As if it wasn’t challenging enough to continue working out while pregnant, the fitness apparel industry has not yet, as of 2016, acknowledged that there is a demand for maternity fitness wear. I tried to use what I had for as long as I possibly could, mostly because I just didn’t want to spend the money on new clothes or spend the time and effort shopping. I outgrew my sports bras pretty much immediately but continued to squeeze into them creating an uncomfortable and unattractive look. I also tried to wear my running shorts as long as the elastic would stretch. I started weeding out my dri-fit tops as they got too short to cover my belly until I was finally down to one remaining top that I could still tuck into my shorts to keep it from riding up. At that point, I broke down and started the hunt for some new clothes. This was around week 24 for me, but also, my bump was bigger than the average person (according to my own observations).
In comparison to other clothing items, sports bras aren’t too hard to find. You really just need to go up a size or two in the same brand or style you already wear but you might also consider choosing a more supportive style. I really liked this zip-front bra from Under Armour because it is easy to put on and take off which is a rare quality in clothing during pregnancy.
UA Armour Bra® Protegée
Shorts…. I bought a pair of gym shorts from Old Navy with the extra fabric to go over the belly but I really didn’t like the way that felt. I like the band to go below the belly. I ended up buying a $7 pair of running shorts from Walmart that weren’t a perfect fit at first but were very roomy and the waistband was pretty comfortable. I wore those pretty exclusively during the third trimester. I think I must have cut out the liner so I could hike them up higher (cool, I know) but I can’t remember now.
Old Navy Maternity Fold-Over Waistband Yoga Shorts (5″)
Walmart Danskin Now Women’s Woven Running Shorts With Built-In Liner
Tops…forget about it. There are basically no dri-fit maternity tops out there. No legit sports brands make them as far as my research showed. Here’s what I found:
Old Navy: about 5 maternity items (yoga focused)
Gap: about 5 maternity items (yoga focused)
Target: about 5 maternity items (yoga focused)
FitForTwo: some random gear that has the logo on the belly
I ended up buying one maternity top from Gap online with a 40% off promo code and one from Nordstrom online with a gift card. (Crucial, because most maternity clothes are unnecessarily expensive and you don’t even know if you’ll like them or wear them for long.) I bought the same size I wore before pregnancy and they both seemed to fit fine, but neither was as comfortable to sweat in as my old workout tops.
Nordstrom Ingrid & Isabel® Active Ruched Maternity Top
Ultimately, I was never very thrilled with my maternity wardrobe but I bought just enough to keep me clothed while working out and that was good enough for me. Hopefully, the fitness apparel industry will one day provide more options as the demand grows, but until then, I’ll be hiding out in my garage gym re-wearing the same outfits over and over again. Nobody judge me.