Since my bump days are nearing their end, I wanted to do a round-up of my favorite pregnancy workout gear. At 37 weeks pregnant, I am still running every few days and take long walks on the days I don’t run. Though I will avoid the deep, deep cold of the winter, my pregnancy has spanned the entire range of seasons. I tried to capture something for all temperature ranges since everyone falls out differently on the timing spectrum. I should clarify all this with the note that I am cleared by my OB to continue working out, so make sure you have that same clearance before you invest in any of the pieces below. Here we go!
This tank from Old Navy has been a lifesaver for much of my pregnancy. By chance, I found one in store around 15 weeks and promptly came home to order two more. (They’re typically online only pieces.) The reason I’ve enjoyed it is because it worked well in warmer temps, but it also wears beautifully under some of my colder weather gear. I purchased it in my “normal” size and it has grown well with the bump.
Truth be told, I was never a fan of the lululemon run: swiftly line before I was pregnant. I am one of those folks who hates wearing tight tops when I’m running or working out. However, I learned quickly in pregnancy to embrace the bump. If there was one time I wouldn’t necessary mind showing my “curves”, it would be these months. I decided to invest in a few of these tech shirts (in various sleeve lengths). The fabric stretches beautifully to cover the whole belly, without getting cold on the bottom of your bump 😉 I purchased them two sizes larger than I would otherwise size myself at lululemon. They have been worth every penny. I realized I would like them just fine after pregnancy since they were a few sizes larger — and not so tight.
(One note: they had a “scoop” neck version with ruched sides at the end of the spring. I wish I had purchased it in every color. I wore it here — and you’ve likely seen it in a few of my other running bump shots on Instagram. I scored one in the store and another on eBay. (I still get the eBay email alerts for them, so you can find one if you really want one!) Though I don’t own one of these tops, they look super similar to the ruched top I mentioned from lululemon — at a much lower price.
When this 1/4 zip top arrived, I was skeptical at first because it had that long and loose maternity front. Once I put it on, I changed my mind. It fit my bump from the end of the second trimester onward — and still fits. This definitely looks like a pregnancy top, but let’s face it: sometimes, it is unavoidable to wear one of those beauties 😉 I ordered my pre-pregnancy size and was fine for the duration of my pregnancy.
This training jacket from Gap is a great piece for those in-between weather days. It grew well with my bump and still fits late in my pregnancy. I wore it a ton this fall on long walks. I’m still wearing it as an added layer. It washes well and doesn’t lose its shape. It follows pre-pregnancy sizing
One other note: your significant other’s t-shirts (typically a size or two larger than yours) also work splendidly 😉
Though I’m a loyal fan of these lululemon shorts when not pregnant, I found that they produced a bit more muffin top in pregnancy than I wanted to sport. I discovered these shorts around 24 weeks and never looked back. I bought them one size up, but I’m confident they’ll still work post-baby because of the stretch factor.
I wish I purchased these capris two sizes larger than I did. They worked well for the two weeks after I bought them, but after a few washes, they shrunk up a bit. I love how they hit below the bump and still come up high enough in the back. If you were to buy them, you wouldn’t be disappointed — just make sure you size them appropriately. (I was trying to make a rush decision in store and didn’t think it through!) These leggings also help to extend the life of your pregnancy workout wardrobe.
Sadly, these maternity tights were not available in store at my local Athleta, so I purchased the non-maternity version in a size up. They are incredibly soft and comfortable — and come in countless lengths and colors.
These pants have been a lifesaver since roughly 32 weeks. They’re a bit of a splurge, but they do not constrict the bump and they do a decent job of containing muffin top. I bought them one size up, though I could have probably gotten away with my “normal” size. I just wanted to be able to make them last my whole pregnancy. You have to pull them on just right so they stay in place, but they truly are the most comfortable.
(One quick note: I’ve mentioned muffin top a few times and I want to clarify — it isn’t an aesthetic thing in pregnancy; it is a comfort thing. Too much tightness at the hips is not comfortable with a growing bump and I did everything I could to try and avoid it.)
Forever and ever amen, I will be a Moving Comfort running bra fanatic. The Maia has been my favorite for over seven years. In pregnancy, I purchased a few bra extenders which helped me avoid buying an entirely new sports bra wardrobe. Though I needed a couple sports bras in a larger size for running, the extenders did the trick for longer walks.
Since it gets dark in New England at a ridiculously early hour in the winter, I have a few reflective pieces which draw some extra attention to me. This should be a common sense thing, but if you’re working out at night, do make sure you’re visible to drivers and bicyclists alike.
I found that my shoes wore out more quickly in pregnancy (weird?). I attributed it to the fact I was carrying around more weight. Regardless, it is worth noting that I purchased new running shoes a few times during pregnancy. I wanted to maintain the proper level of support in my arches and feet.
I have plenty more to say about belly support bands in a future post on second trimester running, but the best thing I can say is this: do what your OB recommends!
Phew. There you have it. I hope this post can help you avoid some of the trial and error process that I encountered. I found it difficult to nail down one brand that knocked it out of the park with pregnancy workout gear, so I had to do some serious research. My only other piece of advice is to stick in a consistent color spectrum when buying your workout gear. I purchased mostly black and gray with a few pops of color. You’ll save yourself the “what to wear” conundrum when trying to get your tail out the door for an early morning walk 😉 What other workout gear would you recommend for pregnant ladies?
P.S. Not into working out but need maternity wardrobe suggestions? I wrote this post mid-pregnancy about building an everyday maternity wardrobe you’ll love.