Updated on Novemmber 4, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
When the weather begins to cool down, and your pants start to tighten, it’s time to start shopping for one of the perks of being pregnant: maternity pants! First-time moms-to-be may be hesitant to spend money on an article of clothing they will only wear for a few months, but the right pair of maternity pants will change your entire pregnancy experience. Many moms continue wearing maternity pants well after baby is born.
When it comes to maternity pants, working moms-to-be need to find the perfect balance of comfort, professionalism, and value, so I’m sharing my seven favorite maternity work pants.
The 7 Best Maternity Work Pants
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: If you thought you loved leggings, wait until you try these maternity leggings! They are adorable and great for any occasion. Best of all, they are soft as can be.
These budget-friendly maternity leggings fall in the category of maternity wear you will want to wear long after baby is born. These come in three colors and are great for everything from weekend activities and prenatal yoga.
Keep in mind: These are a less formal option and may not be appropriate for every work setting.
Good for: Expecting moms looking to stay active.
(Most professional — $$)
Why it’s great: These pants come in six professional colors so that you can wear them every day of the week! They are soft and comfortable, and you will feel confident walking into any meeting with these on.
In addition to the excellent color options, these trousers are adjustable so that they can grow along with your belly. The material is also very high quality.
Keep in mind: Not all colors are available in every size, but they often restock, so check back!
Good for: Expecting moms who work in a more formal office setting.
(Most pockets — $$)
Why it’s great: For moms-to-be struggling with pregnancy brain, these pockets are a game-changer. There are three pockets, and the two cargo pockets are large enough to hold a wallet, keys, or anything else you are likely to misplace.
The material is soft and stretchy, so even though these are technically scrubs, they would also be great for exercising or weekend-wear.
Keep in mind: These pants are only available in a medium size at the moment.
Good for: Expecting moms who are feeling more forgetful than usual.
(Best jeans — $$)
Why it’s great: When it comes to maternity jeans, who better than Levi Strauss & Co to design jeans that are both comfortable and incredibly stylish? This pair is so soft you may find it hard to go back to regular jeans.
These pants come in two color options, the ‘noir’ jeans (pictured) are perfect for the workweek, and the Blue Laguna-waterless wash is ideal for casual Fridays and weekends.
Keep in mind: These have a skinny-leg fit, so you may want to buy a size up for later in your pregnancy if you tend to gain weight in the lower half of your body.
Good for: Expecting moms who want maternity jeans that don’t look like maternity jeans.
(Best for medical professionals — $$)
Why it’s great: These scrubs are a strong choice for expecting moms who work in the healthcare sector. They come in six colors and have cooling technology to help with some of the temperature fluctuations expecting moms may experience.
These pants are boot-cut style with a cargo pocket for storage. They are breathable and great for expecting moms on the move.
Keep in mind: You may want to find the matching maternity top for these scrubs.
Good for: Expecting moms in the healthcare sector.
(Most plus-sized options — $$$)
Why it’s great: This style is perfect for any office setting. You can dress them up with a button-down and blazer or dress them down with an oversized sweater.
This style comes in five colors with lots of support for the bump. This brand also has more plus-sized options than most maternity pants.
Keep in mind: You should not tumble dry these pants. Either let them air dry or have them dry cleaned.
Good for: Plus-sized moms-to-be and an excellent gift for an expecting mom in your life.
7. Ecavus Women’s Maternity Wide/Straight Versatile Comfy Palazzo Lounge Pants Stretch Pregnancy Trousers
(Most comfy — $$)
Why it’s great: Whether you are trying to stay active or are just looking to lounge in your last trimester, these pants are the softest and stretchiest you will find!
The band is snug enough to support the bump, and the fabric around the legs is loose-fitting and breathable. These could even make great pajamas if you fall asleep on the couch. Many moms also recommend them while recovering from a C-section.
Keep in mind: In the earlier stages of pregnancy, consider a smaller size.
Good for: Expecting moms with sensitive skin or for post-partum wear.
FAQs about maternity work pants
1. When should I start wearing maternity pants?
Most expecting moms notice their pants getting uncomfortably tight after about 4-5 months of pregnancy, but every experience is different. If you are among the select few who can fit into their clothes the entire pregnancy, you may decide you do not need maternity pants at all.
That said, most expecting moms switch to maternity pants not only for flexible sizing but for comfort. Pregnancy is challenging enough without adding uncomfortable fabric into the mix, so treat yourself to the softest clothes around whenever you see fit.
If you’re shopping for an expecting mom, consider buying her the perfect pair of pregnancy pants around month 4 or 5, that’s when she’ll appreciate it the most.
2. What should I consider when shopping for maternity pants?
There are many important factors to consider when shopping for maternity pants, but comfort should be at the top of your list. You may not even notice how uncomfortable your ‘regular’ clothes are until you try on a pair of maternity pants. Treat yourself to expandable waistbands, comfy fabric, and styles that show just as much of your bump as you want.
Secondly, think about the things you will be doing while pregnant. Are you working full-time in an office setting? Find dressier maternity pants for a pulled-together office look. Are you working remotely? Enjoy loungier maternity pants for preparing your home for baby in between Zoom calls.
Lastly, think about your style. If you have a strong fashion point of view, that does not have to change when it comes to maternity wear. Seek out maternity pants that make you feel your best, even as your body is rapidly changing.
3. Are maternity pants a waste of money?
This is a particularly relevant question for expecting moms who can still fit into most pre-pregnancy clothes. While you may only have a few months left in your pregnancy, many moms (this one included!) say they continued wearing maternity pants post-partum. If you plan on having other children, you can also save your maternity wear for future use.
If you would prefer not to spend much money on maternity wear, I recommend skipping on maternity tops, as many tops will still fit a pregnant belly, and oversized tops and sweaters are a trend likely to stick around. You could also consider thrifting maternity wear to save money and the environment.
4. What is the difference between maternity pants and leggings?
While many maternity leggings and pants will have a similar look and feel, the difference tends to be in the waistband. Maternity pants tend to have buttons and zippers, even if they are only cosmetic, whereas leggings do not. Both styles are a great option for expecting moms.
5. How do I know what size maternity pants to buy?
The best way to determine your pregnancy size is to read the product description. Maternity clothes are designed to fit a rapidly expanding belly, so most manufacturers are diligent about the sizing details. If all else fails, reading the product reviews is a great way to find clues about which size you should purchase.
In general, you will want to seek maternity pants that will fit snug but not tight, so that your bump feels supported. If you find maternity pants you love, you may consider purchasing different sizes for different parts of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for expecting moms, and while it may feel like your body is changing at warp speed, this change could be the perfect opportunity to freshen up your wardrobe. Shopping for maternity dress pants is a delightful way to begin to meld the old with the new. As you start to incorporate your little one into your wardrobe, you may find that maternity pants can go a long way in reducing discomfort and encouraging physical activity.
As an expecting mom, you are sacrificing so much to keep your little one happy and healthy, so treat yourself to maternity pants that are stylish, comfortable, and fit your pregnant lifestyle.