Whether expected or not, you may have a c-section to help welcome your bub into the world as safe as possible, and that’s okay! Just be prepared that, c-sections take time to recover from.
We want you to be as comfortable as possible during this period. So we compiled a list of essential post c-section clothing items that will help look after you and your bub more easily.
How Long Does It Takes To Heal From A C-Section?
The c-section incision is generally about 4-6 inches long just below the pubic hairline. Given c-sections are major abdominal surgery, it can take roughly 6-8 weeks to fully recover. Every woman’s body heals at different rates so allow enough time to let your body recover and belly to shrink. This is your healing period, so be comfy and take it easy!
What To Wear After A C-Section In Hospital
Besides maternity pads being a must, choose oversized clothes that are easy to remove and move in when backing your maternity hospital bag. Think light flowy clothes that accommodate post-surgery swelling and help you feel covered in but don’t rub against your scar. You may also want to consider wearing light compression recovery leggings. The important part is to get those with a low seam to protect the incision but still hold everything in place.
Download your free maternity hospital bag checklist (with printables) here!
What To Look For: The Best Clothes for C-section Recovery
As the scar sits on your waistline, it’s important to give the correct type of support and space to heal ASAP. Look for clothes that:
- Are loose so they don’t rub against and aggravate your scar.
- Are made from breathable fabrics to help keep your torso warm in winter, yet fresh in summer to avoid excess sweating and chafing around your scar.
- Offer compression or support to help your pelvis, lower back, and stomach muscles work correctly and keep your c-section scar safe. These items also combat post-surgery swelling, bloating and postural discomfort from prolonged rest. If possible, choose medical-grade compression.
- Make breastfeeding easy with stylish bras and tops that are easy to remove to help breastfeed in a flash and with ease.
- Supports blood circulation to help reduce your overall recovery time.
- Are high quality items that have been designed with c-section postpartum bodies in mind. Whether tights, nursing bras, tops or undies, they’ll tick more boxes off your postpartum clothing list with one item than low quality brands.
- Low seam pants and tights to prevent any friction against the incision.
- Has adjustable straps and bands so that you can make the clothing as tight or loose as you’d like.
- Stretchy clothes for ultimate comfort without hurting your incision.
- Designed for convenience so that you can easily breastfeed as easily as possible.
Given all these things to look for, what types of clothes are actually suitable for your c-section recovery wardrobe?
7 Best Types of Clothes For C-section Recovery
The best types of clothes for c-section recovery can vary depending on the climate. The aim of the game is to stay as comfortable as possible, so remember to rug up in winter, and stay cool in summer with these key items. You might also like our A-Z guide to buying maternity clothes.
Dresses are amazing when it comes to c-section recovery clothing! Loose dresses hide swelling and maternity pads when seeing guests, whilst still easy to move in. Plus they’re stylish – pair them up with leggings and a chunky cardi in winter, or let it steal the show and shine in summer.
Remember to pick dresses that leave space around your scar and can accommodate nursing easily.
Many c-section mums swear by oversized high-waisted undies. Sizing up will allow you to accommodate maternity pads and keep the elastic band away from your c-section scar.
Compression undies have even been created specifically for c-section mums. Using silicon to protect the scar site, brands like Modi Bodi postpartum undies help minimise long-term scarring and getting back your pre-pregnancy body sooner. As long as it’s soft and stretchy!
Like dresses, leggings are ideal for most temperatures and a wardrobe staple! Paired with winter jackets or a summer singlet, choose low-waisted leggings with light compression to support your pelvis, lower back and promote healthy blood flow in style. As your body heals, you can start wearing leggings that can be worn high and low-waisted so you can adjust the level of coverage as needed.
Choose loose tops for no-fuss breastfeeding transitions. In summer use our Classic Nursing Tank with low armholes to breastfeed without barely even moving! Simple tops are often the go-to choice for mums for easy pairing.
Prolonged sitting recovering and breastfeeding can cause tension in the upper back and neck. Pair your tops with our nursing sports bras, with adjustable straps and front zips – designed for postural support, easy nursing and style so you can wear it with anything.
6. Harem pants
Harem pants are a great pant alternative if you’re still using maternity pants. The light flowing material hides swelling and bump whilst looking beautiful. Best thing about harem pants is that you can wear them during pregnancy and motherhood. This is a favourite amongst mums for the relaxed, casual look which is a great maternity lounge pants alternative.
7. Light sweaters
One of the best ways to manage the hotter and colder days without wearing thick, bulky clothing (which can be rather restriction) is to layer. This makes it easy for you to remove or add on clothes as you wish! When you’re nursing, you should choose jackets and sweaters without fitted bands that are designed for easy breastfeeding, not restrictive and extra comfortable. You shouldn’t have to remove your clothes just to nurse. The best ones are the stylish ones with discreet side zips.
Now, this list doesn’t sound too bad wardrobe-wise, but it does cut out a lot of items. So..
When Can You Get Back To Normal Clothes?
This ultimately depends on your individual healing. Pay attention to how your c-section scar, stomach and overall body feels each week. You may feel great after 6 weeks and comfortable in jeans, or it might take 10 weeks. The important thing is to go at your own pace and embrace the journey.
Expected or not, you may find yourself having a c-section birth. While the recovery time is longer it doesn’t mean you have to give up style with a post c-section wardrobe.
Simply choose loose items that are easy to move in, remove, supportive, breathable, kind to your scar and benefit your beautiful c-section postpartum body.
Mamas, you’ve come a long way and the road to motherhood has only just started. Indulge in a bit of self-care and self-love. While you’re caring for your new-born, don’t neglect yourself – especially after a cesarean birth. If you’re preparing for birth, get a copy of our hospital bag checklist and keep copies of them around the house so you’re prepared for the big day.