Soft, comfy postpartum leggings and lounge pants are a 4th Trimester must. Find the softest, comfiest, and most supportive pair for every kind of mama.
Welcome to the “Live in Leggings” Stage of Life!
Recovering from giving birth is no joke.
I’ve written before about how surprised and unprepared I was for a c-section, and for c-section recovery. And that lack of preparedness kind of spiralled throughout the whole postpartum period.
Thing is, I don’t think my surprise is uncommon.
I think a lot of first time moms spend so much effort getting ready for their baby’s arrival, they forget to prepare for their own physical recovery and emotional shift to the big M: Motherhood.
Becoming a Mom is a Big (Kinda Messy) Life Change
Whether you’re a new mom in hospital or trying to mom a new baby while also keeping a toddler entertained (or – gasp – home schooling a preschooler), adding a new human to your life is a big change, physically and emotionally.
Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a c-section, the fourth trimester and beyond is a time of big changes.
Changes for your body.
And changes for your life.
And changes figuring out all the ins and outs of parenting, like wondering if eco friendly diapers are a thing, finding a comfy nursing pillow to save your back and neck, wondering how to nurse in public without showing off full boob, and figuring out how to go for a run or hit the gym while also breastfeeding.
The thing that makes it extra challenging? You’re going to be doing it while low on sleep. While adjusting to the fact that a new little human needs you 24/7. And possibly while recovering from major surgery.
This is a Good Time to Invest in (Your) Comfort
Given all this, it’s worth taking some time to consider how to be as comfortable and supported during this period, and getting the tools for the job. That means soft and cozy nursing PJs that will let you feed your little one without a wardrobe change, nursing tanks for your base layer, postpartum underwear that stretches but doesn’t bunch, comfy post c-section wardrobe, and – yes- awesome postpartum leggings and lounge pants to live in.
Because trust me – you really will live in them.
Two-and-a-half years after giving birth, I’m sitting at my computer wearing super stretchy gentle compression leggings. I moved out of my maternity leggings and postpartum leggings around 6 months into maternity leave, but I’m still in leggings!
Even now, I still feel they give me the comfort and hold-it-all-in-ness I need for #momlife.
Just Here for Some Quick Recommendations?
Here are our suggestions for the best postpartum leggings and high waisted lounge pants:
- Hatch Collection Before, During and After Leggings
- Kindred Bravely Louisa Leggings
- Kindred Bravely Martina Leggings
- Love and Fit Guardian Leggings
- Storq Signature Leggings
- Anook Athletics Poppy Leggings
- Anook Athletics Ellie Crop Leggings
- Bodily Cordelia Pant
- Hatch Collection Indoor Outdoor Jogger
- Hatch Collection Over-Under Lounge Pant
- Kindred Bravely Bamboo Lounge Pants
- Kindred Bravely Cropped Lounge Pants
What Are Postpartum Leggings (and Do I Really Need Them)?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your body quite probably won’t bounce back to it’s pre-pregnancy shape immediately after giving birth.
In fact, it takes about 6 weeks for your uterus to shrink back to pre-pregnancy size. And during that 6 weeks (and beyond, really), a lot of crazy things can happen.
- In the first week after giving birth, it’s normal to experience postpartum swelling, which means your body size and shape may swell and then un-swell, leading to fairly quick changes in your size and shape. Maternity leggings or postpartum leggings will keep you comfy during this process.
- As your uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size, you may experience some contractions and cramping. The light compression found in many brands of postpartum leggings are like a gentle hug for your pelvis during this time. I still appreciate this gentle compression hug!
- If you had a cesarean, your abdominal muscles are going to take a while to rebuild. The compression will help here too!
- Also, your incision site is going to be tender for awhile. A pair of leggings, loungers and other pants that don’t irritate that incisions? They’re going to be your friend for awhile.
- High waisted leggings also fit nicely on your post-baby bump, and still work as your bump shrinks back down until you’re eventually bump-less (or not – your body will do what it needs to!).
See? I told you postpartum is a crazy journey!
Postpartum leggings and lounge pants are designed with all of this in mind. They give you stretch in some spots, compression in other spots, and should be soft and comfy, yet supportive.
And the good ones will last you beyond the 4th trimester as your body (and gym schedule) adjusts to being a mom, whatever that means for you.
12 Postpartum Leggings and Lounge Pants to Feel Comfy and Supported During the 4th Trimester
Soft and breathable, these leggings are fitted like a typical legging but not restrictive. The belly panel is super stretchy and can extend all the way over your belly or be rolled down to any comfortable spot. They are available in black and five sizes, from extra-small to extra-large. Standard shipping is $5.00.
The extra-wide belly panel on these cute leggings can extend all the way over your pregnant or postpartum tummy for stability and comfort. They are fitted for support and full-length. You can choose from either pocketed or without pockets, and they are available in sizes small through XX-large.
These leggings come in a cute cropped length and are sleek and stylish. The super-high waist panel can either extend up to your underbust or fold over for double support. They have pockets for convenience and come in sizes small through XX-large. Shipping is free on orders over $59.00.
These cute leggings are moisture-wicking and made from a compressive fabric for plenty of postpartum support. The high waistband has silicone grips on the inside to keep them in place, and the pockets are inconspicuous and convenient. They come in sizes extra-small to 3XL, and shipping is free on orders over $100.00.
Made of soft and stretchy modal jersey material, these leggings are incredibly lightweight and feature a double-layered belly panel that can be worn over or under your tummy. They offer light support and are fitted, making them ideal to wear under tunics, dresses or long shirts. They come in sizes extra-small through 3X, and shipping is free on orders of $75.00 or more.
Boasting an extra-high waistband and stretchy material that expands and retracts along with your body, these leggings are comfy at all stages. They come in short for mamas who are 5’6” or shorter and tall for mamas who are taller than 5’6”. They are machine washable and are available in sizes extra-small through extra-large.
Stylish and functional, these leggings aren’t quite full-length and feature a handy pocket for mamas on the go. They are stretchy but fitted with an extra-high waistband that has flat seams for comfort. They come in sizes extra-small to extra-large and shipping is free on orders over $75.00.
The best part about these stylish pants is their ability to be dressed up or down with pleated details and a tapered leg. They boast a wide front panel to support your postpartum belly and a stretchy elastic waistband in the back. They come in four sizes, and standard shipping is free.
These comfy lounge pants are made of soft French terry material that won’t irritate your C-section scar. They have a wide waistband that is snug enough to support your belly but are overall very lightweight and forgiving. Throw them in the washing machine on cold for easy cleaning. They come in blush, and standard shipping is $5.00.
Roomy and luxurious, these pants feature a belly panel that can cover your belly or fold underneath it for both pregnancy and postpartum comfort. The rayon fabric is yielding and not irritating for C-section scars. They come in black and four different sizes. Shipping is only $5.00.
Cute and roomy, these lounge pants have an extra-wide and supportive waistband for both your growing and postpartum belly. They are made of light and breathable bamboo and feature pockets for convenience. Shipping on orders over $59.00 is free, and they are available in sizes small through XX-large.
Perfect for spring and summer lounging, and for shorter mamas, these luxurious pants are flowy and made of breathable bamboo fabric. The wide waistband offers just enough support for both pregnancy and postpartum comfort. They come in small through XX-large, and shipping is free on orders of $59.00 or more.
Things to Look for When Buying Postpartum Leggings
- High Waist: After birth, your uterus and abdomen in general is going to go through some shape shifting. A high waist is important in case you need to undergo a c-section (planned or otherwise), as you won’t want any fabric or seams irritating your incision site. Generally, the high waist serves as support leggings for your changing pelvis, and really helps.
- A Bit of Compression: Whether you have a vaginal birth or a c-section, your uterus, pelvic muscles, and core muscles are going to take some time recovering. It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but gentle compression leggings gives some nice belly support post baby.
- Stretchiness: Your post pregnancy body can be a bit wild – although you might expect to start shedding the weight and fluids post baby, sometimes you’ll actually swell up for the first week. As with maternity leggings, you want postpartum leggings with a ton of stretch, so they can stretch and shrink to accommodate your changing tummy and body.
- Thick Panels: This is partially for vanity, to smooth out the bumps and help you feel like your pre-baby bod is coming back, and partly for support and comfort.
- Soft and Comfy Fabric: Given there’s a strong change you’re going to wear leggings day in and day out during the fourth trimester, it’s worth getting a pair that is super soft and feels great, like you’re wearing super comfy PJs that have a bit of new mom style.
- Breathable: As the hormones start to shift and decline, it’s normal to have some wild temperature swings. Given that there’s also a fair amount of discharge in the everyday life of a new mom, breathable fabric is pretty key.
- Easy to Wash: Take it from me. You will be doing a lot of laundry during the early days. And also beyond the early days if I’m being honest. Life is tiring taking care of a baby and recovering from birth – you don’t want difficult to care for clothes at this stage of your life!
Final Thoughts About Finding The Best Postpartum Leggings
Still wondering which is the best pair of postpartum leggings for you? I’ve tried to sum it up below.
If you need to head back into the office or look presentable beyond your Zoom quadrant, check out the Bodily Cordelia Pant which can be nicely dressed up.
For mamas looking for looser postpartum joggers and loungers, Hatch Collection’s Indoor Outdoor Jogger and Over-Under Lounge Pant are good choices, as are Kindred Bravely’s Bamboo Lounge Pants and Cropped Lounge Pants.
Mamas who are itching to start exercising again should check out Anook Athletics and Love and Fit, two brands that are focused on active moms at all stages of motherhood. The Love and Fit Guardian Leggings have a nice “stay put” feature to keep your leggings from bunching despite your postpartum bumps, and Anook Athletics has a number of beautiful and functional options, including the Poppy Leggings and Ellie Crop Leggings.