Postpartum life has long been relegated to the shadows—a period rife with unmentionables that women were meant to endure in silence, with a smile, because... baby! It's been such a closeted epoch that even I, a woman with 483924803 friends who've given birth in the last five years, had no idea that you could fracture your tailbone in delivery (say, what?) or that such a thing as "lochia" (aka post-birth discharge that increases in volume while you breastfeed) existed until literally yesterday.
Luckily, the convergence of wellness-mania with the sudden proliferation of female-led businesses has enabled not only conversations around this magical (yet bodily-function-centric) time, but also engendered long overdue product development as well. With this new gear comes, one hopes, a farewell to the days of stealing as many mesh hospital panties as possible in order to get through postpartum bleeding, discharge, and all the rest (hi, hemorrhoids, stitches, and existential despair over what's demanded of women and their delicate lady parts!).
Intimates brand Knix is the latest company to bring functional postpartum-wear to market. Today, they've launched a maternity capsule collection, which consists of a host of dual-purpose underpinnings that actually resemble regular underwear. Included among them are leakproof nursing bras and nursing pads, hands-free pumping bras, a high-rise leakproof panty, and a range of stretchy undies for all phases of the pregnancy and post-pregnancy cycle.
Knix founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths tells me that this is actually a full-circle moment for the company, as her original vision for the brand—which is known for its period-proof panties—was to provide leakproof underwear for pregnant women and new moms. "Here we are six years later, finally releasing a maternity- and postpartum-specific line," she says. "It took longer than we anticipated because we had to get really good at making wire-free bras first."
Griffiths' passion for this category extends beyond filling those aforementioned gaps in the market. "Having been pregnant and postpartum throughout the development of the line, and being bombarded in my newsfeed with marketing ads, [I noticed] there is a complete lack of body, race, and age diversity in the category," Griffith explains. "I didn’t see women who looked like me—age 35 and a size XL—and that only made me more insecure during a time of immense change." She hopes Knix's newest offerings will meet these marketing needs while providing underserved consumers, aka every new mom, with innovative products in the space. "I’m excited to let women know we see you, we hear you, and we are here to create products that serve you," she says.
Knix joins recently launched FridaMom in this category, a spinoff of FridaBaby designed specifically to address the dearth of products that take care of new moms. Founder Chelsea Hirschhorn recently told Well+Good she wondered why, in 2019, women were stuck "MacGyver"-ing solutions for something literally millions of women experience each year (short answer: the patriarchy!), which led to the development of her range of postpartum products that includes disposable undies. Other companies' offerings run the gamut from uber-functional (yes, you can depend on Depends!) to "I-would-wear-that-without-giving-birth-first"-cute. 'Bout to pop? Shop the latest and greatest in postpartum offerings below.
It took a cool 200,000 years of human civilization for capitalism to show new moms some love—shop the results below.
1. Knix Leakproof Nursing Bra ($55)
Designers included just about every feature a new mom needs in this bra—easy-to-undo clasps, leakproof technology, comfortable (read: wireless) support, and lots of stretch—without sacrificing style. It does not, in other words, scream, "I'm currently milkable!" so much as it says, "I'm a sexy, strong, new mom... with t*ts for days!"
2. Pretty Pushers Postpartum Underwear 2-pack ($24)
How cute are these disposable cotton drawers, which shun potentially painful elastic in favor of a drawstring and oh-so-subtly include an ice pack pad pouch?
Filed under, "Would wear this now, baby or not": this pullover bra, which emphasizes comfort and is therefore perfect for nighttime nursing. It's also moisture wicking, which enables it to catch and eliminate stray droplets while you sleep.
Toss your hospital-issue mesh panties in favor of these mesh-free, spandex-and-microfiber disposables. They're designed to keep pads in place while stretching softly to accommodate your body's hero journey from the delivery room to the nursery and beyond.
New mommyhood can have you longing for the days in which you and not your baby owned your body. These normie panties can go a long way toward making you feel like you again, especially when you compare them to diaper-esque alternatives.
Not sure what to expect after expecting? Here's everything you need to know about postpartum depression and anxiety, just in case. Plus, here's why your gut health is extra important after the baby arrives.
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