Whilst pregnant with my third baby Darcy, I decided to join the gym at 8 months pregnant, in a moment of pregnancy craziness. It was mostly for the amazing spa that is located in the gym, but I did suddenly have the urge to feel fitter and generally do a bit of exercise. This was essentially rather amusing for anyone that knows me, and this exercise involved me sitting on an exercise bike for ten minutes and then having a massage – but that’s better than nothing! Having decided to dedicate my last months of pregnancy to this good cause, I began to look for workout clothes that fitted, supported and suited the larger me. If this maternity activewear could also work post pregnancy then even better. In my quest to find maternity activewear, I am pleased to say that I have found some fantastic brands that have designed brilliant bits with maternity in mind. All that lycra has finally found its calling!
There is a new maternity activewear brand on the block and they are called Leo & I. Created for women who don’t want to let pregnancy get in the way of fashionable activewear, the clothes are super supportive and are cut from soft, moisture-wicking technical performance fabrics that sculpt the body and inspire movement, breathability and performance. They are made from a hygienic and breathable fabric which is essential when working out. These are also made specifically with your bump in mind, with built support that also works post pregnancy. I am loving their Nine V neck T-shirt and their Nine Leggings.
Another great brand I discovered is called Motherhood Maternity. Based Stateside, they deliver worldwide, they are great value and have fun stylish designs. These printed leggings are cool and have an inbuilt belly support, that is both supportive and comfortable.
A Pea in the Pod is a fun name for a maternity brand, and they know what they are talking about with their active loungewear collection – I found a few great pieces that fit the bump bill. My favourite piece is super simple and their maternity tank top is an ideal crossover piece for both workout wear and for day to day wear.
Rita Mamma is a brand that specialises in fitness whilst pregnant, and cleverly, they do much more than sell maternity workout clothes. Their success is founded in the community they have built – fitness classes for pregnant mamas, workout wear and giving nutrition tips along the way. A great website, with great clothes that also gives back.
Other go to brands for activewear are, of course, good old ASOS with one of our favourite maternity brands, Mama.licious – their Active Marl Tank and the matching Marl Tank leggings are a great choice for any mama with a bump.
Some other brands I have found that still work with your body shape whilst pregnant are ones that aren’t actually maternity brands – they still have enough lycra and memory stretch to do the job of covering and supporting a prominent bump. I found the only challenge to shopping like this was choosing the right size to fit the larger me. As a rule of thumb I chose bottoms that were two sizes larger. When it came to tops, I tended to choose medium or large instead of the normal small that I am. And then I would also choose fabrics with plenty of stretch for extra comfort and adaptability to my growing size.
The environmentally conscious brand, Bam, have some cool animal print leggings, made from Bamboo,that are ideal maternity leggings – I sized up two dress sizes and they fitted perfectly. Their Yogi Pants in Fig Marl also worked a treat as something more relaxed.
Another non maternity activewear brand that works whilst knocked up is called Every Second Counts, a great band which uses high performance fabrics that have plenty of stretch and memory, so that your clothes are still wearable post baby. The Grand Slam Seamless Vests are my favourite, as they are long enough to help cover the bump, and also feel so soft and light to wear.
So, whether you are a dedicated exerciser and want to continue during pregnancy or whether you just want to sit on a bike for a bit and then hit the spa like me, there’s workout wear for all you knocked up mamas out there!