Good maternity underwear is essential during pregnancy as you’ll basically be squeezing two people into them. So, don’t feel bad about outgrowing your favorite lingerie — you’ll be back in it soon enough.
In the meantime, we’ve compared dozens of maternity underwear styles — from over-the-bump to under-belly designs, from disposable options to hot and sexy numbers. We’ve come up with this list of the best maternity underwear for keeping you comfortable during pregnancy.
- Comfy rear coverage
- Hygienic lining
- Premium material
- Fits nicely under the bump
- Stretchy cotton fabric
- Can be worn even after delivery
- Offers gentle support
- Adjustable sizing
- Soft, stretchy, and breathable
- Ultra-soft fabric
- Designed for everyday comfort
- Cost efficient
- Machine washable
- Feminine & stylish appearance
- High waisted
- Gives comfort and gentle support
- Seamless and breathable
- Multipurpose design
- Elastic closure
- Comfortable brief silhouette
- No-show panty lines
- Super soft and skin friendly
- Fits nicely under the bump
- Lightweight and breathable
- Soft elastic waist support band
- Non-absorbent material
- Seamless look
- No visible panty line
- Low-impact dyes
When to Start Wearing Maternity Underwear
There’s no hard and fast rule as to when you should make the switch to maternity underwear. Some women gain a lot of weight at the beginning of their pregnancy, but others only pile on the pounds in the last few months. Maternity underwear can help you feel more comfortable at any stage.
Women who were at a healthy weight before their pregnancy should expect to gain anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds during a singleton pregnancy (1). And most won’t gain much weight during their first trimester of pregnancy — only about 2 to 4 pounds. After that, you are likely to gain about a pound a week.
So, while you probably won’t need maternity underwear for the first few months, you might want to have some ready to go once you hit your third trimester.
Often, women who are overweight before pregnancy gain less weight during pregnancy and may not require maternity underwear.
How Many Pairs Will I Need?
That number of pairs of underwear you’ll require depends upon how often you want to do laundry, but remember that your energy will start to evaporate during your pregnancy.
So unless you’re certain you’ll have the energy to do laundry twice a week, you’ll want to make sure you have a week’s worth of underwear on hand.
Types of Maternity Underwear
If this is your first pregnancy, you may never have considered pregnancy panties before. But like non-maternity underwear, there are more than a few options.
These extra-high underwear offer full coverage to your bump, with the waistband hitting well over your navel and, if you’re heavily pregnant, possibly up to around your ribcage.
While not the most flattering, these underwear are great for women wanting more support and full coverage or during winter when you don’t want an exposed bit of belly getting cold. They’re best for bigger bumps and preventing chafing or irritating shirt fabrics from rubbing against your sensitive bump.
This style is a lot prettier and may even pass as a regular pair of panties when you’re not pregnant. Low-rise underwear is lighter and stays out of your way but may not work for women who want the coverage and support of something sturdier. These styles are great for the earlier months and are often less visible under clothing.
Special Feature Underwear
Some companies make maternity underwear with extra absorbent panels for incontinence or simply to help you feel dry and comfortable as you go about your day. Others are built with heavy-duty support panels for bigger bumps or “seamless” designs to prevent visible panty lines.
Lastly, the fact that you’ve made a baby doesn’t mean you’re not going to have fun anymore. There are some gorgeous maternity lingerie lines out there that can accommodate a bump while still making you feel sexy and beautiful.
How to Choose Maternity Underwear
When you’re shopping for maternity underwear, there are a few things you’ll want to think about:
We personally love the under-the-bump style for those days you don’t want anything touching your stomach. Also, lowriders are less likely to show panty lines. But high-rise underwear provides full coverage and supports the growing belly, which is important to many women. It all comes down to personal preference.
You don’t just have to consider your current size, but you also need to calculate how many weeks of pregnancy you still have remaining and how much weight you could gain during that time. It’s not unusual for some women to gain far more than 35 pounds during pregnancy.
This can be hard to calculate in advance, so some women choose to buy a few pairs of underwear in different sizes to accommodate additional growth.
If you don’t want to go the granny-panty route, plenty of fashionable women’s maternity underwear styles are available. Choose underwear that makes you feel good about yourself, whether they’re fashionable or just super comfortable. You’re doing a lot of hard work growing that baby — you shouldn’t stress about your underwear.
The Best Maternity Underwear of 2021
Here are our favorite maternity underwear picks.
1. Giftpocket Under Bump Maternity Underwear
This maternity underwear by Giftpocket is made of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, giving them superior stretch.
For women who find they want as little touching their bellies as possible, these sit on the low waist, giving you moderate coverage on your rear so you won’t have anything hanging out.
You’ll get three pairs of underwear in one pack, and they’ll all be different colors. The material is really soft and breathable.
Because these sit under your belly, you won’t have to deal with the annoying feeling of your underwear rolling down.
2. Intimate Portal Under Bump Maternity Underwear
This extra-low-rise underwear won’t show panty lines when you’re wearing a maternity dress. Thanks to these bad boys, your belly will be the star of anything you wear, not your undergarments.
If you seem to be carrying your baby low in your belly, this underwear will sit even lower.
They come in packs of five or three, depending on which colors and patterns you choose.
For the safety and wellbeing of your baby, these have an interesting extra feature — they use a light color to line the gusset so you’ll be able to detect any spotting right away and alert your doctor if there’s a potential problem.
3. NBB Lingerie High Cut Maternity Panties
This underwear by NBB will reach your belly button and stay there. They won’t slip or slide. They also offer gentle support with a light support band that doesn’t press uncomfortably into your belly. Made of 95 percent cotton, these won’t feel hot or scratchy.
This style of underwear is made to adjust to your ever-changing size and shape. They keep expanding as your belly grows in late pregnancy. And after your baby is born, you can wear them as postpartum underwear, where the support will come in handy yet again.
4. Kindred Bravely Under The Bump Maternity Underwear
Some pregnant women struggle with self-esteem issues as their body experiences rapid changes. As your belly grows bigger, you may feel you need to ditch your normal clothes for loose-fitting pieces you find frumpy. But you don’t have to!
The Kindred Bravely Under The Bump Maternity Underwear allows you to wear your favorite clothes — including jeans — without excess bulk and discomfort. With a low waist and ultra-soft fabric, it conforms to the natural curves of your changing body.
The bikini style provides the coverage you’re looking for — especially during the third trimester — but fits smoothly underneath jeans and leggings. These Kindred Bravely panties are available in packs of three and five.
5. Rosie Pope Seamless Maternity Underwear
If you hate the experience of uncomfortable rubbing from thick, irritating seams, these Rosie Pope maternity underwear are a great choice. And they require minimal care as you can just throw them in the washing machine.
They don’t look like a maternity item at all, and you’ll be able to wear these during your postpartum time.
The lace trim gives it a feminine and stylish appearance. They come in seven different colors, so you can wear a different color every day of the week.
6. Belevation Maternity Briefs
If the weight of your expanding belly is causing you pain, you won’t care if your underwear looks like granny panties as long as it helps you feel better. That’s where this Belevation underwear comes in.
Made of a soft blend of nylon and spandex, these underwear are seamless, so they won’t cause any uncomfortable rubbing on skin that’s already stretched out and itchy. They’ll also offer comfortable support without making you feel like you’re wearing a suffocating pair of Spanx!
Nothing should be tight or uncomfortable during pregnancy. You want the best blood circulation to your body and your baby.
Editor's Note:Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC
These briefs ride high over your belly and offer support for your lower back too.
7. Motherhood Maternity Panties
A pair of fold-over underwear works well at any point during your pregnancy because of its multipurpose design. As your body changes, these panties adapt to meet your needs.
When your baby bump is still small, keep the underwear folded down to prevent unnecessary bunching. As your bump grows, you can stretch the top panel over your belly for support. Plus, it will still fold down and rest comfortably under your bump if you wish.
These panties are made of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, and they feature a comfortable brief silhouette. Each pack comes with three pairs of underwear.
8. Suekaphin Under Bump Maternity Panties
During pregnancy, you start to accumulate a lot of baby gear, which can take a toll on your pocketbook. This value pack of cotton maternity panties provides you with essential comfort without breaking the bank.
Each pair has a low-rise style. They fit comfortably under your baby bump during any trimester without adding extra pressure or getting bunched up. With extra-wide leg bands, you can be assured they won’t cut into your thighs.
You get eight pairs of underwear in a pack, each in a different color, making this a great choice for moms trying to stick to a budget.
9. ALC Seamless Knit Maternity Underwear
These disposable maternity underwear come in a package of 15 pairs. They’re a good option for before and after your baby is born, when you may not want to deal with additional laundry or staining from the after-effects of delivery. This underwear is thin and comfortable for post-delivery wear when your skin may be feeling extra sensitive.
These are lightweight and breathable, and they’ll stretch to ensure your comfort. They’re a perfect choice for holding post-surgery dressings in place without applying too much pressure to them. This is ideal for women who have stitches from a cesarean.
The leg bands and the waist are made of a soft elastic fabric. While these underwear are designed to be disposable, they can still be reused for a while if you wash them by hand or in the delicate cycle.
10. Hanky Panky Women's Low Rise Thongs
Do you feel like you’ve lost your femininity and sense of style during your pregnancy? Reclaim your sexy self with these lace maternity thongs. Made of durable lace, they stretch easily to fit any body size and shape.
Our favorite part of this underwear is the seamless look you get when wearing your favorite fashionable outfits, including dresses, pants, and shorts. The v-shaped front and back waistband are both flattering and comfortable. You’ll get a boost of confidence as you capture the spirit of your old self and grow into your new sexy body.
This thong is made in the USA with low-impact dyes, so you can be sure that it is not only sexy but safe to wear.