I’ve been very active during my pregnancy and tried a lot of workout clothes – both maternity and non-maternity. Here’s what I love and what didn’t work well for me.
Working out while being pregnant has been a learning curve for me (and I’m sure most other expecting women!). Last spring I ran the Boston Marathon and was truly in the best shape of my life. I was running 50-70 miles a week and felt great. I knew that many women run during pregnancy, and so after speaking with my doctor, I kept running. And I knew it would be different and harder, but I’ve been surprised how the challenges of running changes with each trimester. (More on pregnancy running here!)
My first trimester was riddled with nausea which made the idea of running sound miserable. I also had some sacrum issues, unrelated to pregnancy (all of my doctors agreed it was too early for that at the point I had it!), so I was in a lot of pain when I did try to run. Oh, and I was also coming back from an injury! I spent more time on the Peloton to try to lessen the strain on my sacrum and back and ran only a few times a week. But half way through my second trimester, I started to get back into a rhythm of running, running anywhere from 15-30 miles a week. And this week, I just entered my third trimester and I’m sure that will bring more changes too!
Throughout it all, I’ve gotten a lot recommendations from other women for pregnancy running and maternity activewear. And now that I’ve had two trimesters to try things for myself, I wanted to share my top picks! Everything I’ve loved is actually NOT specific to pregnancy. Some work in my usual size and some I just needed to size up. I did try some pregnancy-specific workout clothes and they were not great.
These are, by FAR, my favorite piece of clothing for pregnancy workouts. I got hooked on the Lululemon Align Leggings a few years ago but was skeptical of the shorts for some reason. But, after realizing how comfortable the leggings are as my belly grew, I purchased the Align Shorts. The Align fabric is very lightweight and the waistband is VERY stretchy without ever feeling like it’s stretched out. I’m now 28 weeks and I wore the Align Shorts for a run this morning — the same pair that I wore early on in my pregnancy. They work so well for a growing baby bump!
I’ve purchased the Align Shorts in the 6″ length and while they also come in a 4″, I prefer the longer version since inner-thigh chafing has become an issue since getting pregnant. (I’ve had some chafing there over the years but not consistently like I do now!) I did size up from my regular Lululemon shorts size but I think my normal size probably would have worked too since I’m still able to wear my Align Leggings in my usual size.
Oiselle is one of my favorite running clothing brands. Their styles are cute, flattering and very high quality. I LOVED the Pocket Jogger Shorts in the first trimester and early in the second trimester. The back pocket is the best for carrying a phone (even better than my Spibelt – more on that below) and the longer length also helps protect from inner thigh chafing.
However, now that I have more of a belly, I need to fold the waistband down under my stomach, since it doesn’t stretch like the Align shorts. It’s not as comfortable and I can’t stuff my phone in the pocket). The fabric is also a lot thicker than the Aligns so I don’t love them for hot, humid summer running. (Read this post for tips on running in the heat.) If you’re early in your pregnancy and/or live in a cooler climate, these are a great option. And if you’re not pregnant, snag them. They’re one of all-time favorite running shorts!
Oiselle Roga Shorts
I’ve liked the Roga shorts for years because they’re really stretchy and have a little more room in the thigh than Lululemon Speed Up Shorts. (However, I have heard the new Speed Up Shorts in the 4″ length are great!) My Rogas have worked around the waist my entire pregnancy (so far!), but I have had to let them ride just a little lower below my belly in the past few weeks. But… I do have chafing with these on runs longer than 3 miles.
Lululemon Align Leggings
Similar to the Align Shorts, these are incredibly comfortable, even when not pregnant. When I’m riding the Peloton, I prefer the Align Leggings or Align Crops for a little more coverage vs. the Align Shorts. It’s a bit uncomfortable if my inner thighs rub against the saddle. Which makes me think… I bet the Align Shorts 8″ or 10″ inseam would be PERFECT since even with AC, it can get toasty with the summer sun coming in!
This Brooks Juno Bra has been the best sports bra I’ve found since I’ve gone up in bra size. Almost immediately after getting pregnant, I went from a B/C cup to a D/E cup!!! For my t-shirt bras, I simply sized up in the cup and band of my usual bras. But finding a good sports bra was much harder!
A fellow blogging friend recommended the Brooks Juno to me as soon as she knew I was pregnant since she said it’s great for high-impact AND it’s the most convenient option for nursing once the baby comes. The straps are velcro and unlatch from the front, making nursing much easier pre or post workout. I also tried the Athleta Advance Bra which I liked at first, but I’ve found after using it for a few weeks that the band under my chest chafes. So, the Brooks Juno is the winner, for sure.
I’ve also heard I hear amazing things about the Lululemon Enlite bra for larger chest sizes. It has a crossover panel in the back that helps with support. If you’re a smaller cup size, I also love the Lululemon Longline bra. I wore that bra for the Boston Marathon the past two years. But neither of those is super nursing-friendly.
Until last week, I hadn’t purchased any maternity workout tops since my regular ones fit well. But, I recently ordered some Senita shorts and tanks based on recommendations from IG followers. Since I loved Senita Rio Shorts (I wore them for the 2019 Boston Marathon), I figured it was worth a shot but I hated EVERYTHING. The shorts were far too thick for the summer and the maternity panel went up and over my CHEST, not just my belly. (To be fair, I am petite at 5’1″.) The tanks’ material also felt too heavy and poorly made. So, I think I’ll just stick my Lululemon and Oiselle options! And bonus since I know they’ll work post-belly since I’ve had them for a few years before I got pregnant!
I’ve been running with this belly band and at first I wasn’t sold, but I’ve had two weeks of running without severe round ligament pain, so I suppose it is helping! (But so is my chiropractor!) Pregnant women swear by all sorts of bands – Ingrid Isabel belly band for regular clothes, workout bands, post-partum bands, all the bands. But I do think this is one worth trying.
While I don’t always run with my phone, after I fell while running in my first trimester, I never run without it. I use the SpiBelt to carry my phone and have for over 8 years. It’s faded but never stretched out like some other belts I used in the past. I love it! If I want to listen to music when I run, I use my Apple Airpods (review here).
The Brooks Launch and New Balance Beacons (review here) have been my go-to running shoes in pregnancy. While I am typically meh on the Brooks (I’ve had them for a while), I’ve LOVED them since getting pregnant. I got the New Balance Beacons in my first trimester and I’ve continued to like them well into my second. My Nike Pegasus have just felt too stiff during pregnancy, even though I usually LOVE them (review here). I think I’m craving more cushion and support, which is why I prefer the Brooks and New Balance these days.
Socks definitely aren’t something I thought I’d have strong feelings about when I got pregnant, but boy do I have favorites. And the Lululemon Speed Tab socks are my FAVORITE. They’re fitted without being too tight and they’re thin without feeling flimsy. I can’t ever stand thick socks during the summer, but I especially can’t during pregnancy! Since my feet are starting to swell just a little and I get hot much more easily, the combination of fitted + thin is perfect.
Not an accessory, but absolutely game-changing. I’ve loved yoga for years, but it’s been at a whole new level now that my body is so much tighter! I’ve only tried the classes that my Peloton App has, but I also have a dear friend who just had her baby and she loved SarahBethYoga on Youtube. And you know my go-to yoga pants are the Lululemon Aligns!
I hope this helps if you’re expecting! And I’m hopeful that what I have now will keep working throughout the final trimester – fingers crossed!