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7 Different Types of Maternity Pants

Sitting on a beach in maternity pants while pregnant

Going through a pregnancy is a life-changing experience in more ways than one. Your body is no longer your own and it will grow and grow until you no longer recognize it. Having supportive, comfortable and fashionable clothing can make it much easier to be pregnant…as much as anything can make it easier to be pregnant.

Find out which types of maternity pants you have available to you and you can start exploring your pregnancy style.

Being Maternal

Holding baby bump in profile wearing maternity pants

Let’s face it: through history, being a woman has been pretty bad. Queen Victoria was the first woman to use modern anesthetics to relieve the pain of childbirth. She got a whiff of chloroform to ease the process.

For thousands and thousands of years prior to this, women powered through the pain of maternity with all of its ups and downs with only the aid of home remedies and sheer willpower.

And for the most part, women had to figure out their own methods of dealing with pregnancy and later, childbirth. The Native American woman Sacagawea famously traveled with explorers Lewis and Clark as they charted the land that would one day be named the United States. She traveled with them for thousands of miles while around 16 or 17 years of age…and carrying a newborn baby.

It’s still hard to be an expectant mother and a new mother, whether you’re walking through an unknown territory or not. Lots of things are going to be hard. Finding the right types of maternity pants that are going to keep you feeling comfortable and looking stylish definitely isn’t one of them.

Make it easier on yourself by getting clothes that are going to make your pregnancy feel a little easier. Being pregnant is tough. Finding the right clothes shouldn’t be.

Types of Maternity Pants

You still have options for clothing even when you’re pregnant, though sometimes it’s going to feel like all you can do is wrap yourself in a bathrobe.

Try different types of maternity pants and try different ways to keep your baby bump supported while you keep yourself just a little bit more comfortable and maybe even stylish. You can still be you when you’re pregnant…well, sort of. The right clothes can help you feel a little more like yourself.


Women Pants Neartime Print Loose Casual Pants American Flag Drawstring Wide Leggings (2XL, Coffee)

Drawstring waist maternity pants are a very comfortable option. The waistband is adjustable so these pants will grow with your pregnancy, at least until you outgrow the pants. Drawstring maternity pants are often made in wide leg, baggy designs that are comfortable to wear.

Made to be loose and roomy, drawstring pants work well as casual to semi-formal wear and they can be worn to events of all types. Maternity drawstring pants are usually worn just under the baby bump but you may find that it’s more comfortable for you to wear the waistband elsewhere.

Many styles of pants are made in drawstring designs in maternity versions. Sailor pants, palazzo pants and other types of wide leg pants work very well with drawstring waistbands in maternity designs.


Leggings Depot Women's Stretch Buttery Soft Solid Maternity Casual Pants-MT10-BLACK-S

Stretchy maternity leggings are made with soft, flexible fabric that moves with your body. Leggings are made to give and stretch and they will be snug all over your body, even where they fit around your belly. This gives your bump a little support, which can help relieve some pregnancy pains.

Leggings are also a great all-around pant that can be worn for casual wear and even semi-formal wear, if you style them with the right items. They’re stretchy and they’re comfortable and they look nice, so you might want to stock up on leggings to last you through your entire pregnancy.

Leggings are easy to find and they are affordable, so they’re a good pregnancy option. You will leggings in all sizes, including maternity sizes. They’re also available in every imaginable color and design.


Motherhood Maternity Women's Maternity Indigo Blue Side Panel Skinny Ankle Length Denim Overalls, Medium wash, Large

Overalls and pregnancy are a great fit. Sometimes, you don’t even need special maternity overalls to wear overalls. These pants are made to be incredibly roomy and they even have a convenient flap that extends up over your belly and chest. The shoulder straps are adjustable and overalls are made to be roomy and comfortable. In other words, they’re really great maternity wear.

Overalls are a very casual item that’s great for wearing during outdoor gatherings and other low-key, relaxed events. They are made with comfortable and durable material that’s easy to wash because they’re made to be work wear.


AMPOSH Women's Maternity Pants Stretchy Lounge Workout Pants Casual Loose Comfy Pregnancy Joggers with Pockets(Heather Burgundy, L)

Also known as joggers, sweatpants are an absolute go-to fashion item during pregnancy. Sweatpants are made in extremely soft material and they’re made with elastic waistbands that stretch and stretch. What’s not to love? Sweatpants are available in a huge array of styles and colors and designs, so it’s easy to find plenty of options to help you get through your pregnancy.

Sweatpants are very casual clothing. In fact, they can even be worn as pajamas so it doesn’t get more casual than that. They’re soft, they’re roomy and they are quite easy to wear. Generally speaking, sweatpants are made to be loungewear for when you’re hanging out at home and they’re commonly worn as exercise clothing.

Maternity Jeans

Many women wear maternity jeans during pregnancy. Jeans are a familiar and popular fashion item that are perfect for casual wear. There are different types of maternity jeans. All offer different types of support for your baby bump.

The style you choose depends entirely on what feels best for you and on the type of maternity jeans you want to wear.

Over Belly

Motherhood Maternity womens Indigo Blue Stretch Secret Fit Belly Ankle Denim Jegging Jeans, Dark Wash, X-Large US

Over belly jeans have a very high waistband made with soft, highly stretchy fabric. The material stretches out over your belly and snugly holds your bump in place. The stretchy waistband of these jeans goes up very high to cover most or all of your baby bump. This is a highly supportive design.

Side Stretch

PAIGE Women's Cindy Maternity Jeans, Mel, Blue, 28

Side stretch maternity jeans have stretchy panels on either side of the body, at the hip and waistband area. This is a low-cut design that mostly sits under the belly and around the hips. The waistband may extend upward slightly over the bottom of the baby bump.

Maternity jeans with a side stretch design have a standard zipper and button fly front. So if you’re looking for pants that make you feel almost normal, side stretch maternity jeans might be the perfect choice because there is very little difference between them and the jeans you already have hanging in your closet.

Under Belly

Foucome Women's Maternity Under The Belly Ripped Boyfriend Jeans Distressed Jeans Stretch Jeans with Hole (Blue, M)

Under belly jeans have a waistband that is elastic and stretchy across the front. The front waistband panel is made to stretch across the underside of your baby bump and provide support just along the bottom edge. This is a somewhat low-cut design that sits under your baby bump.

If you’re used to wearing low-cut pants, the under belly design might feel the most comfortable and normal for you.

Wearing Different Types of Maternity Pants

Holding baby bump in profile wearing maternity pants

There are many different types and styles of maternity pants to try, lots of different waistbands and designs that are made to work well on a pregnant body. Try wearing different types of maternity pants and see which ones work best for you and which styles help you and your baby bump feel comfortable and supported. You need all the support you can get…even when it comes from fashion!


When you’re pregnant, you’re full of questions about all kinds of stuff. There’s so much to think about, so much to do, so much to consider, so many decisions. You don’t want to waste a lot of time worrying about your pants.

That’s why we found the answers to the most frequently asked questions about maternity pants, so you can ask fewer questions and make things a lot easier when you’re picking out what you’re going to wear.

When do you have to switch to maternity pants?

How far into your pregnancy can you wait before you switch to maternity clothes? Because every pregnancy is different and every woman’s body is different, there is no date you can mark on a calendar to know when you need to get maternity clothes. There is no certain number of weeks or days where you will start needing maternity clothes.

Look for the changes in your body and in the way all your usual clothing fits. Once your own clothing becomes noticeably tight, it’s time to make the switch. After all, you aren’t going to be getting any smaller!

You’ll know it’s time to get maternity clothes because you’ll find yourself wearing your largest pants and all your stretchiest pants. Your body is changing every day, so don’t waste any time in finding maternity pants and other maternity clothing.

On average, women tend to start wearing maternity clothing anywhere between 12 to 16 weeks into their pregnancy but of course, this varies.

How should maternity pants fit?

Standing on beach pregnant wearing maternity pants

When you’re carrying a child, your body isn’t your own anymore. There are so many changes and so much going on, it’s impossible to know how things should feel or how your maternity pants should fit. Maternity pants are not supposed to fit the way your regular everyday pants would fit.

Maternity pants should fit snugly around your baby bump, putting just enough pressure on your belly so that you feel secure. They should not feel tight by any means, just snug. You should feel no discomfort.

If you feel any discomfort that is pants-related, try a different pair. Your body feels uncomfortable enough. There’s no reason to wear pants that don’t fit properly.

How do you find the right size maternity pants?

Finding the right size maternity pants can be very confusing. Maternity pants sizes actually correspond with the size you were before you were pregnant. That means that if you wear a size 12 normally, you will still wear a size 12 in maternity clothing.

There will be exceptions to this, as clothing manufacturer sizes do vary, but this is a good place to start.

Can maternity pants hurt the baby?

Though it can feel pretty tight and uncomfortable, clothing won’t hurt the baby. Tight pants, tight dresses, it is okay to wear these things as far as the baby’s safety, but you may not want to wear them just for the sake of comfort.

The womb is designed to be extremely protective. As long as you are not applying extreme pressure to your belly or your waist, you do not have to worry that you are hurting your baby. However, there is no reason to wear tight clothing unless you like the snug fit because it makes your stomach feel supported.


Birth Injury Help Center – The History of Childbirth

Queen Bee – Maternity Jeans Style Guide

VeryWell Family – The 8 Best Maternity Pants of 2022

WikiHow – How to Choose Maternity Pants