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Choosing the Best Maternity Jeans for Your Body

African American woman is standing with her hands on her belly looking down. She is wearing a white tanktop and light blue jeans

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Before I got pregnant, I envisioned maternity style as an array of extra-large tops and drawstring pants. But I felt like a kid in a candy store when I realized how many great options are available to pregnant people now! 

Take maternity jeans, for instance.

From skinny jeans to wide-leg styles, I was astounded by the full range of options. The problem then became figuring out which item would be my “perfect pair” of pregnancy pants.

Pregnancy jeans are a maternity wardrobe staple for most expectant moms. If you’re struggling to figure out what to buy, when to buy, or where to buy, we’re here to help. We’re ready to help you find a gorgeous pair of jeans for every stage of pregnancy!

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Maternity Jeans vs. Regular Jeans: Is Buying New Jeans a Maternity Essential?

When planning your pregnancy and postpartum budget, buying a new pair of jeans might be at the bottom of your priority list. 

But that pre-baby pair of skinny jeans you’ve been rocking might not accommodate your growing bump for long. As your body changes, you’ll need some new additions to your wardrobe.

Unless you want to join a nudist colony for the duration of your pregnancy – that’s always an option!

Onto the next question –

Can’t you just buy regular jeans and size up? 

Not exactly.

One of the great things about maternity clothing is that designers create them specifically for pregnant bodies. 

Sizing up is going to make your jeans bigger all the way around. They’ll be longer and looser in the legs and the stomach area.

Maternity denim jeans leave plenty of space for your growing belly while still offering a stylish cut everywhere else. Plus, they usually have an elasticated waistband or side panels to support your bump throughout your entire pregnancy. 

Will It Hurt Your Baby if Your Jeans Are Too Tight?

When I was pregnant, I constantly feared doing something to hurt my baby in utero. The good news is that your little one is VERY protected inside the amniotic sac

So, have no fear, Mama – while wearing super tight jeans might be uncomfortable during pregnancy, it’s doubtful you could wear a pair tight enough to injure your baby inside your belly.

When Should You Start Wearing Maternity Jeans?

I once met a woman who was seven months pregnant and so tiny that my food baby made me look more pregnant than she was. I was jealous!

What I’m trying to say here is that every expectant mother will have a different experience with their growing body. On average, though, women start needing larger sizes or maternity clothes between 4 and 6 months

How Many Pairs of Jeans for Pregnant Women Do You Need?

Sure, it can be exciting to rush out and buy tons of different maternity jeans as soon as you sprout a bump. 

Realistically, though, how many pairs of jeans are too many?

In the beginning, I would stick to two or three pairs of maternity pants. This will not only help you save money, but it’s less waste if you end up having to buy more jeans later on in pregnancy.  

Creating a maternity capsule wardrobe is always a good idea for a budget-friendly pregnancy style. Two pairs of well-built, comfortable-fit jeans are great for this. 

Tricks to Make Your Pre-Pregnancy Jeans Work Longer

Not everyone is ready to rush out to Motherhood Maternity and buy a new pair of pants for their burgeoning bump. 

If you’re looking for ways to make your current pants last as long as possible, here are a few popular tricks you can try:

  • Buy a Bump Panel: Go to many online maternity clothing stores, and you’re likely to find a decent selection of belly panel products. Whether you choose a full or demi-panel, these products go over the waist of your everyday jeans to support your growing bump. This way, you can rock your favorite pair of denim jeans without worrying about zipping them up or buttoning them. 
  • Try a Waist Extender: Many brands offer various waist extenders that hook onto the buttons of your jeans. These let you adjust the waistline of your pants as your belly grows. Some people pair these with a bump panel. 
  • Use the Hair Elastic Trick: It’s incredible what a simple hair tie can do for your belly bump. Loop a regular elastic around your button and through the buttonhole to add extra room. Not sure what we mean? Check out this great video! Just pair this trick with plenty of long, flowy tops to ensure the open zipper doesn’t show.

Pregnancy Jeans 101: Understanding the Most Common Styles

Whether you’re looking for comfort or style when shopping for maternity jeans, three main types are available.

Under-the-belly pants provide an elastic waist that rests underneath your bump. If you’re a person who doesn’t love the high-waisted style, these might be a great option. 

However, if you’re all about a high waist like me, another common style is over-the-belly pants.  These come with an elastic panel attached to the top of your pants, and they come up over your entire stomach.

The third most common design option is side panel maternity jeans. These offer stretchy, elastic panels along your hips. 

One thing to remember with maternity jeans for expectant moms is the designs don’t always come with functional pockets. If this is a dealbreaker, pay careful attention to product descriptions when shopping for maternity clothes online

Our Picks for the Best Maternity Denim Jeans in 2022

If you’re anything like me, you’d rather have someone tell you straight out which products are the best of the best. I hate trying on clothes and searching through reviews to try and figure out what I want to buy!

When you’re ready to start shopping for the best maternity jeans in 2022, take a second to look at the products below.

The bottom half of a woman is shown. She is pregnant and in dark blue jeans
Maternity jeans are a staple in any pregnant woman’s wardrobe but they don’t have to break the bank!

The Most Popular Pregnancy Jeans Overall

The pregnancy jeans listed below are the cream of the crop. They are highly rated, comfortable, stylish, and so much more!

1. High-Rise Crossover Panel Isabel Maternity Jeans from Target

Shopping for affordable maternity clothes might seem impossible, but Target is here to help!

These gorgeous, medium wash Isabel maternity jeans are a favorite among the pregnancy community.

They offer enough stretch to keep you comfortable while still looking stylish enough for a night on the town. 

2. Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. Maternity Baby Bump Jeans

Whether you’re looking for dark wash, light wash, or black maternity jeans, Levi Strauss has you covered! Their Gold Label Maternity Jeans have almost 5,000 fantastic reviews on Amazon and cost a mere $30. 

Some women who wanted skinny jeans complained that they were looser than they’d like, so pay careful attention to sizing!

3. Motherhood Maternity Side Panel Overalls

Maybe you want to switch up your maternity capsule wardrobe and buy more than just traditional maternity jeans.

If so, these overalls from Motherhood Maternity are an adorable option!

4. Jessica Simpson Skinny Leg Maternity Jegging

Are functioning pockets on your list of maternity must-haves? If so, Jessica Simpson’s brand is here to help!

Her adorable maternity jeggings with Motherhood Maternity don’t just look good, but they feel good, too. Plus, as one of the only options on our list with real front pockets, they’re sure to become one of your wardrobe staples. 

5. Maternity Over-the-Belly Skinny Jeans: TENCEL™ Denim

Madewell’s Over the Belly TENCEL jeans might not be one of the most budget-friendly options on our list, but they are hugely popular in the realm of maternity fashion. 

One reviewer even raved about how sexy they made her feel throughout pregnancy. What’s not to love about that??

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Plus-Size Maternity Jeans You’re Sure to Love

Are you trying to find the perfect pair of plus-size pregnancy jeans? Here are some of our favorite options!

1. Distressed Cuff Plus Maternity Jeans

Who doesn’t love a good pair of distressed jeans? If you’re shopping for an edgy maternity look, these light wash plus-sized maternity jeans from Pink Blush Maternity are a win. 

They combine comfort, stretch fit, and a lot of style to create a top-rated pair of maternity jeans. 

2. Plus Size Secret Fit Belly Skinny Leg Maternity Jeans

No maternity wardrobe is complete without a gorgeous pair of dark wash jeans. In our opinion, there’s no better choice than the Secret Fit Belly Skinny Plus-Sized Maternity Jeans from Motherhood Maternity!

Reviewers love the comfort level of these jeans and mention how nice the fabric and stretch are for growing baby bellies.

3. Hybrid & Company Stretch Skinny Maternity Jeans

If you’re an avid Amazon shopper like I am, you’ll be thrilled to see they offer one of the top-rated pairs of maternity jeans on the market. 

While not strictly marketed as plus-size, these Hybrid & Company stretch pregnancy jeans are available in sizes up to 3X.

A pregnant woman with her hand on her belly is standing in a store holding up a pair of light blue maternity jeans
Maternity jeans are a great way to be comfortable and support your belly while pregnant!

Top-Rated Maternity Jean Styles for Petite Women

As a fellow shortie, I know that finding great jeans for petite women isn’t always the easiest task. To help provide some clarity, we’ve done the research for you and found the best maternity jeans for shorter women. 

1. Abercrombie & Fitch Maternity Jean Leggings

Do you like a little extra stretch in your jeans? Well, when it comes to maternity jeans in petite sizes, Abercrombie & Fitch has a first-class option. 

Their maternity jean leggings have a comfortable over the belly panel for growing bumps. They also have great size and length options, including short styles for petite women.

2. Motherhood Maternity Secret Fit Belly Boot Cut Jean

If you’re searching for a stylish pair of boot cut maternity jeans, the Secret Fit Belly jeans from Motherhood Maternity are a frequent purchase among expectant mothers. 

Not only are these available in many regular length sizes, but the company also provides essential options for petite bodies. Yay!

Back to the Basics: Maternity Jeans FAQ

Don’t let shopping for maternity jeans during pregnancy stress you out. We’ve got all the answers you need to your most pressing questions about pregnancy pants.

When Should You Start Shopping for Maternity Jeans?

While every woman’s body will develop differently, most will need to switch to maternity jeans between 4 and 6 months.

Where Can You Buy the Best Maternity Jeans?

There are many options when it comes to shopping for comfortable maternity jeans. Some of our favorite options include:
– Amazon
– Motherhood Maternity
– Madewell
– Target
– Pink Blush Maternity

Why Do You Need to Wear Maternity Jeans?

There’s no rule stating you can’t wear your normal jeans throughout pregnancy, but if you want the best comfort for your growing belly, you’ll probably want to try some maternity jeans. If you try to stick to pre-baby jeans, you’ll likely want to buy a belly panel or waist extender

Upgrade Your Pregnancy Style with a Great Pair of Maternity Jeans

We’re lucky to live in a time where there’s a bounty of available products for pregnant bodies. When it’s time to retire your regular jeans temporarily, you can feel good that there are plenty of popular pregnancy jeans available.

If you’ve already had a baby, what are the best maternity jeans you’ve ever worn?

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