There are so many things no one tells you about postpartum recovery and your postpartum body. We want you to know what to expect with your postpartum body–like the fact that it takes 6-8 weeks for your uterus to return to its normal size after giving birth. But one of the biggest things you need to know? You’ll be sore in places you never thought possible, and one of the best ways to feel comfortable is by having the absolute best postpartum pajamas.
“Do I need postpartum pajamas?”
Women usually ask me this question with an eye roll. Like, is it really necessary.
I’m not going to pretend you can’t make it through the postpartum period with your normal pregnancy pajamas if you want to. But I am going to be very honest and say that, if you want to be as comfortable as possible (and trust me, you do), having postpartum pajamas is totally worth it.
New mamas already struggle with things like lack of sleep, major change in routine (or, well, no routine at all), massive hormonal fluctuations, huge changes to your body, and postpartum body image challenges.
Why not control what you can about this time and spend it in a comfy pair of postpartum pajamas?
Tips for Choosing the Best Postpartum Pajamas
There are a few different things you want to keep in mind when buying postpartum pajamas. Specifically, think carefully about all of these important features when considering what to look for in a pair of amazing pjs:
This is a place where material matters. Whether you birth vaginally or via c-section, your pajamas will rub in uncomfortable places, so you want material that is extremely soft. A newborn constantly attached to your body also transfers lots of body heat, so breathability is key!
My favorite materials for postpartum pajamas are the following:
- Organic cotton: It’s soft, breathable, and I don’t want a bunch of chemicals entering my wounds or my breastmilk stream. Cons: It shrinks in the dryer, and to get organic, it tends to be more expensive.
- Modal: Lightweight, breathable, stretchy fabric that doesn’t shrink in washer, and environmentally friendly in production. Cons: Usually needs to be washed in cold water, and you’ll get a lot of fluids on postpartum pajamas that you might want hot water for.
- Viscose: It’s known for its silk-like feel, breathable, and reasonably priced. Cons: It stains easily, so beware spit up and leaky boobs (or just choose not to care, because you just had a baby, and who cares if your pajamas have stains on them?)
The style of postpartum pajama you want depends on your needs (e.g. Are you breastfeeding? Did you have a c-section?), preferences, and period in the postpartum journey.
For the hospital, I recommend nightgowns as the best postpartum pajamas. You’ll have nurses coming in and checking your mesh underwear (if you birthed vaginally), and it’s much easier to access via nightgown. That’s why many hospitals prefer you wear their robes, but I was desperate for something soft.
Nightgowns are also great if you had a c-section (or so I’m told—no experience here) because they don’t rub against your c-section scar.
When you return home, nightgowns or pajama sets work. I liked long pants once I got home, mostly because they were more comfortable holding the weight of the vaginal ice packs I continued wearing. But most c-section mamas I know stick to nightgowns.
If you’re nursing, you might want special nursing pajamas or button-up pajama tops. Both will make it easier to access your breasts when baby calls. That is, unless you’re shameless like I am.
My theory was that, if you didn’t want to see my pull my boob out, you didn’t need to be at my house after I gave birth. Still, I did find nursing pajamas to be super comfortable.
One final note on style. Postpartum is not the time to show off your killer legs. Forget the legging look and go with loose, baggy pants.
Choosing a size for postpartum pajamas is a little complicated. Just like maternity pajamas, clothes made specifically for the postpartum period (like nursing pajamas) usually take your changing body into account. So, you can usually wear the same size you would’ve worn pre-pregnancy.
If you’re buying regular pajamas to wear in the months after birth, you may want to size up.
Pricing is obviously a very personal choice, but here’s my suggestion.
Pick 2 pairs of your dream postpartum pajamas and put them on your baby registry! Because you know what, mama? Your depleted new mama body deserves pampering, and a pair of pajamas you can’t wait to put on (or, let’s be honest, live in) can do wonders for your state of mind and health.
If you’re going to be the one spending a lot of money on postpartum pajamas, I recommend spending that money on maternity pajamas that you can also wear after giving birth. That way, you’ll get more bang for your buck because you can wear them for much longer.
Once you’re in the postpartum phase, I don’t suggest spending a ton of money on pajamas because your size will change.
But hey, if you have the money and you want a nice pair of pajamas, no judgment here. You do you during this time, girl.
Can I Just Buy Normal Pajamas in a Bigger Size?
You bet! The only trick here is figuring out sizing, which is honestly a tough call.
We all lose pregnancy weight in different paces, and fitting into your previous pajama size could take a while. There’s definitely an in-between stage, and some women never return to their pre-baby size at all.
For those reasons, my best suggestion is to buy 1-2 pairs of pajamas that will fit between your pre-pregnancy size and your maternity size. Stretchy material helps.
As long as you have maternity pajamas to get you through the postpartum period, 2 pairs of pajamas is probably enough. You’ll be doing tons of laundry for baby, so you can always toss your pajamas in.
If you don’t have maternity pajamas to wear around the house, though, I recommend 4-5 pairs of amazing pjs.
Spit up. Boob leakage. Blood. Things you spill. You need a decent rotation. I just don’t think it has to be full of new purchases.
Also, during the postpartum phase, you’ll practically live in pajamas. You may leave the house some, but when you’re home, you’ll want soft, cozy goodness snuggling your body.
What Kind of Postpartum Pajamas Should I Get?
I’ll tell you my favorite brands, some of which I wore during maternity, others postpartum, and others that I’ve discovered since that time.
These suggestions come at various price points, but if it’s something to go on your list of dream pajamas, I’ll note that in the suggestion.
And just so you know, I wore ALL of these except the matching nightgown and robe sets. I just didn’t take a whole lot of pictures right after Jack was born, so my only personal photos are of the ones I still wear regularly.
But all my recommendations come from experience.
(1) Kindred Bravely Nightgowns and Pant Sets: I liked everyone I tried, but I practically lived in their Jane nursing top with my Barefoot dreams pajama pants. These pajamas make for easy breastfeeding, which is essential for nursing moms.
(2) Ekouaer Nursing Pajamas : This nursing sleepwear is adorable, comfortable, and reasonably priced. I love the cute stripes and long sleeves, as I was regularly cold. Plus, nursing pajamas are amazing for nighttime feedings.
(3) Cake Maternity Nursing Bra: Admittedly not pajamas. But absolutely the best bra to sleep and lounge in during pregnancy and postpartum!
Pajamas for Hospital
(2) Leena & Lu Talara Dress is definitely the BEST. Made from organic Peruvian cotton and so comfy that I liken them to sleeping on a cloud, these PJs are a win for all. My favorite is the Talara dress nightgown.
I love the short sleeves on a gown because I can throw a sweater over it and feel extra cute in a time when I’m TOTALLY NOT CUTE! Plus, I like short sleeves when sleeping.
Keep in mind, though, that it is NOT a maternity or postpartum gown, so size up–maybe twice. Also, this is one of those splurge worthy items. WORTH IT!
Best Everyday Postpartum Pajamas
(1) Ekouaer Women’s Button-Down Top with Pant Set: Reasonably priced, well-reviewed, soft, and button top for easy nursing/pumping access.
(2) GYS Bamboo Pajamas: Simple, comfy, versatile.
Matching Pajamas for Mom and Baby
Best Splurge-Worthy Postpartum Pajamas
(1) Leena & Lu
Leena & Lu are definitely the BEST. Made from organic Peruvian cotton and so comfy that I liken them to sleeping on a cloud, these PJs are a win for all. My favorite is the Talara dress nightgown.
(2) Barefoot Dreams
Barefoot dreams pajamas are truly what dreams are made of. They’re the softest, fuzziest things I’ve ever worn. The really warm ones aren’t particularly breathable, so you can get VERY hot in them, but they’re great for winter. Even in summer, I loved the pants and socks with a more breathable top.
Also, the poncho is great for nursing.
What did you think were the BEST postpartum pajamas?
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, toddler mom, and owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society has historically placed too many expectations on women, defining womanhood and motherhood in a way that is restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Scary Mommy, Motherhood and Social Exclusion, and various other podcasts and websites.