There are mainly 3 types of maternity waistbands to accommodate your growing belly.
Bottoms with Over-the-Belly Panel:
This is what most women picture in their minds when they think of maternity clothing. The over-the-belly panel is stitched seamlessly onto the edge of the bottom itself and extends over the belly which can be worn folded down (early stage of your pregnancy) or over the belly for warmth and support.
The belly panels are made from super-comfy, stretchy fabrics like bamboo/spandex or Tencel/spandex that feels like second skin and are often breathable, thus keeping you dry in hot and humid climates.
Most of the time, the belly panel is of a different fabric from the rest of the bottom, for example, the bottom can be maternity jeans or a woven cotton skirt. However, there are items like leggings, loungewear and knitted skirts where the belly panel is of the same stretchy fabric as the bottom.
The back rise of the bottom is usually higher than the front rise to give you coverage in the back and for your belly to grow un-obstructively in the front. So the belly panel in the back is shorter than the belly panel in the front.
The over-the-belly paneled bottoms can be worn throughout your pregnancy, but most Moms prefer wearing them when their belly starts to show in the 2nd trimester or during the winter months or post-pregnancy to hold your post-baby tummy in.
Bottoms with Mid-Belly Panel
Like the title says, the belly panel hits the middle of the belly, near the navel.
The mid-belly panel usually appeals to Moms who are in the 1st two trimesters even though it can take you through your 10-month pregnancy journey.
There are no belly panels extending from these bottoms. The bottoms simply sit below your belly. However, there are still details on these below-the-belly bottoms to accommodate your growing body.
There are bottoms with stretchy inserts on the front sides which stretch out with your expanding waist. The side inserts are usually where the side pockets are, thus they blend in with the design.
There are ones with a 3-inch wide elastic band hidden inside the bottom’s waist and expands with your growing body. These wide elastic bands are either built into the entire waist or 3/4 of the waistbands from all around the back waist to the front sides.
Lastly, there are bottoms where there is a thin elastic with buttonholes hidden inside all around the waist which can be tightened or loosened by you and then secured down by a tab/button feature usually on the front sides (on the inside) of the bottom. Otherwise, there are ones where the entire waist is super-stretchy, elasticized with a hidden elastic built into the waist.
Most women in their 1st trimester prefer the below-the-belly waistband as it is a non-shocking transition into maternity clothing. These bottoms also make great postpartum pieces as they look more like your normal non-maternity bottoms. Women with itchy bellies tend to prefer the under-the-belly bottoms so the sensitive skin is not rubbing against anything. Talking about itchy bellies, we recommend that you use one of our favorites, Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter to combat the itchiness. More on pregnancy skincare in another blog.
Some of the above-the-belly and mid-belly bottoms are supplemented with an extra, thin elastic with buttonholes hidden inside the waist all throughout the back to the front sides which can be secured down with a button/tab feature usually on the front sides of the bottom. This added adjustability helps to prevent your bottom from slipping down and gives you a more perfect fit.
Some of the under-the-belly bottoms can be further supplemented with an adjustability drawstring.
Happy Shopping and Enjoy your Pregnancy!
“A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart until the day you die.” – Mary Mason
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