There used to be a debate over whether working out and staying active was good during pregnancy. Thankfully, researched has confirmed that continuing to exercise is a healthy and smart choice during most pregnancies. It’s important to talk to your doctor to ensure working out is safe for you and in most pregnancies, it is very beneficial for the mother and the baby’s health. While there are some moves and exercises you’ll want to avoid during pregnancy, there are plenty of pregnancy safe ways to move your body.
Working out during pregnancy is not about weight loss or getting toned. It’s about staying active to reduce common pregnancy pains and discomforts (like back pain, constipation, swelling). It can also energize you, improve your mood, improve your posture, help you stay balanced, and may even lead to better sleep. In addition to all of that, the act of childbirth is a marathon in itself, so keeping your body strong and active is important as you work up to this big event.
As a personal trainer with a specialization in pre and postnatal fitness, I love working with pregnant women to discover ways to stay active and feel good through the 40 weeks of pregnancy. And part of feeling good is finding the right maternity gear so you actually want to work out. You don’t need to go overboard with a new workout wardrobe, but I do think it’s worth buying a handful of maternity workout clothes you enjoy wearing. As someone who is currently 39 weeks pregnant with my second baby, I can tell you that all of my maternity athleisure wear has gotten a lot of use (pretty sure I’ve worn jeans three times during this pregnancy).
During these two pregnancies I’ve tried my fair share of maternity workout gear and I’m going to share the items I’ve used and loved. I’ve worn these items for both pregnancies and they’ve held up well, have kept me comfortable and active, and are pieces I recommend.
Brands & Products I’ve Tried and Loved
I didn't think a nursing sports bra was necessary and then found the opposite to be true. This bra fits well during pregnancy then is great for mommy & me yoga classes or when you're out for a jog and need to run home quickly to breastfeed.
7 colors available
These biker shorts would be a must for me if I was having a summer pregnancy.
4 colors available
I wore these leggings during pregnancy and the fourth trimester and they fit extremely well for both.
2 colors available
While not actually maternity, the Align leggings are magical and somehow fit a pregnant and non-pregnant belly equally as well.
18 colors and patterns available
While I haven't tried the biker short versions of the Align pants, if I was still going to be pregnant this summer, they'd be in my cart.
Though I don't owe a pair of these $25 Lululemon dupes (yet), they are favorite among many of our editors favorite. Plus they have pockets!
Another item that is not maternity, but has enough material that it can fit a growing belly.
6 colors available
If you're experiencing round ligament pain or simply are uncomfortable from the added weight of a heavy belly, this band can lend support.
6 colors available
Gap is a good go-to for reasonably priced maternity gear (which is often 40 percent off).
6 colors and patterns available.
New Athleisure Brands to the Maternity Scene
I’m happy to report that both Nike and Adidas recently launched maternity lines. While I can’t believe it’s taken this long, I’m glad they are jumping into maternity fitness and offering women more options. I haven’t tried these specific products yet but I’ve found both brands to have good quality workout gear and hope that their maternity lines live up to this same standard. If I wasn’t at the end of my pregnancy, I’d be adding a few of these styles to my cart.
This tank boasts a super soft fabric with a longer cut for full bump coverage as well as a scoop neckline with 4-way stretch pull down for nursing or pumping access.
6 colors available
Great for pregnancy and beyond, this bra is designed with layers to make feeding or pumping a bit easier, with a special moisture-managing fabric for nursing.
Plus it includes a slider on the band to choose your fit with room to grow.
3 colors available