Comfy skivvies can make or break an outfit. But until you’ve experienced the turbulent body changes that come with pregnancy, you probably didn’t realize just how game-changing the best maternity underwear is for expecting mamas. We’re not just talking about breathability or seamless fabrics (though three cheers for both). Certain other comforts become more coveted as things start to shift and expand to accommodate growing life inside. That could mean going up a size or two in your favorite cotton and microfiber styles, embracing over-the-bump silhouettes to better support a growing bump, or seeking out cooling fabrics because fun fact: Pregnant bodies run warm.
“Maternity underwear should be a staple in your wardrobe when you become pregnant,” says Ingrid+Isabel designer Jennifer Kelley. “Your body begins to shift and change even before your bump starts to show.” Of course, there’s also the postpartum factor, where maternity undies will still be your go-tos. So, stocking up on several great pairs is paramount for all the stages of pregnancy.
Kindred Bravely Grow with Me Maternity & Postpartum Brief
The minute you’re pregnant, chances are high that you’ll be served ads for Kindred Bravely’s cult-loved maternity briefs. Spoiler: The super-stretchy design lives up to the hype. The ultra-comfy and featherweight design, made from nontoxic certified OEKO-TEX fabric, grows with you throughout pregnancy and postpartum, offering full coverage that adapts to your changing body. We’re talking no digging or seam irritation, no moisture buildup, just airy, stretchy, feel-good comfiness.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: 80% nylon, 20% spandex; 100% cotton gusset | Colors: Beige, Black, Soft Pink | Size Range: S-XXL | Care: Machine wash cold on gentle cycle; tumble dry low on gentle
Hatch The Everyday Brief
Look no further than Hatch’s everyday brief if you’re searching for under-bump undies with a second-skin feel. They’re cool to the touch yet supportive, featuring a hold-you-in double layer at the front and a single layer at the back (so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a diaper). Plus, they’re designed with a bamboo viscose gusset that wicks away moisture and a hidden elastic waistband for seamless comfort.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: 91% organic Pima cotton, 9% spandex | Colors: Black, Sand, Anise, Blush Leopard, Mocha Leopard, Black Dancing Hearts | Size Range: S-XL | Care: Machine wash cold; tumble dry low
Gap Maternity Organic Cotton Stretch Bikini
Gap makes some of the best undies out there that are ultra-comfy and budget-friendly. The same can be said for the brand’s maternity offerings, like this organic cotton stretch bikini. They’re just like your favorite low-rise, high-cut-leg pre-pregnancy panties but designed to sit comfortably below your belly with just enough coverage in the back. What’s more, they feature plenty of stretch at the waistband and thigh openings for a dig-free fit you can live in 24/7.
Price at time of publish: $13
Material: 92% organic cotton, 8% spandex | Colors: Cafe Au Lait Beige, True Black, Dark Brown, Wispy Pink | Size Range: XS-XL | Care: Machine wash
Best with Lace
Natori Bliss Perfection Brief Underwear
For a comfortable but pretty brief to wear during pregnancy, Kelley points to this lace-adorned design by Natori. Featuring a full-coverage belly panel, they’re designed with a 360-degree stretch jersey to grow with you throughout the trimesters, with a silky smooth feel. They also offer full rear coverage that remains seamless under clothing and plenty of stretch around the thighs for maximum comfort.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: Body: 62% nylon, 38% spandex; lace: 85% nylon, 15% spandex; gusset: 100% cotton | Colors: Black, Cameo Rose | Size Range: S-XL | Care: Hand wash and line dry
Seraphine Over Bump Bamboo Maternity Panties
As explained by Oliver, bamboo is a hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating fabric with antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties, making these undies a comfortable and cooling over-the-bump pick that comes in a two-pack. “Our Over Bump Bamboo Maternity Briefs provide a super comfy underwear choice with the added benefit of a seamless finish,” says Oliver. “You can match with our Bamboo maternity and nursing bras that also come in a pack of two,” she continues. “They have seamless construction, are fully adjustable (essential as your body changes throughout pregnancy), and provide easy nursing access if you choose to nurse once the baby arrives.”
Material: Soft viscose from bamboo | Colors: Black | Size Range: S-XXL | Care: Gentle wash at 86 degrees
Best on Amazon
Suekaphin Cotton Under Bump Brief
If you love a good Amazon find, look no further than these highly rated under-bump maternity briefs with more than 4,500 five-star reviews. The crossover style sits smoothly under your bump for optimal comfort while offering full rear coverage in the back. The non-itchy and breathable cotton and spandex blend is also soft and airy. And coming in an eight-pack, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with lots of color options and patterns to choose from, including versatile neutrals, pretty pastels, and cute polka dots.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: 95% cotton, 5% spandex | Colors: Multipacks include various neutrals, pastels, and polka dot prints | Size Range: S-XXL | Care: Hand wash or machine wash in cold water on gentle; hang dry or tumble dry low
Bumpsuit The Luxe Brief
Over-the-bump undies are one of those very specific pregnancy styles that go the distance. Many support a growing bump, like this pair by Bumpsuit that’s double-lined and gently stretches with every bodily change. But more than comfortable and accommodating through the trimesters, they also provide a styling hack unbeknownst to many mamas-to-be: they offer a thin and flexible barrier between skin and the sometimes-itchy stretch panels found in maternity jeans. So, rather than layer yet another camisole or tank under your go-to maternity tops for a potentially bulky look, these thin and breathable undies provide coverage and irritation relief—we love an undergarment that does the most in a good way.
Material: Body: 80% modal, 12% nylon, 8% spandex; liner: 95% cotton, 5% spandex | Colors: Beige, Black | Size Range: S/M, L/XL | Care: Machine wash and tumble dry on low heat
On Gossamer Cabana Cotton Hi-Cut Brief Underwear
While not technically a maternity style, for those who like a high-cut brief, these cotton undies are incredibly comfy throughout the trimesters. They’re made from Peruvian Pima cotton, feeling lightweight and breathable with everything from oversize T-shirts and pajamas to athleisure and flowy dresses. The delicate crochet trim lends extra style points, which in and of itself is worth it when pregnancy woes get the better of you. Going up a size or two from your usual makes all the difference for maximum comfort.
Price at time of publish: $22
Material: 94% Pima cotton, 6% spandex | Colors: Black, White, Champagne | Size Range: S-L | Care: Hand wash cold and line dry
Best for Post-Birth Recovery
Mother Mother Postpartum Underwear, 5-Pack
Postpartum underwear is just as important as the comfortable styles you wear while carrying your baby. Kelley suggests Mother Mother’s disposable five-pack of undies made from a flexible mesh material for the recovery period right after birth. “They’re clothlike, breathable, and hold a pad securely in place,” she says—a crucial feature whether you opt for ice packs, liners, or both. They’re designed for short-term use but feel like regular underwear and can be washed many times before discarding—when properly cared for, you’ll get at least 10 wears out of each pair.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Polyester and spandex | Colors: Black | Size Range: One size | Care: Disposable, but to extend use, hand wash or put in a wash bag and use cool-warm water with your washing machine set to delicate; air dry or tumble dry low
Ingrid+Isabel Cooling Postpartum Compression Underwear
Maternity underwear for the fourth trimester—aka postpartum—is a major must-have for mamas. Kelley recommends this compression style for the extra support your belly needs as it recovers without feeling binding or inflexible. “These are amazing for postpartum,” she tells Byrdie. “Made with our cooling seamless fabric that pulls excess moisture from your body, the compression panel at the tummy holds you in but still feels gentle enough to wear all day.” So how exactly do these keep you cool? The technical OEKO-TEX certified fabric is infused with minerals for a natural cooling effect and created with strict standards to ensure every thread is harmless to you and your babe.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: 67% nylon, 22% nylon, 11% spandex | Colors: Black | Size Range: S-XL | Care: Machine wash cold with like colors and line dry
Meet the Expert
- Jennifer Kelley is the director of design at Ingrid+Isabel, focusing on intimates and bringing innovation and versatility into maternity and postpartum essentials.
- Chelsey Oliver is a mother of three and the creative and brand director at Seraphine, with over 15 years of experience designing maternity and nursing clothes. She heads up an in-house team of design experts, many of whom are mothers themselves.
What to Look for in Maternity Underwear
Like regular undies, maternity options range from briefs, boy shorts, and bikinis to high-waisted silhouettes and thongs. According to Kelley, cut and style is all about personal preference, but the fit is where things get more specific. “[Maternity underwear] should all be fit and constructed for a pregnant and changing body,” she says. “A dipped waistband, super soft fabric, and good stretch and recovery are all key in finding the right pair.”
The waistband and leg openings are other details to focus on, especially when your bump grows significantly, to avoid irritation. “You want to make sure that the waistband is fit to dip under your bump slightly or up and over a full belly, and the leg opening is designed to have plenty of stretch and recovery, so it won’t cut into you,” Kelley advises.
Under or over
As Oliver points out, there’s also the choice of whether you prefer under- or over-bump underwear during pregnancy and postpartum. “The under-bump briefs [offer a] stylish crossover front fit with ease and grows with your bump; the supportive over-the-bump is preferred by many but can be a little more restrictive and add another layer to your outfit,” she explains. “All are great options and it tends to come down to the specific needs of each mum.”
There are other key features to look for when buying underwear, like soft and stretchy fabric. “Soft fabric is important so that you don’t experience chafing or irritation,” Kelley tells Byrdie, recommending naturally breathable fibers like cotton, modal, and bamboo. As for stretch, she says it’s key so that underwear is not restricting or cutting into your body throughout the day and night. “The I+I Mama Boy Short is a great example of an amazingly soft and comfortable modal spandex jersey that you barely feel while wearing,” she says.
Breathable and cooling fabrics are also helpful features in maternity underwear. “You might run a few degrees warmer during pregnancy and tend to sweat more,” Kelley explains. Fabrics designed to pull heat and moisture away from your body will often feel best for these moments. Oliver notes how bamboo is hypoallergenic and temperature regulating, helping to erase moisture and even offering antibacterial properties. Plus, Kelley says nylon and polyester are inherently breathable and moisture-wicking options to consider.
What is maternity underwear, and is it necessary?
“Maternity underwear is designed to grow with your body and add coverage and support where you need and want it,” says Kelley. Styles range from briefs and French cuts to thongs, boy shorts, and over-the-bump silhouettes to serve as a base for any outfit in your pregnancy wardrobe. “Having the basics, like good underwear and bras, in your wardrobe is so important and will be the building blocks that keep you comfortable and supported throughout your pregnancy,” she adds.
How do you know what size maternity underwear to buy?
When shopping for underwear from maternity-specific brands, Kelley suggests sticking to your regular size. “The fit of the underwear will accommodate for the shifts in your body without making it necessary to size up,” she says. If you choose to stock up on favorites from regular brands, going up by a size or two will often feel the most comfortable.
How many pairs of maternity underwear do you need?
Kelley says the ideal maternity underwear collection should consist of around seven to ten styles that are super comfortable and keep you covered for all the different outfits you will wear and activities you love to do. “You could have something super comfortable with good coverage that will not shift around during sleep, like a great boy short," she says. “A thong or something seamless with no visible panty lines is also a good option. A bikini brief is a go-to for comfort, good coverage, and great mobility, especially during exercise where you are moving or stretching a lot.”
Oliver recommends buying at least three pairs of maternity briefs in super-soft fabric. “We offer options that are seamless and other styles have no VPL (visible panty line) to help expectant mums build a collection that works under all outfits,” she says. “Many expectant mums also want underwear that still feels special to give them a little confidence boost, which is why we offer a great selection of lacy maternity underwear pieces, perfect to have alongside the everyday underwear in your collection for special occasions.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a seasoned editor and commerce writer expecting her first child this year. As a Byrdie contributor, she’s constantly on the hunt for and trials products that are not only stylish but make life easier, including pregnancy-related essentials. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Marie Claire, Glamour, Town & Country, InStyle, Esquire, Women’s Health, WWD, Footwear News, Brides, and more. She holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and a minor in art history from the University of Arizona.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough maternity underwear from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.