I'm Kind of Obsessed with Hospital Underwear And you should be, too.

By Caroline Tell | Illustration by Ana Hard

At some point in your hospital birthing experience, your nurses will give you a pair of underwear. No, it’s not “maternity underwear.” It’s not “luxe cotton nestled softly against your skin” underwear. It’s not typical underwear by any stretch. But then again, neither your vagina, nor any of its surrounding parts, will be anywhere near “typical” once you give birth.

What you will be given at the hospital is underwear in a material akin to fishing net. It is, quite literally, mesh-style netting with a nylon top in a boy-short silhouette. It isn’t particularly comfortable, it’s not cute, and yet, it’s actually perfect. Because what you may not know is that after you give birth, your vagina is going to be feeling all sorts of things. If you gave birth vaginally, odds are you’ll tear a bit and you will have stitches. You will also bleed. If you gave birth via c-section, you will also bleed. In fact, after birth, you will rediscover pads like you’re in eighth grade watching “Saved by the Bell” after school. That’s how into pads you will be. And this underwear will hold your pads beautifully. It will not judge your pads.

This hospital underwear, like you, may not look its best. It may not feel the greatest. But this hospital underwear will be your friend when nothing else feels like it will. It will be there as you squirt a water bottle up towards your bum after your first miraculous poop – when you feel like even the smallest push will provoke your insides to come splashing out into the toilet. It will be there as you try and maybe fail to nurse your newborn, when you discover just how hard nursing actually is. It will be there when you stand up for the first time and try to walk the hospital hallway as the epidural wears off and you realize you’re achy AF. This underwear will house your newly mothered, beautiful and savage body underneath your Fourth Trimester pieces and maternity clothing that somehow felt cuter before.

Because as much as we remind you not to, you will judge yourself in these moments. You will look at your body and not recognize what you see in the mirror. You will be the most raw, the most primitive version of you. So let something coddle you just for a moment, or maybe a day. Maybe wear them home and then wear them for a solid few days or more. Just do yourself a favor. Put on the undies.