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What’s the best maternity underwear?

As your body goes through changes during pregnancy, so too does your wardrobe. With your attention on finding flattering maternity dresses and jeans, it can be easy to overlook the basics: your underwear.

While you may be tempted to keep wearing your favorite undies, regular underwear can stretch out or seams dig into your skin as your pregnancy progresses. Maternity underwear is designed to stretch with your growing bump and mold to your changing body.

There are a few different styles of maternity underwear as well as other considerations that go into finding the perfect pair.

Types of maternity underwear

There are a few types of maternity underwear to consider, depending on your needs. 

  • Over-bump: High-waisted maternity underwear provides a full panel over your baby bump. This full coverage offers security and support with its added layer of material. Over-bump underwear works well under maternity dresses
  • Mid-bump: Mid-rise maternity underwear feature a waistband that rests mid-bump. This style isn’t as common as over-bump and under-bump underwear. You want to be sure the waistband is soft, stretchy and not too constricting. 
  • Under-bump: Maternity underwear that sits below the bump is similar to low-rise briefs or bikinis that you wore before pregnancy. They don’t feel as restrictive as the other styles. You can wear them with under-bump maternity jeans and bottoms.

Styles of maternity underwear

You can find the same styles of regular underwear in maternity underwear, including bikinis, French cuts, briefs, boy shorts, high-waisted silhouettes, thongs and lacy lingerie. Ideally, buy different styles to go with different outfits, including comfortable pairs for sleeping.

There are also maternity shapewear bottoms, which feature sculpting shorts to smooth thighs and your bottom. The belly is non-compressive to allow your bump to grow. 


You want a soft, stretchy fabric for your maternity underwear to avoid chafing and irritation. Cotton, modal and bamboo are all soft, breathable materials. Look for blends of these natural fibers with a percentage of spandex or elastane for added stretch. Nylon and polyester are materials that offer moisture-wicking properties but may not be as breathable as natural fabrics.

What else to look for in maternity underwear

Fit and size

You don’t need to size up in maternity-specific underwear. Buy your pre-pregnancy size. The fit will accommodate your growing belly. Be sure the leg openings and waistband have plenty of stretch and recovery so they don’t dig into your skin or lose their shape. Also be sure the leg openings are wide enough, which can be an issue with wearing regular underwear while pregnant.  


Pregnancy comes with a host of discomforts, so you don’t need underwear that’s riding up, digging in or feels too compressive. Underwear with stretch fabric is key to keeping maternity underwear from feeling too restrictive. You want a pair that not only feels good to wear but that you feel confident in. 


Pregnant bodies run warmer due to hormonal changes, so choosing a breathable fabric is a must. Cotton, bamboo, modal and breathable nylon are all good choices. Bamboo is naturally thermal regulating and will help keep you cool and dry. Nylon and polyester can draw sweat and moisture from the body. 


Seamless styles don’t have any seams that can dig into or irritate the skin. They also don’t show panty lines underneath clothing. 


Maternity underwear starts at $4 a pair and can cost up to $30 (or more for maternity shapewear). It’s cost-effective to buy multipacks and have at least seven pairs in rotation.

Best maternity underwear

Top over-bump maternity underwear

Best Natori Womens Bliss Perfection Brief

Natori Women’s Bliss Perfection Brief 

These over-bump briefs are pretty and offer maximum coverage. They have lace accents and seamless construction. The silky-smooth jersey fabric is designed to stretch with you through the trimesters.

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Best Mama Cotton Womens Over The Bump High Waist Underwear

Mama Cotton Women’s Over The Bump High Waist Underwear

These comfortable high-waisted briefs stay put and won’t roll down. They cover your entire bump and the waistband isn’t too tight. They stretch with your bump, without stretching out, and can go in the washer and dryer without an issue.

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Best Feoya Over Bump Maternity Cotton Underwear

Feoya Over Bump Maternity Cotton Underwear 

These pretty, high-waisted panties are trimmed with non-irritating lace. The cotton-spandex blend is ribbed and attractive. The adjustable belt waistband is comfortable.

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Best Narcissus Seamless Maternity Shapewear Mid-Thigh Underwear

Narcissus Seamless Maternity Shapewear Mid-Thigh Underwear

This over-bump shapewear features shorts and smooths out your silhouette while being invisible from the outside. The belly panel is stretchy enough for your bump to grow and isn’t too constricting. Women love that this shapewear keeps thighs from chafing.

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Top under-bump maternity underwear

Best Intimate Portal Maternity Under The Bump Boy Short Briefs

Intimate Portal Maternity Under The Bump Boy Short Briefs

These cute boy shorts fit right under your baby bump for comfort. The cotton-spandex fabric is soft, breathable and stretchy. They’ll grow with you without getting too tight. They can be worn during c-section recovery as well.

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Best Kindred Bravely Under the Belly Maternity Underwear

Kindred Bravely Under the Belly Maternity Underwear 

With its comfy crossover style, these under-belly briefs sit low under your growing belly. The material is soft and stretchy, and some women continue wearing them postpartum due to their comfort.

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Best Intimate Portal Under The Bump Foldable Briefs

Intimate Portal Under The Bump Foldable Briefs

This foldover style maternity underwear allows for adjustable coverage either below the bump or low-bump. The cotton blend meets Oeko-Tex standards and is soft and comfy. The gusset is wide enough for wearing pads postpartum too.

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Best Motherhood Maternity Fold-Over Panties

Motherhood Maternity Fold-Over Panties

Another foldover style, these versatile panties can be folded below your belly or across it. They’re comfortable and stretchy. They come in a 3-pack of cute colors and patterns.

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Best Motherhood Maternity Bikini Panty

Motherhood Maternity Bikini Panty

These soft bikinis feature a V-front that dips below your belly and can be worn throughout your pregnancy. The jersey stretch cotton doesn’t dig and offers great coverage in the rear.

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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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