The Air Force has rolled out new maternity uniforms for expecting airmen, according to the Air Force.
The creation of the new option, designed and developed by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Force Uniform Office, was prompted by airmen saying the old version was “restrictive and uncomfortable,” according to an Air Force news release.
This forced airmen to cut the elastic on the waistband of the slacks to relieve pressure and use safety pins to keep it in place.
“I had a couple of women tell me that they took traditional non-maternity [Airman Battle Uniform] slacks, got a belly band from a store, went to a seamstress and had them cut and sewn for custom maternity slacks,” Capt. Taylor Harrison, the program manager for the Uniform Office, said in the release.
The Air Force plans to roll out an updated blue uniform shirt and a new and improved maternity Airman Battle Uniform in the coming months, officials said.
The new maternity uniform has an improved stretch panel that offers more flexibility in the slacks as the pregnancy progresses, the release said. The slacks also have standard lower-leg pockets and hip pockets, instead of the smaller pockets on the previous version. This helps maternity ABUs match non-maternity ABUs.
The new ABU coats have flaps on the chest, a pencil pocket, adjustable side tabs and more room in the front, the release said.