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Hey, Mama: How To Find the Best Maternity Scrub Pants

maternity scrub pants: nurse smiling while writing

When looking for scrub pants to accommodate a growing baby bump, you may assume all maternity scrub pants are the same. If they have a knit panel for your belly then you’re set, right?

Well, not exactly. There are a few other key elements to look for when shopping for maternity scrub pants to ensure you stay comfortable while working those long hospital shifts. Picking scrubs made from high-quality materials, the right pant leg style for you, and pocket placement are among the most important details to consider. With that in mind, this guide will help you find the best maternity scrub pants.

When It’s Time to Get Maternity Scrub Pants 

No two bodies or pregnancies are alike. But according to The Bump, women tend to feel the need to change their wardrobe at around 20 weeks. As such, you may need to invest in maternity clothes if you find yourself:

  • Unbuttoning the top button of your pants 
  • Feeling bloated all the time
  • Wanting to live in spandex
  • Your belly accidentally peeks out from under your shirt
  • Not being able to button down your shirts all the way

If any of these things sound like you – and you work in healthcare – it’s time to invest in maternity scrubs, particularly scrub pants. 

Choosing high-quality materials ensures your scrub pants will last wash after wash as well as bend and flex to accommodate your changing body. Picking the type of pants is a matter of personal style, but it’s also a matter of safety and function – after all, you don’t want to choose long, wide-leg pants that you can easily trip over. 

You also want to look for pockets when shopping for maternity scrub pants as you’ll be needing easy access to both work and personal items.

Choose Multifunctioning Materials

The obvious choice when shopping for anything maternity is buying items made from stretchy fabrics. Spandex can stretch to great lengths but it also bounces back to its original shape. Not so much with cotton. You may have already found this out by wearing your favorite cotton T-shirt around the house, only to realize your baby bump permanently stretched and reshaped it.

Scrubs made with a polyester blend are an excellent choice for a few reasons. They’re extremely durable, so no matter how many times you wear or wash them, you can be confident your polyester scrubs will last. Polyester is also wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking. No more ironing scrub pants or worrying about overheating during those pregnancy hot flashes that always seem to come during morning med pass time.

Speaking of keeping you cool, rayon is a nice fabric to keep scrubs breathable and more lightweight. Keswi scrubs are made with these three key materials, offering four-way stretch that’s durable, breathable, and easy to care for. When shopping online for maternity scrub pants, make sure to look at the fabric label so you know what you’re getting. 

Opt for a Waistline That Grows With You

Most maternity scrub pants have a knitted stretch panel for your baby bump. The benefits of the panel are two-fold – it will stretch and grow with you throughout your pregnancy and allows for secure coverage if your top accidentally rises above your belly. 

You have a few styles to choose from when it comes to maternity scrub pant panels. Some offer full coverage with the panel entirely covering your bump, like these Cherokee WorkWear high-waist maternity pants. Others, like the Cherokee Flexibles line, have a panel that sits around hip height, rather than covering your entire midsection. Some pants offer a different color for the panel itself, like these Uniform Advantage scrub pants, which create a cute layering illusion to your scrub set. 

A lot of mamas don’t want to buy maternity pants that will only be used for a few months. It can be a big expense for a short-term solution. Instead, look for scrub pants with adjustable waists. This can be done with finding a pair with a drawstring waist you can adjust as you move along in your pregnancy. 

Keswi women’s scrub pants are a no-brainer for moms-to-be. Not only do they have a drawstring for customized comfort, but the back is also elasticated. This allows for extra wiggle room as your baby bump grows. Both the joggers and straight-leg multi-pocket pants have drawstrings that sit below the waist (or under your bump) and elastic in the back to keep you comfy no matter what trimester you’re in. (Another bonus: Keswi scrubs come in sizes XS-3X as well as petite and tall lengths.)

Having options helps you feel like you don’t have to force yourself in any one maternity style. If you’re shopping online and aren’t sure which waist height is best for you, think of the other clothes you’re wearing right now. 

Are your comfy yoga pants sitting at your waist or do you love your high-waisted pair that virtually sits below your bra line? Using your style and comfort preferences can guide your workwear decisions so you can make the right choice every time. 

Don’t Ignore the Cut of Your Scrub Pants

The easiest way to pick the cut of your maternity scrub pants is to look at what’s already in your closet. Do you prefer a straight leg or boot cut? Or maybe you’re into the tapered look of jogger scrub pants? The good news is you can usually find a maternity scrub pant that has the pant leg style you like. Be sure to look for scrubs that come in regular, petite, or tall lengths to get your perfect size. 

There’s something else to keep in mind – the pant leg around the ankle. As your belly grows, you’ll start to see less and less below your belly, which includes your ankles and feet. If you’re concerned about tripping over the fabric of a flare leg, consider a straight or even tapered leg. 

Choosing a more fitted pant leg will ensure there’s minimal fabric to get tangled up around your feet. These royal blue straight-leg scrubs could be a great compromise if you typically wear boot cut and don’t want to commit to tapered or jogger scrub pants. 

While we’re on the topic of pant legs, your footwear preferences may change as your belly grows. Your feet may swell or simply change pressure points. If your back aches or feet hurt, switching your Skechers athletic shoes for a pair of Dansko clogs (or vice versa) can make a difference. 

Pockets are the MVP of Maternity Scrub Pants

maternity scrub pants: close up of Keswi scrub pants

As you may already know, when you’re pregnant, you want to be on the go as little as possible. But as a nurse, you know this is nearly impossible. What you can do is find a pair of scrub pants with the perfect amount of pockets. 

Having enough storage space on your clothing will reduce trips to the supply closet during busy times throughout your shift. It will also keep you from running in and out of patient rooms when they ask for an extra straw or to be unhooked from their IV line to go the bathroom and you need an alcohol swab or end cap ASAP.

These Grey's Anatomy maternity cargo pants have one large pocket. This roomy pocket is great for your Littmann stethoscope or extra gloves, but it’s not so great if you want more organization from your pockets. If you prefer to have more pockets on your scrub top than pants, single-pocket pants could work. Just remember you’ll only have one large pocket to stash your essentials. 

Healing Hands has six-pocket cargo pants if more pockets make you happy. There’s a front slash as well as back pockets and two large cargo pockets on the side. These pants are ideal if you’re rockin’ hospital T-shirts during your pregnancy rather than purchasing dedicated maternity scrub tops. 

If you aren’t set on maternity scrub pants with a stretch panel, Keswi’s cargo scrub pants have nine (yes, nine!) pockets. Keswi scrub pants have a drawstring with an elastic waist for a secure, comfortable, and adjustable fit. Carhartt is another option with seven-pocket cargo pants featuring a drawstring. 

A Word About Size and Color

Finding the right size will make sure your scrub pants fit properly and stay put. As it turns out, most women can safely pick their pre-pregnancy size. For example, women’s size medium is probably maternity size medium, but you still want to always look at the measurements for the pants before purchasing. Most women’s maternity scrub pants come in a variety of sizing from XS-3X. 

If you’re allowed to choose your medical uniform colors, pick a versatile color since you’ll probably only purchase a couple of pairs of pants to last throughout your pregnancy. You want something that can match with either a print scrub or solid scrub top. Whether you pick pewter, ceil blue, teal, or wine – make sure you find a maternity scrub set to match your personal style (and hospital regs). 

Pair With A Stylish Maternity Scrub Top

Maternity scrub pants are the base of your medical uniform. Thankfully, you likely have plenty of maternity scrub tops to pair with them. You can choose an empire waist or mock wrap scrub top to highlight your bump. Adjustable features are great so you can be confident your scrub top will fit throughout your pregnancy.

Med Couture has a nice V-neck top with adjustable bungees to cinch the waist for a perfect fit. This maternity mock wrap top has stretchy side panels and a side tie drawstring to customize your fit. 

If you still get chilly working the night shift, look for lab coats and jackets with a little stretch. WonderWink and Dickies both have snap-front scrub jackets with tons of stretch. The snaps are helpful to provide closure when you can’t zip up your favorite jacket anymore thanks to your growing bump. And a belted lab coat can be useful for similar reasons but also adds more coverage with its thigh length. 

If you don’t think you need an “official” maternity scrub top (or prefer to not wear one), Keswi has three chic styles that can help streamline or highlight your bump. The Mira faux-wrap scrub top can create a cute frame for your belly while the Malibu V-neck top has tons of pockets and a roomy neckline that won’t constrict you during your shift. Even if you don’t (or can’t) tuck it in, the clean, flattering silhouette will create a polished look. 

Find Maternity Scrub Pants You’ll Happily Wear All Pregnancy Long

Shopping for maternity clothes can feel like a big task, especially when it comes to your work uniform. You not only want to find something that looks stylish but also is functional for your long workdays. 

Choosing maternity scrub pants made from quality materials will ensure they last through your pregnancy (and any others to come) and keep you cool under pressure. Finding the ideal waist style will keep you comfortable while the right amount of pockets and preferred pant leg style can make a world of difference as you work through each trimester. 

With these tips and details in mind, you should be well-equipped to pick your next favorite pair of maternity scrub pants for the next nine months.

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