Natural Birth

Vaginal Delivery Recovery

Hello! I am currently 26 weeks pregnant and have been reading up on vaginal delivery what I hope to have and the recovery process. But I have a weird question that I'm hoping some experienced moms can give this first time mom some advice on!

I've read about swelling, witch hazel, all of it. What I'm wondering is what other moms have worn during the recovery process. Meaning, I've read about different pads, wearing adult underwear ... but what is the most comfortable / effective clothes to wear while recovering? I'm afraid of "leaking" with the amount of blood I've heard happens during the first few days and possibly weeks. Did you wear just a night gown / robe and hope for the best? Spandextype shorts to kind of hold everything in there? Just curious to what I should expect to wear for the first few days at home once I'm out of the hospital bed and on my own furniture and bed. Or should I just expect some leaks to happen? haha

Thank you in advance for any input!

Re: Vaginal Delivery Recovery

  • Underwear I was ready to trash + sweats or yoga pants, mostly. I wore the hospital gown in hospital, and did leak onto that a few times. By the time I went home ~36 hours after giving birth, things had already calmed down a bit and I don't recall any disasters. I wouldn't wear your fancy lingerie and favorite jeans, but you don't need to live in a night gown either if you want to wear clothes.
  • I wore regular clothes and regular underwear with a pad. I don't recall leaking out of anything even in the hospital.
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  • The worst of it for me was in the first 48 hours or so.  I took alot of the hospital pads and disposable underwear home and had enough for about a week.  I wore yoga pants and changed the pad often.  Once home, it was as heavy as a heavy period.  Nothing unmanageable.  Then it was light and by 3 weeks there wasn't any blood, just something like discharge for another several weeks.  A liner was enough.

     The adult diapers were totally uneccessary and I was glad I didn't buy any.  Dermaplast (i think thats what it is called) was great as well as the squirt bottle for cleaning each time.


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  • I wore old shorts, and big t-shirts during recovery.  BF was a process and milk/lanolin was always everywhere, so I did not want to ruin anything nice.  Honestly, I do not think I could have forced myself into Spanxdex during recovery.  Everything is swollen, sore, and tender down there.  I loved the mesh underwear from the hospital and wore those with the huge pads for the first week.  After that I wore old underwear with pads. I did lay some towels down on my couch and bed to catch any leaks.
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  • AmyRIAmyRI
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper

    I was super crampy and wanted nothing tight on my belly making it worse. I wore boy short style undies that were cheap and didn't matter if they got stained, with an extra long ultra absorbant pad and yoga pants or pajama pants. I only leaked once with my first LO in the hospital. Once I got home, it was ok. I did have to make sure I changed the pad every 2-3 hours, though. Really only the first week was a lot of bleeding, after that mine lightened significantly. You look about 6 months pregnant when you leave the hospital, so maternity pants or loose yoga pants are a must for a few days until everything really shrinks down.

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  • smsalatsmsalat
    500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    I bled alot the first 24 hours...I would leak out of the hospital pads and the pad that they put under your bottom was bloody.  The hospital mesh panties were amazing for me.  I didn't ruin anything of mine, because I stayed in hospital gown the whole time until the morning I left.  I would have ruined the sweat pants I brought if I had worn them. Once 24 hours passed it was like a period bleed, so not bad.  It slowly went down as time went on.
  • I wore underwear that I was fine with it being ruined and black yoga pants and cotton shorts. I bought a big pair of really soft cotton knee length shorts that I practically lived in. They were big and baggy so they were super comfy. And I wore black shorts and pants so I didn't have to worry about ruining anything.

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  • I would highly recommend bringing home the mesh underwear and giant pads and the perineal ice packs they give you in the hospital. Take as many as the nurses will give you. I would have cried if anyone tried to make me wear spandex. Soft stretchy yoga pants were my go to gear.

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  • I loved the mesh underwear from the hospital. Anything loose and baggy was my friend.
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  • I'm used to dealing with heavy periods, so the only problems I had with leaking were during the first couple days. During that time, if I knew I was going to be in one place for long (bed or couch) I put a puppy pad under me. Otherwise, like pp's suggested, mesh underwear or buying some cheapies you won't care about throwing away are a must. But for me, past about 3 days the bleeding wasn't much worse than a heavy period (overnight pads were more than enough), and by the one week mark it resembled a normal period. It's really not horribly gruesome past the first couple days :-)
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  • I loved wearing Depends, LOL. Target sells a 4 or 6 pack, so I got that and used them the first couple days. It gave me assurance I wouldn't get blood on anything. I actually pulled one out when my water broke in labor, to catch leaking fluid until I stripped for the bath.  Surprise You shouldn't have to expect any leaks once you get home. Take home the mesh underwear they give you, it's weird but comfortable.  Kotex pads soaked with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol and then frozen, the alcohol keeps it pliable.  Use the peri bottle they'll give you to squirt room temp water on yourself while you pee, really really helps. Stool softeners for easy BMs until you're more put together down there.

    My third child and second VBAC baby!
    First VBAC birth story - a 2 hr homebirth
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    - unattended hospital water birth
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  • I'm a Depends girl. The pads given to me were so uncomfortable, and totally worthless. I mainly just wore Depends and a stretchy tank; if I had company, I'd pull on a pair of athletic shorts. If I was going out, I wore jeans; they fit fine over the Depends.

    ETA: I bled like a stuck pig for 8 effin' weeks. I mean, like, it was a crime scene in my pants every time I dropped trou. I never once had a leak, though!
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  • The worst of the bleeding stopped by the time I left the hospital. I was fine with super absorbency pads. As far as clothes, it was maternity jeans and sweats for a good two weeks after delivery. That's how long it took until I stopped looking pregnant.

    I don't know if this happened to anyone else, but in the second or third week, I would think my bleeding had slowed but then suddenly I'd have a random "gush" of blood, usually when standing up after BFing. That was the cause of most of my "leaks" because I'd think I'd be fine with a liner, but no ...
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  • skoozskooz
    250 Answers Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its

    I don't remember leaking any by the time I got home. I liked the mesh underwear at the hospital (I had no idea what people were talking about when they kept saying mesh underwear, so in case you're wondering mine were like boyshorts and were super comfy. I don't know if its the same everywhere or not)

    At home I wore yoga pants or pjs, my regular undies, and used always infinity pads. I may have worn an extra pair of the mesh underwear the first day. I actually started wearing my own clothes after I showered the first time at the hospital. I felt way better in my own clothes.

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  • The first few days had a lot of blood, but it wasn't worse than a heavy period by the time I left the hospital/after 2-3 days. Nothing a heavy-duty pad couldn't handle. I think I bled for a few weeks, it really tapered off definitely after 4 weeks or so? I was fine with my giant pregnant lady undies and pajamas/comfy pants.

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • KrisM86KrisM86
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Combo Breaker
    For the first week or two post delivery I pretty much wore black yoga pants. Because they were black, they weren't ruined if I leaked a little. They were snug enough to keep everything situated but stretchy enough to be super comfortable.
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  • I put on running pants the morning after both of my deliveries. I wore the jumbo pads in the hospital, then just switched to some overnight thin ones while at home. I definitely liked having yoga/spandex type pants on to hold the pad still, because, well, ew.

    I never leaked onto any clothing

    At my hospital, they also put a line of tucks pads (I did my own witch hazel pads at home) down the center of my pad, to help heal everything... It felt really pretty good!

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  • I loved the hospital undies and pads. Loved 'em! I didn't leak at all, and the bleeding was very light after day 2. I did spot for freakin' weeks though, so I recommend lots of panti liners.


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  • I wore underwear I didn't care about, black sweat pants, and nursing tanks. I bled for almost 3 weeks but after the first few days it was like normal period flow rather than heavy, crazy flow. I didn't leak on our furniture or bed ... in fact I didn't in the hospital either! Just wear the ginormous pads from the hospital (I took home a ton!). 
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  • My mum still has some paper disposable knickers which she claims are the best thing. 
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