I worked out through my entire 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.
Here I am at 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant and still working out! I actually ran yesterday (well, a run/walk) and am so grateful I’ve been able to stay active throughout every trimester. Since a lot has changed with the pregnancy workout outfits I prefer (and which running shoes I prefer!) since I originally published this, I thought an update was necessary. So here’s the latest!
Working out while being pregnant was definitely a learning curve for me, as I’m sure it is for most 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 there are a lot of benefits to running while pregnant, so after speaking with my doctor, I kept running.
While I knew it would be different and harder, I’ve been surprised how the challenges of running changed with each trimester. But, I made it to 40 weeks and ran throughout every trimester, with a few breaks here and there for various reason. This is actually a photo from earlier this week, where I’m 40 weeks + 2 days!
Pregnancy Workout Outfits
I got a lot recommendations from other women for pregnancy running and maternity activewear. And now that I’ve had three trimesters to try things for myself, I wanted to share my top picks. Most things I’ve loved are 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 shared my experience with those.
Lululemon Align Shorts
These are, by FAR, my favorite piece of clothing for pregnancy workouts for every pregnancy. 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. They worked all the way to 38 weeks and at that point, they finally wouldn’t stay up on my belly and I had to fold them under my 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 Pocket Jogger Shorts
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, but they had to sit under my belly as it grew. And 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!
Nursing Friendly Sports Bras
The Brooks Juno Bra and this bra from Amazon have 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!!! (And now, at 40 weeks pregnant the E cup bras barely fit!) 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. The Amazon bra I linked is designed the same way.
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. And the material isn’t as soft and stretchy as the other options. I’ve also 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 love love love the Lululemon Longline bra. I wore that bra for the Boston Marathon the past two years. But none of these options are super nursing-friendly.
Anything that is long and doesn’t have a thick hemline has worked for me so far. I have few Lululemon tanks with mesh detailing that I usually love. But the thick hemline isn’t stretchy enough, so I can’t wear them anymore. I can still wear my Lululemon Swifty Racerback tanks, but my favorite has been the Oiselle Light Lux tanks.
Pregnancy-specific workout clothes
Until about 30 weeks, I didn’t purchased any maternity workout clothes since my regular workout clothes fit well. But, I recently ordered some Senita maternity shorts and tanks based on recommendations from IG followers. I loved Senita Rio Shorts (I ran the 2019 Boston Marathon in them) and wore them in my first trimester (pictured below), so I figured it was worth a shot. But I hated EVERYTHING I ordered… until I got to the third trimester!
Earlier on, the maternity shorts were far too thick for hot summer running and the maternity panel went up and over my CHEST, not just my belly. (To be fair, I am petite at 5’1″.) But, once I entered my third trimester, the Senita maternity shorts are the ONLY shorts I can run in and I much prefer them for the Peloton as well.
And once I got past 38 weeks, even my beloved Align leggings and shorts didn’t stay up under my bump. I also loved the slight support the Senita shorts give with the thicker material now that it’s cooler. This is a photo from 40 weeks pregnant when I’d just gotten back from a run in the Senita maternity shorts.
Pregnancy Workout Accessories
FitSplint Maternity Belt
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).
Nathan Speeddraw Hand Held Water Bottle
Running with water is a must for summer running and especially when pregnant since I get hot more easily. I carry this water bottle with ice water on every single run, and put a Nuun electrolyte tablet in it too!
Running Shoes with More Cushion
My favorite running shoes for pregnancy has changed in each trimester too! I got the New Balance Beacons in my first trimester and I continued to like them well into my second. While my regular Nike Pegasus felt too stiff after my first trimester, I purchased the Nike Pegasus Turbo in my third trimester and LOVE them. And the Brooks Launch have been great throughout.
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! When my feet starting to swell in the third trimester, 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 stiffer! 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!
What pregnant workout outfits do you/did you swear by during pregnancy?
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