospital gown for a few days, it’s nice to switch to pants.
After two C-Sections, I’ve found a few great options for pants and shorts after a C-Section. All of these options will keep you comfortable and avoid your incision.
The Best Pants for After C-Section
Quick Shop: C-Section Pants
- Narcissus Maternity Joggers
- DIBAOLONG Womens Joggers
- Kindred Bravely Bamboo Postpartum & Maternity Joggers (Buy from Amazon)
- Rag & Bone/JEAN Women’s Miramar Joggers
- Kindred Bravely Bamboo Postpartum & Maternity Lounge Pants
- PINK High-Waisted Flare Sweatpants
- Yogiplace Foldover Yoga Pant
- Kindred Bravely Louisa Maternity & Postpartum Support Leggings (Buy from Amazon)
- Hatch Ultra Soft Before, During & After Leggings
- Express Columnist High-Waisted Knit Ankle Pant
- Express High Waisted Satin Pleated Trouser Pant
- Kindred Bravely Bamboo Postpartum & Maternity Shorts
- Kindred Bravely Maternity & Postpartum Bike Shorts
- ZOLUCKY Women’s Casual Summer Denim Shorts
What to Expect
A C-Section is a major surgery that cuts through multiple layers. You have your external incision site, but you also have multiple internal incision sites that are healing. All of this can make for a painful lower belly.
New moms can expect to feel some sort of pain in their incision area (lower belly) for the first 6 months to a year postpartum. This can make wearing pants challenging.
During this time your abdominal muscles are also healing from pregnancy and your surgery. You may find things like belly bands to help with the healing process, but it takes time for everyone to heal from pregnancy and surgery.
What to Look for In Pants After a C-Section
There are a few key features you need to consider when looking for pants after a C-Section.
Look for pants that have a high waistband–at or above the belly button. I know this may seem high if you’re a first-time mom and haven’t had your C-Section yet, but your entire lower belly is tender after a C-Section. You want to avoid anything that even gently presses on this area, especially in the first few weeks.
Don’t buy anything with buttons or a zipper postpartum. Think drawstrings and stretchy waistbands.
3. Loose-Fitting Pants
You don’t want anything that will put pressure on your lower belly at all. As time goes on, you can try things like leggings (not compression, though). In the beginning, you’ll want loose fabric over that area.
The Best Pants to Wear After a C-Section
Jump to a Style:
Joggers can be a great option after a cesarean section as long as they hit the waist in the right spot and aren’t too tight. They’re perfect for running errands or lounging around the house. Avoid more structured joggers or joggers with a tight waistband.
These maternity joggers have half-panel belly coverage that gives a loose fit over your lower belly. Fold the panel partially down for a loose, but secure fit that won’t bother your incision.
These joggers have a relaxed fit throughout and a high-rise wide band around the waist. They remind me more of harem pants. Perfect for staying comfortable after a C-Section.
3. Kindred Bravely Bamboo Postpartum & Maternity Joggers (Buy from Amazon)
Kindred Bravely is one of my favorite maternity and postpartum brands. I loved these joggers to run errands in after my second baby. They’re thick (not see-through) and the waistband was loose enough not to bother me.
These joggers look like jeans but feel like sweatpants. If you just want to throw on a pair of jeans postpartum, these are going to be the best pick for comfort and to avoid irritating your sensitive areas.
These are the perfect pants to lounge around in. Whether they’re sweatpants, yoga pants, or just lounge pants, these are all great for keeping you and your incision comfortable after a C-Section.
These comfortable lounge pants are perfect for lounging around the house. All of Kindred Bravely’s bamboo products are extremely soft and comfortable. The waistband is stretchy since these can be worn during pregnancy. They are also available in regular and long lengths.
These were my favorite pants to wear after my first C-Section. Everything else I owned didn’t fit or bothered my incision. I love the comfort of sweatpants postpartum and the loose fit of these.
Foldover yoga pants were my go-to for comfort both during pregnancy and postpartum. The foldover waistband provides a gentle fit over the belly and the structure of the pants makes them look a little nicer than sweatpants. I love that these come in all different lengths.
Leggings can be a tough pick postpartum. In the first week or so you will likely be wearing bulky pads and have swelling in your hips and legs. Making leggings a definite skip. But after that settles down, postpartum leggings are a good way to stay comfortable while looking slightly more put-together.
I loved these Kindred Bravely maternity leggings while I was pregnant, but they are the best postpartum leggings. They’re made to fit in either scenario and I wore the same pair through pregnancy and up to a year postpartum. You can wear them with the panel up as high waisted leggings or simply fold it over and you’ve got a comfortable pair of leggings that aren’t too tight on your C-Section belly.
These Hatch leggings are another pair that is made specifically for your body as it shifts through these stages. They’re made to fold over during the postpartum stage and are soft leggings (not compression leggings) so they won’t press on your stomach.
Dress pants are a personal sticking point for me. With both of my babies, I had to return to a professional environment a few months after giving birth. With their structured fit, regular dress pants were not an option. Luckily, I found a few options that work for C-Section moms in similar situations.
These were my favorite post-baby work pants for more than one reason. First, they’re basically yoga pants that look like dress pants. They’re high-waisted and have an elastic waist. No button and no zipper pushing on your interior incisions all day long. Plus, they make choosing a size postpartum easy.
If you’re looking for an even nicer pair of dress pants, I love these satin pleated trouser pants. They have the same high-waisted, elastic waistband, but look even more polished than the knit pant.
If your baby was born in the summer, pants may be the last thing on your mind. Here are a few options for shorts that I found comfortable for running errands during the warm months right after my C-Section.
I loved these lounge shorts postpartum. They’re soft, made from a breathable material, and are just the right length. Plus, they have pockets, which I always found essential when I had a baby to carry around. I did size up in these and think that may have helped with the comfort in the waistband.
Just like the Kindred Bravely leggings, I found these bike shorts to be essential during my summer pregnancy and time postpartum. They were easy to throw on for a quick daycare pickup and I knew they were always going to fit. The panel folds over, making for a comfortable fit postpartum.
These denim shorts are perfect for postpartum after a C-Section. They have buttons instead of a zipper, which is a more relaxed closure against your incision. Plus, they’re extremely stretchy, giving you a lot of movement and a relaxed fit. They feel like maternity shorts without the awkward belly band.
Underwear is one of the most important C-Section essentials you’ll pick up. Make sure you have something that won’t sit on your incision or press on your belly and will leave you enough coverage to add whatever bulky pad you may need.
Some mamas love to wear hospital mesh underwear postpartum. And this is important when hospital staff needs easy access to check on things. But I personally preferred disposable underwear as soon as I could switch. They work well for C-Sections because they also absorb any fluid that comes from your incision. But after a week or so, I liked to switch to regular underwear.
Just as with pants, you want to choose high-waisted underwear. I would personally avoid postpartum panties that don’t require pads. These tend to be inconsistent on whether or not they’re for postpartum bleeding.
After trying a few different options, my favorite c-section underwear are the Kindred Bravely High-Rise Panties (Amazon). But you may also want to try the UpSpring C-Panty C-Section Recovery Panty later on in your postpartum journey. It works as an belly binder by providing extra support and as a c-section scar treatment.
I hope you found some helpful options for your postpartum journey. Have some of these pants on hand so that next time you’re in a rush and need something to throw on postpartum, you don’t have to stare blankly at your dresser.
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