When selecting maternity tights, the cut, comfort and color should determine your choice. Choose tights that are designed for a woman at your stage of pregnancy, fit comfortably on or below your abdomen and flatter your new body shape. Even if it is still early on in your pregnancy and you still fit into your regular clothing, consider switching to maternity tights.
Maternity tights are different from regular tights or pantyhose because they feature a looser elastic or adjustable waistband. Some brands place the waistline below the stomach, a style that is ideal for women in their second or third trimester who might have difficulty dressing. Most maternity tights, however, fit loosely around your natural waist, between your bust and navel. This variety usually includes a pouch at the front, called a gusset, that supports and covers your abdomen.
Unlike regular tights, maternity tights do not have support or control tops. When worn during pregnancy, these constrictive waist designs can be uncomfortable for you. They are unlikely to cause actual harm to your baby, though.
Maternity support hose should be anything but too tight. Although elastic might temporarily relieve pain in swollen legs and feet, this is not a long-term solution, and it can be harmful if done for prolonged periods of time. Tights that are constrictive can compress veins and connective tissue in your waist and legs. This compression can limit your movement and cause damage to your skin and veins. Varicose veins, a condition that leads to visibly swollen veins in the legs, can be worsened by wearing unyielding tights and leggings.
Do not select tights that are too loose, however. Excess fabric rubbing against your skin can cause ingrown hairs and friction burns. Test the fit of your tights by stretching, bending and sitting in the fitting room. If you notice that your range of motion is limited, go up a half-size and try again.
Avoid bright colors that can draw attention to your legs, such as white, yellow or light pink. Dark colors, such as black, brown and navy blue, are slimming, no matter whether you are pregnant. Selecting a dark tone will draw attention away from the legs and minimize the appearance of fat and veins. A bright, patterned top will help draw attention above your waistline, highlighting your face and fuller bust.