Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to women’s bodies, and these changes are much more than a growing belly. Feet, ankles and hands can swell, breasts become larger and heavier as the body prepares for lactation, and, of course, there is weight gain.
All of these changes make it difficult to remain comfortable while pregnant. There are a number of products designed to make pregnancy more manageable and restful. Yet, one of the primary ways pregnant women can stay comfortable is with the right clothing.
Reasons to Consider Maternity Underwear
The physical changes during pregnancy cause some necessary adjustments concerning clothing. Unforgiving clothes, such as jeans, are quickly outgrown and replaced with larger sizes or pregnancy pants. Most women turn to soft fabrics and loose clothing that will stay comfortable, even late in pregnancy. Maternity bras are a booming business; yet, many women overlook the option of maternity underwear for pregnant woman.
While many styles of women’s underwear will sit below the belly, the cut and shape of regular underwear are not ideal for pregnant bodies. Often, the trouble is not with finding underwear that fits under or over your belly but is also comfortable on your waist and backside. Maternity underwear is specially designed for meeting the pregnant form. Thus, it is less likely to cause wedgies, pressure along seams, cause cheeky discomfort and cut into your thighs or hips.
Styles of Maternity Underwear
Similar to regular underwear, maternity underwear is available in a number of shapes and styles. The most noticeable difference in these styles is whether the underwear sits over or under an expanding belly.
Maternity briefs were the original style of maternity underwear. These panties are designed to provide full coverage across the back and fit over a pregnant belly. Many expectant mums refer to this style as granny panties because of the fit and amount of fabric, but it is an extremely comfortable style for pregnant women. In this instance, it could be smart to forgo trends to gain comfort.
Many women do not like the physical appearance that comes with maternity briefs, and to provide these women with healthy alternatives many companies expanded their range of maternity underwear. One alternative is boxer panties. This is a compromise between coverage and style, and many women choose boxer panties for this reason. This shape provides full coverage in the booty while sitting comfortably on the hips, below the belly. As well, boxer panties are often made of incredibly soft and forgiving fabrics, such as cotton and nylon.
Finally, the latest trend in maternity underwear is the thong. For women who are unaccustomed to wearing a thong, this might seem like an outrageous concept in maternity underwear, as there are little coverage and fabric. However, eliminating the back of maternity underwear also eliminates the problem of wrinkles, sagging, rolling, and unattractive panty lines.
Designers make thong style maternity underwear that can fit over or under the belly, providing women with a choice of what shape they prefer.
Medical Motivation for Maternity Underwear
People wear underwear first and foremost for hygienic reasons. Underwear protects sensitive areas of the body from dirt and debris, and underwear is often kept cleaner than other articles of clothing. As well, it can act as a barrier between rough clothing and sensitive skin, which eliminates infections from rubbing or chafing. All of these reasons apply to pregnant women.
Therefore, it is important that expectant mothers continue to wear underwear, even during the last trimester. As normal styles and cuts of underwear can become uncomfortable, the hygienic and reasonable alternative to going commando is investing in a few pairs of maternity underwear.
As well, there are some dangers to wearing clothing that is restrictive or overly tight, which regular underwear can become later in pregnancy. The wrong clothing can restrict circulation, which is essential for preventing extremities from swelling and moving nutrients throughout the body.
Also, pregnant women suffer from more frequent vaginal yeast infections. During pregnancy, the body produces more vaginal secretions. When this issue is combined with tight, uncomfortable underwear, it is an ideal environment for yeast to grow. The result is a painful yeast infection. Prevent this appropriately sized, maternity underwear is recommended.
Where to Shop for Maternity Underwear
Women often do not know where to buy maternity underwear. Unlike maternity bras that are commonly fitted and sold by specialty stores and brands, maternity underwear is available from a number of retailers, such as The Gap and Bonds Australia. Department stores and specialty maternity shops will also carry different brands and styles, and often these stores will provide more information on finding the right maternity underwear for each stage of pregnancy.