I recently got to the point in my pregnancy where regular pants are just not an option anymore. The belly has gotten too big to button anything and my original rubber band trick now just leaves my barn door wide open for the world to see. And so I have bought my first pair of maternity jeans.

Maternity jeans just might be the strangest form of pants ever. Most have the gigantic stretchy panels of spandex to go up and over your growing belly and on the ones I purchased there are no belt loops, no front pockets and the zipper isn't real.

Now clearly there are lots of different maternity jean choices, different fits, colors, styles, etc...but do you even need maternity jeans?

Several sites have ways to make your own. Some places offer pant extenders, so you can wear your favorite jeans longer. And of course there's always the leggings and dress route, so these awkward pants can be eliminated altogether.

So with plenty of maternity clothes options these days, do you even have to go the maternity jeans route?

I have to say for how awkward they seem and how different from regular jeans, the maternity jeans are crazy comfortable. The spandex panel also makes a nice extra layer around my growing belly while it's so freezing cold outside. But finding the right pair for the right price can be tricky...so do you bother with maternity jeans?

If no, what type of pants do you prefer during pregnancy?