When you’re expecting a new baby, get ready for many changes to your body. Maternity clothing is a must as your belly grows, especially when considering pants and trousers.
During the first trimester of your pregnancy, you can do away without buying maternity pants, but as your belly shows up more, you will realize that your old pair of pants isn’t going to cut it. Also, donning a pair of leggings or sweatpants isn’t appropriate if you are going out for work during pregnancy. Investing in high-quality, fashionable jeans and pants makes sense since you will be wearing them during your entire pregnancy and a few months postpartum.
Fortunately, several maternity pants are available on the market that provides stylish, comfy, and versatile fits for pregnant women. The best of these will adapt to your changing body, regulate body temperature, accommodate a growing bump, provide back support, and generally be the lifesaver you need.
Types of Maternity Pants based on Waistband
The main feature of maternity pants is the waistband or belly band. It’s what makes it different from regular pants – the ability to accommodate a growing belly. There are mainly three types of maternity pants based on waistband:
1. Over-the-belly maternity pants
These are high-rise pants with a stretchy, breathable belly panel to cover the baby bump fully and give back support. These pants are the perfect fit if you prefer full coverage or if you’re used to wearing high-rise pants before you were pregnant. The stretchy panel usually comes with an adjustable band to ensure it stays up, no matter how big or small your baby bump is. You can also get a foldable band that folds down easily to sit underbelly.
This type of maternity pants can also become handy postpartum when you’re breastfeeding. They can help hold your postpartum tummy in. And if you choose to wear your regular shirts or tops pre-baby, pairing it with this type of maternity pants will help ensure that your back and belly stay covered as you lift your shirt up to feed your baby.
2. Under-the-belly maternity pants
These are low-rise pants that sit under the belly. This type of maternity pants is excellent for someone who is used to wearing low-rise pants or low-cut hipster jeans. This type of pants also provides firm support.
3. Mid-belly maternity pants
These types of pants sit at the belly button area. They come with adjustable drawstrings for a custom fit.
4. Side-stretch maternity pants
If you don’t like any pressure on your belly, choose pants with side-stretch panels. These types of pants come with stretchy panels at the sides so they can accommodate a growing belly. These are the closest thing to your regular jeans, as the panels are discreet and blend in with the design. From the back, this type of pants looks just like your regular jeans. These styles tend to sit much lower on the hips and rear, and the side panels stretch comfortably, which makes the pants easy to take on and off.
Choosing the Best Maternity Pants
When choosing good maternity pants, the most important thing is to try them on to see if they fit well. But if you’re going to buy online, you have to check its dimension first. There are many styles, models, colors, and fabrics on the market, so here are the things to consider when buying a pair of maternity pants.
1. Check if the fabric is comfortable
Above all, the priority for maternity pant selection should be comfort. Investing in a soft, breathable fabric such as cotton, cotton jersey, rayon/viscose, and stretch denim is best. These materials are highly resilient and stretchable so that you can wear them after delivery. Along with softness, you’ll get a bit of giving with such materials. This is essential for accommodating that ever-growing bump. If you’re after a bit of stretchability, look for something with a little spandex in the mix.
Whenever you buy maternity pants – or any maternity clothing for that matter – always pay attention to the fabric. Avoid rigid ones and pay attention to breathable materials to provide comfort, freshness, and sweat absorption.
2. Choose the right size
It’s recommended that you stay with your pre-pregnancy size unless the sizing is different according to the product size chart. If you choose a larger size, you may find them too big in the thighs and bottom, and you will be hitching them up all the time. Buy a size too small and you’ll end up being uncomfortable wearing it throughout your pregnancy.
It’s best to buy your usual size because your belly is certain to grow, so look carefully at the elastic waistband, which will accommodate your belly. However, keep in mind that your thighs, buttocks, and legs may swell up a bit as well, so make sure the pants you choose give a little wiggle room. However, when selecting skinny maternity jeans, make sure that it’s stretchable but feel snug, as the denim will give with each wash and wear.
To make sure it fits, it’s always best to try them on before buying them. Not all bodies are the same – just because it looks great on the mannequin or the model on the label, it doesn’t mean it looks good on you, too.
3. Know your waistband preference
There are different styles of maternity pants (refer to the types of maternity pants above). The difference depends on where the stretchy waistband sits over the belly. The low belly style looks like regular pants, while the high belly style sits well over the belly. It’s completely up to you to choose the style that feels most comfortable for you.
4. Choose the right panels
Stretch panels are the best aspect of maternity pants. You’ll definitely appreciate them in the second and third trimesters. Remember that certain pairs could have these panels on the hip area, the thighs, and the belly. These could greatly affect your comfort levels as the days go by.
5. Look for pants that will last throughout your pregnancy and even after
Make sure that the pants you pick are made of fabric with some stretch. Ensure maximum stretchiness at the belly area, but also make sure that the rest of the pants also gives allowance to size changes – it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to put on a few inches around the hips and legs. Pants made of spandex and elastane are great to wear during the nine months of pregnancy and even postpartum.
6. Figure out the leg style that best works for you
Like regular pants and jeans, maternity pants are also available in different leg styles. There are skinny and straight, bootcut to wide-leg – almost every type of pants style is also available in maternity form, as more manufacturers today are thinking about fashion as much as the comfort of an expectant mother. Choose the one that suits your body type and height best.
If you’re not sure about a leg style, it’s always best to stick to the styles you’ve been used to wearing before you were pregnant. Also, consider the shirts and tops you’ll be wearing them with if it looks okay to wear them together. There are more skinny and straight-cut maternity pants and jeans because maternity tops are often loose and give a lot of space for the belly to grow, making a suitable pairing for an outfit.
7. Check out the length
The length of your maternity pants will directly affect your overall look. There are maternity shorts, which are great for casual outings and errand days, especially if you’re pregnant during the summer. You can also choose from other length types, including ¾, knee, full, and ankle length. Choose according to your preference and height.
8. Look for additional features that may be helpful for you
Maternity pants come with different features. Some come with side pockets, back pockets, foldable belly panels, and a waist adjuster like drawstring or buttons.
9. Avoid wrinkle-free fabrics
It might be tempting to get maternity pants that are advertised as wrinkle-free. We do want to minimize our daily chores during pregnancy. Sadly, most wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant sheets are “finished” with a chemical process to keep them from wrinkling, which generally includes the use of formaldehyde. When making an anti-wrinkle finish in fabrics, manufacturers use a resin that can leak formaldehyde during manufacturing, washing, and wearing.
Since your utmost priority is to make healthy choices during pregnancy, it’s probably best to avoid such fabrics.
10. Check out the price
Of course, this also means that the pants you choose should have a reasonable price tag. Some are available in every price range, so don’t despair about finding just the right combination.
11. Stock up
When you find the right maternity pants, it’s a good idea to stock up on at least a few pairs, especially if you work outside the home. You might not always be up to the mark on laundry, but you’ll always need a comfy pair of pants to slip into. With some spares on hand, you won’t have to finish a load of laundry and ironing before getting ready.