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I’m the kind of girl who loves any excuse to buy some new clothes. Whether it’s a family vacation or a nice dinner out, I’m bound to come up with some ill-conceived reason why nothing currently in my closet will work.
Imagine my delight when I got pregnant and discovered that not only would I need a new outfit or two, but I would essentially need a brand-new wardrobe. My days became a blur of online window shopping.
Work clothes – check.
Pajamas – check.
Casual options – check, check, check!
The one thing I was not prepared for was the day my pre-pregnancy panties suddenly stopped working for my blooming belly.
In my research on what to get and where to buy maternity clothes, I forgot to consider that my growing butt probably wouldn’t fit inside my everyday underwear.
That’s when I discovered that maternity underwear is a thing!
While many women aren’t sure whether pregnancy underwear is even a necessity, we’re here to tell you it is! So, if you want to know where to buy the best maternity underwear, stay tuned!
How “essential” are Pregnancy Panties?
I know what you’re probably thinking – why does it have to be specific “maternity underwear?” Can’t I just buy bigger sizes?
Here’s the thing about pregnancy underwear compared to traditional panties; they’re made to stretch enough so that they can accommodate your growing baby bump. Not only that, but many styles come with additional padding around the bands for extra support and protection.
While buying larger than normal underwear might do the trick, they might not last through your pregnancy.
When Should You Start Wearing Maternity Underwear?
There’s no concrete rule about when you should start wearing maternity underwear. Many women can stay in their normal clothing throughout most of the first trimester. By months four and five of pregnancy, though,you might notice that your standard wardrobe options are getting snug and uncomfortable.
How long will you be wearing Maternity Panties?
So, you’ve had your baby and you’re ready to jump back into your lacy thong from Victoria’s Secret?
Not so fast, Mama. There’s a good chance your postpartum body will still require pregnancy panties for at least a few months postpartum.
While most of us would love it if our bodies returned to normal right after birth, this isn’t usually the case. This is largely because your uterus will still weigh approximately 2 ½ pounds after you deliver your baby.
So don’t sweat that extra weight around your midsection postpartum. It’s natural. Your body just created a BABY! Give it a minute or two to recover.
Best Women’s Maternity Underwear options at your favorite stores
Okay, now that we’ve determined pregnancy underwear is a must-have on any list of maternity essentials, it’s time to figure out which ones will work for you.
We’ve polled our brilliant community of moms and have come up with a list of the best maternity underwear options on the market.
Moms often rave that these are the best maternity panties on the market, and it’s no wonder why. With soft bamboo fabric that doesn’t roll down or ride up, they’re basically the epitome of maternity comfort. We do recommend sizing up. And buying in bulk because you’ll love them!
If you’ve spent any time on this site, you know we love Kindred Bravely. They make our favorite maternity pajamas, nursing pajamas, and postpartum pajamas! Our founder, Katy, practically lives in their nursing nightgowns and postpartum leggings! These underwear are no exception to the usual Kindred Bravely magic.
As with most things in our day-to-day lives, many expectant moms find themselves searching Amazon when it comes to all items on their “preparing for baby checklist.”
Why should the need for maternity underwear be any different?
That’s where the Intimate Portal Under-the-Bump Maternity Underwear from Amazon comes in!
Available in a wide range of colors and styles, these low-rise pregnancy panties are among the most popular options for soon-to-be moms. In fact, they’ve earned nearly a 5-star rating and more than 19,000 reviews on Amazon!
They feature breathable cotton materials and an elastic band that prevents slipping. Plus, they are SO comfortable! Some women mentioned there were some coverage issues with their *ahem* frontal region, but overall, these are a top pick for most women.
If you like brief-style underwear, then these maternity panties are for you! They’re made by our ever-favorite maternity brand, and they live up to the usual quality. They’re super soft, comfortable, and true-to-size.
They’re full coverage and super light and airy, making them extra perfect if you want maternity underwear for summer!
Not every pregnant woman loves the idea of under-the-bump panties. In fact, many enjoy the supportive feeling they receive from high-waisted underwear that covers up their pregnancy belly. If this sounds like you, it’s time to check out the NBB Lingerie Over-the-Bump maternity underwear.
Available in three packs or individually, these are a customer favorite on Amazon and Wal-Mart. They’re also more affordable than many pregnancy panty options–you can even buy the 3-pack of black underwear for just $24.99.
This style also includes adjustable sizing to accommodate your ever-changing baby belly!
Are you looking for maternity underwear that offers versatile wearing styles? Then you need the Playtex Women’s Maternity Fold Down Modern Brief, which is available on Amazon.
Not only are these incredibly affordable (you can buy a 3-pack for under $15), but you can also wear them as either under-the-belly or over-the-belly underwear. Some reviewers did mention that these run pretty big. If you decide to purchase them, pay close attention to the size guide provided.
These maternity underwear win the award for best pelvic floor support! They’re truly amazing and provide incredible support for your pelvic floor–they lift from the bottom to help support against prolapse AND support the belly, making them amazing for mamas struggling with diastasis recti.
Heads up, they’re a major splurge, mostly because they aren’t just simple underwear. Designed by a pelvic floor therapist herself, a lot went into these bloomers. We recommend getting one pair and asking for a second as a gift if there’s an occasion coming up.
No list of the best maternity underwear would be complete without at least one mention of a Target product. I mean, come on, who doesn’t need an excuse to do some shopping at their local Target?
Sadly, though, this shopping paradise seems to be lacking a good selection of pregnancy underwear options. But they do carry the adorable Jockey Generation™ – Under Belly Maternity Hipster!
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite hipster panties. This under-the-belly option is comfortable, affordable, and stylish!
These win an award too–best for mamas who accidentally pee themselves!
While these products are not disposable, they can provide the dependable absorbency for moms who leak a bit–or even a lot.
9. Thinx Hiphugger Period Underwear
Our original best-selling pair with a full-coverage fit, a comfy lace waistband, and mo… [More]
Plus, they come in tons of cute styles and colors to fit your style needs, and they are machine washable (and easier on old mother earth).
Plus Size: Best Underwear for Pregnancy
If you’re searching for plus-size maternity underwear, you’ll be glad to hear there are several different styles available to fit your body’s needs.
While some of the options mentioned previously come in bigger sizes, you might find the options below more comfortable:
- Mama Cotton Women’s Over-the-Belly Maternity Panties
- INNERSY Women’s Under-the-Bump Maternity Underwear
- Belevation High-Waisted Maternity Underwear
- Motherhood Maternity Fold-Over Maternity Briefs
Aside from the durability and stylish look of these plus-size maternity underwear options, they are specifically designed to accommodate an expectant mother’s changing body comfortably. From breathable materials to abdominal support, you can be certain that you’ll feel your best in any of these products.
Post Pregnancy Panties 101: The truth about disposable underwear
Now that we’ve taken you through all of your maternity panty needs, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear after your baby has made his or her big debut.
While you can certainly add your existing maternity underwear to your hospital bag checklist, it’s worth considering if there’s a better option available – like disposable panties, for example.
That’s right, I said it, you need to be searching for maternity underwear that’s disposable, too!
As if your postpartum recovery wasn’t already glamorous enough, why not add some paper underwear into the mix?
Sure, your chosen hospital will probably offer you some of those oh-so-chic mesh panties you’ve seen pop up in vlogs, Instagram photos, and reality TV, but is there a better option available for maternity underwear that’s disposable?
If you want to buy your own disposable pregnancy underwear, here are a few of our top options:
- Always Discreet Postpartum Incontinence Underwear – These are great for right after birth and also for women struggling with long-term postpartum incontinence.
- Brief Transitions Seamless Mesh Post Maternity Underwear
- Frida Mom Pregnancy Recovery Essentials Kit: This set includes maternity underwear that’s disposable, along with other postpartum recovery necessities, like witch hazel liners and perineal healing foam.
Once you’re ready to stop using your mesh and disposable maternity panties, many women like to switch to a supportive post-maternity underwear style, such as the UpSpring Baby C-Panty Support Underwear.
It’s Time to Bid Your Everyday Panties Adieu
So, unless you’re fully committed to squeezing your developing body into your cutesy, lace Victoria’s Secret hipster panties for the duration of your pregnancy, it’s probably time to start looking into pregnancy underwear.
While the options we’ve provided are some of the best maternity underwear options on the market, you’ll be thrilled to see there are tons of different options available.
Don’t get stuck with an infinite wedgie and uncomfortable nether-region. The time has come to retire your pre-baby body underwear…at least for a little while.
Best Pregnancy Underwear FAQs
Pregnancy underwear is made to stretch enough to accommodate your growing baby bump. Many styles come with additional padding around the bands for extra support and protection, and some include padding for urinary incontinence or pelvic floor support.
Some moms are happy wearing their usual underwear throughout pregnancy, but most prefer switching to maternity underwear as their bellies grow, especially during the third trimester.
Maternity underwear is especially helpful once your belly pops. For some women, this happens early. Others don’t need pregnancy underwear until the third trimester.
Consider your preferences and your needs. Do you like under or over the belly? Brief style or bikini cut? If you need extra pelvic floor support or panties made for urinary leakage, make sure you choose your preferred style in a brand that fits those needs.
What have been some of the best maternity underwear styles you’ve worn?
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Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.