An Interview with Mom: The Best Maternity Workout Clothes
Just because you’re expecting, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue with a workout routine – just be sure to run it all by your prenatal team first. As your pregnant body changes and your belly expands, you may want to invest in some comfy (but still cute) workout gear that feels great against your skin – and inspires you to get motivated.
Enjoy these interviews that I held with four moms who all worked out during their recent pregnancies. They’re full of great brand recommendations and top tips!
Interview 1: Fabric is Everything
The fabrics are really important to mom-of-five Nicole Murphy, founder of yFOY. I learnt from her that you should always read the labels when shopping for maternity workout gear. Here’s what she has to say:
“I’ve had my share of workout clothing that did not feel right, for example, standard polyester. If you don’t thoroughly wash it right away, it can soon develop a distinctive smell that will get stronger and stronger.
We have a bacteria in our sweat…which causes an odor. Plus, I don’t like how polyester fits my body. It makes me look like I have no butt and I’m constantly pulling up my pants!
Regular Spandex has great flexibility, durability, and ability to keep away moisture, which makes it a great choice for me. Poly-Dri is designed to keep you cool while working out. It does keep away moisture from the body, which allows the moisture to evaporate more easily. It feels good on the body.
I feel the best workout clothes for pregnant women are leggings, yoga pants and a maternity workout bra. You can add an over shirt or have your belly out, whatever makes you comfortable.
The last two pregnancies that I had, I wore my stomach out all the time. I decided to embrace my pregnancies, so I was always showing my little belly as I was comfortable with it. Some women may not be comfortable with that, and that’s also okay!”
Interview 2: It's All About Comfort
Publicist and mom of four Jaime Maser Berman of Westfield, New Jersey, agrees with Murphy. She says:
“It’s Spandex for the win – but even more so when pregnant. I did need to up the support in my sports bras as my boobs grew bigger towards the end of pregnancy.”
Jaime says that apart from going up a size in her beloved GapFit racerback tank tops, she wore all of her usual workout clothes and simply adjusted the waistband accordingly as her belly grew.
She points out that since she’s petite to begin with, and tends to grow mostly in the belly when pregnant, she was fortunate enough to make her existing workout gear work thanks to the fact that it was stretchy.
“I personally didn't feel maternity workout clothes were necessary for my first three pregnancies,'' she explains. “For my fourth pregnancy, I bought maternity workout pants from Target that had a band for over the belly. Did I notice a big difference? Not really. Pregnant or not, I personally dig Athleta for affordable, functional, well-made gear. Plus, there's enough give so I could wear them from the first trimester through to the third trimester.”
Her doctor said working out when pregnant was OK - however, there was a catch.
“Because I was older for each of my pregnancies (and subsequently automatically considered higher risk) and had some high blood pressure readings, they would ask me to scale back accordingly when and if needed. However, my OBs encouraged me to
work out so long as I felt good but to know my limitations, so no crazy ab work.”
Interview 3: Body Fitting and Fabulous
Celebrity stylist and mommy-to-be Pilar Scratch is a big fan of Beyond Yoga workout attire, calling the label “the most comfortable workout clothes; their pants are my go-to’s in my first trimester.” She goes on to say that “when I work out in these I don’t feel bloated because they are body-fitting. Their Spacedye Love the Bump capri maternity leggings in purple are my favorite!” She also likes their Spacedye Bases Covered Maternity Tank.
Her last recommendation is for workout bras. “I love the Skin-to-Skin bra from Hatch Collection. They’re super cozy and push your breasts upward, giving you a natural push-up.”
Interview 4: Be Wary of Cotton
“Everyone's pregnancy is different, and you may discover some completely new and surprising likes and dislikes,” says content creator, blogger, and producer Stuart Brazell. “Personally, I could not wear anything that had texture to it – bye-bye denim! When working out, I suggest maternity pants and tops with compression to help support your lower back and the new extra weight of the baby. Definitely lean towards breathable, stretchy and moisture-wicking materials.”
This mommy-of-two’s fashion advice is to pick your maternity pants carefully. “Sometimes the super soft cotton pants do not have any support. Choose maternity pants that flatter your bump, are stretchy, have breathability and make you feel supported. You will most likely be wearing these for at least the few weeks after pregnancy too, so it is a smart investment!”
According to Brazell, “exercising during your pregnancy is essential for your health and in my opinion, your birth experience and recovery. I know it is tempting to try to get through pregnancy without buying maternity clothes, but maternity workout clothes are worth it.”
Her recommended brands are: Over the Bump, Fabletics, Terez, and Beyond Yoga, which she says “all make some incredible options with fun colors and prints. Bump-friendly tanks also provide compression and lift at the bump that is flattering and comfortable. I'm not going to sugar coat, that third trimester is no joke. You need all the help you can get!”