For expecting parents who want a versatile wardrobe, maternity jeans are essential. With a couple of pairs of jeans, it’s even possible to keep your wardrobe small and budget-conscious. Paired with pre-maternity pieces, comfy maternity tees, and flowy blouses, jeans work for nearly all casual, everyday circumstances.
Even though I’ve reached 38 weeks and have officially traded my pregnancy jeans in for maternity leggings and sweatpants, nothing has been more reliable than my maternity jeans over the last several months. If fastening your pre-pregnancy jeans with a hair tie is officially no longer an option, here’s what to look for in pregnancy jeans, along with Truly Mama’s recommendations for the best maternity jeans to add to your list.
What to Look for In Maternity Jeans
If this is your first foray into shopping for maternity jeans, there are few helpful pieces of information to keep in mind. When it comes to fit, you can typically shop for items based on your pre-pregnancy size. If there’s an opportunity to try them on first, take it! You want enough stretch and room in the belly for a lot of growth over the next several months.
Outside of choosing from different styles, like skinny, bootcut, and straight-leg, you’ll also need to pick the panel style that is most comfortable for you:
- Full-panel: Full-panel jeans pull all the way up over your belly and are typically well-loved for the extra bump support they offer.
- Under-the-belly: An under-the-belly panel is just a little panel at the waistband that rests under your bump. If you don’t like extra fabric on your bump or tend to get hot with extra layers, you might prefer this option.
- Mid-panel: And for a fit somewhere right in the middle, you can get a mid-size panel, although I don’t recommend this for the last trimester, as it can definitely be uncomfortable.
Best Maternity Jeans
If you’re only searching for one pair, put the MAMA Skinny Jeans at the tippy top of your wish list. These full-panel, maternity jeans are available in multiple washes, including black, dark blue, and light denim blue.
We love that they straddle the line between jegging and jeans, with a little stretch for comfort but enough structure to dress up or down. What makes them the best? They get consistently good reviews from purchasers. At just under $50 a pair, they fit well within most maternity clothing budgets.
Best Skinny: Motherhood Maternity
A good skinny is a great addition to any wardrobe, pregnant or otherwise. They pair well with T-shirts and tennis shoes and even better with a flowy top, flats, or boots. The Motherhood Maternity Super Stretch Skinny Jean is a full-panel, maternity skinny jean with a good fit and a budget-friendly price point.
We love that this pair of jeans has a ton of stretch, which means they’ll fit well as your body changes over the next several months. Buyers have left 931 reviews and gave this wardrobe staple a 4.3-star rating.
Best Straight Leg: Mother Maternity
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Motherhood Maternity is making three appearances on our best-of list. The truth is this brand does maternity clothing well and they do it with tight budgets in mind. If skinny jeans aren’t for you, or you’re simply looking for another style of jeans for everyday wear, we love the casual comfort of these straight-leg jeans.
The Motherhood Maternity Women’s Stretch Straight Leg Jean has 335 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon.
“Ok, I honestly was not expecting much when I ordered these…but wow. These are by far the best maternity jeans I’ve ever owned,” says reviewer Melissa, who reports she was wearing these jeans during her 5th pregnancy. “I’m 5’4 and usually wear a size 8. The medium is a perfect fit!”
The Best Eco-Friendly Jean: Warp & Weft
For those who prioritize shopping in an environmentally-friendly way, clothes shopping only gets more challenging when you’re expecting. Finding sustainably made maternity jeans isn’t easy, but we love what we found from Warp&Weft.
This company works with textile mills that manufacture with the wellbeing of the planet in mind. They’re also size-inclusive, carrying up to a 3XL in the maternity clothing. Not sure where to start on their website? We think the JFK Maternity Skinny would make a great addition to a sustainable, maternity wardrobe. The OAK PLUS Maternity is a super cute option for shoppers looking for a plus-sized option, too.
The Best Bootcut Jean: Levi Strauss
When shopping for maternity jeans, skinny jeans, and jeggings are easy to come by. It can be a little more challenging finding other styles of jeans that really fit well. If you’re on the hunt for bootcut jeans, your search just might be over.
The Levi Strauss & CO Bootcut Maternity Jeans might be the best bootcut out there. They’re a full panel jean that is snug enough to fit all day but has enough stretch to wear right into the third trimester. The tummy band is made with breathable fabric, eliminating some of the discomfort that can come with wearing multiple layers on your bump. Most reviewers have nothing but good to say about the jeans (one even calls them perfect). However, the one downside we’ve seen consistently is that they run small so consider sizing up.
The Best Denim Overall: Motherhood Maternity
It may get mixed reactions, but the overall trend is one we love, especially on a baby bump. And we’re not alone: The Motherhood Maternity Skinny Overalls have a 4.5-star rating with 642 reviews on Amazon.
“I absolutely love these. I practically live in them,” says one reviewer. “Being 5 months pregnant, it’s really hard to find jeans that actually fit. Most of my maternity jeans fall down or feel like they are suffocating my midsection. I’m 5’7″, 170lbs and ordered a medium and have plenty of room to spare. My normal size is a 6 regular.”
The only complaints we found about these overalls were concerned with sizing. A few buyers reported that they didn’t fit true-to-size, but ran small. Others said they don’t work well for those with long torsos. The good news is that Amazon makes returns pretty easy, so you can give these a try and send them back if they don’t work for you.
The Best Under-Belly Panel: Levi Strauss
For expecting parents who prefer a stretchy panel that rests right under the bump, Levi Strauss Women’s Maternity Jeggings can’t be beat. These jeggings have the durability and wearability you expect from Levi Strauss, with the comfort you need while your body is rapidly changing to accommodate your growing baby.
According to the product description, these jeans may work best for early pregnancy to mid-pregnancy. They have plenty of stretch but hold their shape well, so you can trust you won’t be pulling at saggy pants at the end of the day.
The Best Maternity Jegging: Foucome
Leggings are the real superhero of the maternity wardrobe. The Foucome Maternity Jeggings look a little more dressed-up than leggings but have the stretchy comfort that is much needed, especially during late pregnancy.
These under-the-belly jeggings are available in over 20 different washes. With mock front pockets and functional back pockets, they really look like a really, really comfortable pair of jeans. Foucome has a 100% guarantee, so if you find these jeggings aren’t for you, you can easily return them and try a different pair.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start wearing maternity jeans?
Whenever you want! There’s no right or wrong time to start wearing maternity jeans, although if you’re in your first trimester, you may not have a bump right away.
What are the best maternity jeans?
Motherhood Maternity gets our pick, with a variety of styles and options for everybody.
It is bad to wear maternity jeans while pregnant?
There is no evidence that maternity jeans are dangerous in any way to you or your baby. However, if you don’t like the idea of a constricting waistband, you may be more comfy in a pair of pregnancy leggings instead.
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