10 Best Maternity Underwear, According to an Expert

Between weight gain, breast pain, sore ankles, and all the other body changes that pregnancy brings, it can be a long and uncomfortable nine months. That could be more than the wrong choice of undergarments, specifically bras and maternity underwear.

When shopping for maternity or pregnancy underwear, you’ll want something that’s breathable, non-binding, and not itchy or binding/tight. It’s designed to accommodate a changing body, and whether you want a style that hugs your bump or sits below it is a personal choice.

For 20 years, I’ve been the go-to guide for empowering women with style while helping them find the best bras, undies, and shapewear for their shape, size, and comfort needs. From my best-selling book, The Bra Book, in appearances at NBC’s Today Show, I’ve helped millions of women look and feel their best with energetic advice. I’m a mom too, so I know the importance of having underwear that keeps up with our busy, active lifestyles.

How to shop for maternity underwear:

There are several factors you want to consider when shopping for maternity underwear.

Fabrics: Material is more important than ever when you expect. Hormones can make you warmer than usual, which means you want something breathable (like Cotton, bamboo, or breathable nylon) or a little cooler (like a lightweight seamless Microfiber). You also don’t want anything that can rub or irritate your skin in any way. Usually, you’ll want something with a good amount of stretch to accommodate your growing bump.

Style: You don’t have to choose a pair designed specifically for maternity. Often, you’ll find a suitable style in the regular underwear section. You have to decide where you will be most comfortable, whether you want them to sit just under your bump, mid-bump, or pull over it. If you choose the mid-bump, you’ll want to pay attention to the waistband. Elastic can help it stay where you want it without rolling down, but it can also be painful to cut across your stomach. A boy short style can sit comfortably below your bump but can also ride up the legs. Try a few different styles to see what works best for you.

Fit: In the first trimester, you can fit comfortably into your regular size. But as your weight increases, you may need to buy 1-2 sizes bigger. While it may seem like a big expense, the good news is that you’ll likely wear the same pair post-pregnancy, and then you’ll switch to a smaller size as the pregnancy pounds drop.

Absorption and Protection: This can also be an issue for pregnant women, especially in the latter trimester when you may have more discharge and eventually bloody discharge. You want something that safely absorbs all body fluids while keeping you dry and comfortable while you wear them.

How many pairs of maternity underwear do I need?

As with your regular supply of undies, you’ll want plenty to rotate through as the months go by. Seven pairs is a good rule of thumb, so you’ll have one for every day of the week without having to do laundry as often (what mom or mom-to-be wants to do laundry??)

10 best maternity underwear

With all of this in mind, and based on my expertise, I’ve picked out ten styles you should buy to keep your lady parts comfortable and protected while you’re expecting.



This mid-waist brief is a perfect mid-bump option for everyday comfort and ease of wear. Soft microfiber fabric provides stretchy support, and a bonded tummy panel offers a waistband that doesn’t dig in. The mesh side panels are flatter and add a comfortable smoothness under all your clothes!

Ruby Cheeky Panties

Essential Body Clothing


The perfect option below, this Ruby boyshort style from Essential Bodywear offers light coverage with a cheek peek. At the same time, the soft, stretchy lace fabric allows for extra comfort, as does the 100% cotton gusset lining, which makes for breathability and optimal absorption. They also have a comfortable elastic waist with no dig-in and no side seams for added comfort.

Comfortable Hi-Leg Bikini 3-pack



If stretchy is the game, these 3-pack panties from BRABAR are the name! They will shape and grow with you and are perfect to take for the first trimester. Made from 92% breathable nylon and 8% stretchy spandex, this seamless, lightweight bikini is invisible and lies flat under clothing. The hi-leg bikini rise is below the navel.

Classic Hi-Waist



Although they are specifically made for absorbing fluid during heavy periods, they are a great option when experiencing normal pregnancy discharge. The hi-waist style has mesh side panels for breathability and stretch, and an extended gusset for full-back coverage.

No Seamless OverBelly Support Panties



Comfort is key, which is where these Over Belly Support Panties come in. Engineered with flat elastic to be extra gentle on tender skin, these buttery-soft, ultra-breathable undies feature an expandable belly panel to accommodate your growing bump. Lightweight yet surprisingly supportive, your search for comfortable maternity undies is officially over!

Under Bump Bikinis

Intimate Portal


Sometimes less is more, and that’s the case with these under bump bikinis. They feature a cross-design low-rise waistline in the front to hug and rest comfortably under your bump. Plus, they’re 95% cotton so they’re soft and breathable, and they come in plenty of prints and colors to hide any spotting.

Grow With Me Hipster

Kindred Bravely


Dreaming of super-soft, ultra-lightweight underwear stretching you but not stretching? This cozy Grow with Me Hipster is your dream come true! Made of stretchy fabric designed to fit your changing body, these premium maternity panties will keep you comfortable during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. Light as a feather, breathable, and durable, this full-coverage maternity underwear has a V-shaped waistband that sits just below your baby bump or postpartum tummy.

Bliss Maternity Boy Short



If full coverage is what you’re looking for, look no further than these Natori boyshorts. They feature a full front panel that pulls up and over your bump, along with full back coverage, all in super soft Pima cotton.

Rollover Waist 2-pack

Old Navy


A customer favorite, these unique pregnancy panties feature a front panel that can roll up — or down — for added support. Super soft fine gauge cotton knit has a comfortable stretch up to size 20.

Mama Short



Sometimes you need a little more support for that growing belly, and these Mama Shorts from Spanx do the trick. The biker short style offers non-compression support from below the bust to the thighs, and a belly band that grows with you. The garment is specially zoned to provide controlled lower back support that is both comfortable and flattering!

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