Here is the Everyday Maternity guide to help pregnant ladies choose the perfect pair of jeans. There is lots of choice out there now which is great news, so first things first the most important choice you have to make is your waistband style. The main choices are:
Under Bump Maternity Jeans
Popular with first time pregnant women are the under-bump style. These sit low on your waist and naturally curve under your bump. Many women prefer under the bump as their tummies are sensitive, and they don't like anything on it. The downside of under the bump is that you will need to invest in maternity tops, as your normal t-shirts and tops are not going to cover your expanding tum. They are also more likely to fall down, as you only have the internal adjusters to hold them in.
These are great for first and second trimester (and the post-baby "fourth trimester" too) - gravity may win the battle during your last few months.
If you choose below you can always invest in a separate bump band to cover up any exposed skin.
With below the bump jeans and trousers look for how they expand with your bump. The important thing here is that they do expand, but you can still keep them reasonably tight, otherwise you will spend your days hiking your jeans back up! The majority have elasticated sides, internal button adjusters or elasticated waistbands with a tie-adjuster. All our jeans have one of these options; check out the product information for exact details.
We recommend - Bellybutton Under Bump Jeans
Over the Bump Jeans
This style sits high on your waist with a soft and supportive full jersey panel.
Many women feel these jeans offer two key advantages, the support of the jersey panel and the comfort of what is essentially a soft elastic waistband.
They may not look sexy but you can hardly see them once they are on, and they do offer the assurance that if you stretch up you don't expose too much flesh and they are so very comfy. With this style check when trying them on that the seam where the belly panel meets the denim doesn't dig or cause discomfort. We recommend you allow yourself a little growth room.
We recommend - Noppies Over Bump Jeans
Mid Bump Maternity Jeans
The on-the-bump style sits on the lower part of your bump, the waist is cut from a soft elastic material. These are really a first and second trimester jean. Only the tiniest of bumps will suit these towards the end of pregnancy. The advantage of these jeans is that early on you will hardly tell you have maternity jeans - with no large panel showing under your clothes.
We recommend - Bellybutton Mid Bump Jeans
Before you take the plunge with your maternity jeans you could always try a waistband expander from Carriwell. This neat little item allows you to expand your current jeans with a simple panel, and gives you a few extra weeks of use out of your trousers and skirts before you take the plunge with maternity wear.
You shouldn't need to go up a size - maternity jeans are specifically cut to accommodate your bump. The only exception here is if you are expecting twins or have gained significant weight. Then you will need to size up 1 or 2 dress sizes.
Quality is key when buying maternity jeans. Elastane, lycra, spandex - call it what you will - is an important factor in maternity jeans. The material needs an element of stretch, as it is not only your tum that gets a little bigger. So look for some denim with an element of stretch, but not too much as you may get sagging around the bottom and knees. In our opinion, 2% is the perfect amount - and the majority of our jeans conform to this guidance.
Everyone's bump is different so there are no hard and fast rules as to what suits best, but we have spent time and energy looking at many brands and hope we have brought you some of the best.
Tip! Don't forget the 'Builders Bump Test' - if you flash your cheeks when sitting down, opt for a different pair. Also if the 'over-the-bump' seam feels tight or digs into your bump, go up a size.
You may find that you develop a big bump, in which case you may need to go up a dress size in the final stages, don't despair, just go with it.