Keeping fit is important during pregnancy - for you and your baby, (especially during this pandemic, when it can help you relax and destress) but once you start thinking about that maternity workout plan a new question comes up.
"Where on earth can you find maternity sportswear that gives extra support in all the right places and adjusts to your growing bump?"
Don't let worries about your workout wardrobe put you off, because keeping active can help with labour, overall health of you and your baby, and getting back into shape post birth. The body works hard whilst pregnant so it's important to find pieces that work just as hard for you!
Think about healthy natural fibres (like bamboo or cotton), specially designed sports bras to support growing boobs, clothes that adjust as your body changes, moisture wicking technology, easy layers, and most importantly maternity activewear that looks good and makes you feel good.
We all know an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident can make all the difference to your workout!
Also, let's be honest, with the current situation it might be quite nice to do some productive online shopping and treat yourself!
How to choose the perfect maternity activewear.
One of our very favourite online spots for maternity workout clothes is Fitta Mamma.
This activewear brand run by mums for mums is a specialist destination of workout gear just for expecting mothers.
Since the founder Alex has experienced the struggles of maternity sportswear herself the brand hosts an impressive array of problem-solving features; items to support your bump, your back and your boobs, super stretchy fabrics to support your joints, and high-performance fabrics that retain shape and dry quickly.
You may be thinking 'why do I need gym kit now, when the gyms are closed?', but there's plenty of great workouts you can do at home, in the garden or at a local park (check out our specialist pregnancy workouts here!).
Or alternatively you can follow our trimester specific half hour workouts on facebook or youtube.
Of course, it’s important to consider what kind of maternity activewear you’ll need for the activities you’re planning on doing. If you want to do some maternity yoga, for instance, then you’ll need more fitted bottoms, like a pair of leggings, whereas if you’re planning on running outdoors a good cosy hoodie is a must in this cold weather.
Some other pregnancy brands that you can check out are Seraphine, JoJo Maman Bebe or Isabella Oliver.
Many more sports brands have also launched maternity lines in recent years, so it's worth checking out any favourite activewear brand you may already have for high performance pieces - try Sweaty Betty, Reebox Lux and the new Nike line that launched last September. The high street is even getting involved, so if you love a bargain try New Look, Asos, GAP, Spanx or H&M!
Deborah Hazeldean from Fitta Mamma gave some great advice for choosing the style of maternity activewear that you should buy in an interview with the Independent. "Supporting the bump makes a huge difference to your comfort when you exercise. If your bump feels secure you'll be able to exercise more comfortably and will feel better about maintaining your exercise routine throughout your pregnancy"
She also mentioned how vital it is to find leggings that cut high all around your body (not just your bump) as this will give support to your lower back, which will improve your posture and ease back-ache.
Our Top Picks For Best Maternity Activewear in 2021
To help you shop for the best maternity activewear for you, we've taken time to search online and rounded up some of the best products out there.
This grey marl zip-up maternity jacket from Jojo Maman Bebe (£39) will keep you comfortable as you warm up or cool down from your workouts.
Having a zip up jacket that you can easily undo and slip off - as opposed to a hoodie you have to wrestle over your head - will be something you’ll appreciate during your pregnancy workouts.
This piece is lightweight, stretchy and has side gatherings for some extra bump room as you grow - it also uses technology to help keep you warm if you're resting, or cooler while you're active.
High-support, ankle length leggings
One maternity sportswear staple is the perfect pair of leggings. The Fitta Mamma Ultimate Maternity Fitness Leggings (59.99) do exactly what their name would suggest.
They combine the brands' great sport performance with a stylish design that ensures your back and bump feel supported, whilst filling you with confidence.
These leggings are fully opaque and feature a special panel under the bump to make sure it stays still and secure.
These Classic Maternity Cycle Shorts (£24) from Natal Active are a super soft and fast wicking fabric to keep you cool during workouts. They also have a six-inch inseam to protect from thigh rub and our favourite bit is the deep pockets! The wide over bump band supports the bump, back and hips and can work high waisted or rolled down to a low waist for comfort. (Oh, they're also great for wearing under a dress for extra security!)
Sports Bra for nursing
We all know how sensitive boobs can get in pregnancy – not to mention how much they grow – so getting the right sports bra to hold things in place is super important before you start exercising.
This Lulu Lemon zip front sports bra is ideal for running and, better still, several of the colours have been reduced from the usual £78.
These maternity sports bras are super supportive, sweat-wicking and made with added Lycra® fibre for shape retention. The zip at the front makes them easy to get on and off and we think they’re spot on trend too.
Whilst the Lulu Lemon zip front top is just what you need for running, this Fitta Mamma Maternity and Nursing Sports Bra (£39.99) is ideal for high-impact workouts.
It features elastic under the bust to hold the bra close to the body, soft cups with underwiring for support, stretch panels to allow for growth, breathable moisture wicking fabric, 6 hook and eye extensions at the back, to allow for growth, and drop down cups to allow for easy breast feeding.
Maternity activewear can be a great addition to your cosy loungewear too. A pair of joggers is perfect for lower intensity workouts or exercise outdoors in the cold.
Plus there are many on the market that do a great job of doubling up as a comfy pair of trousers.
So why not pick some that mix comfort and style, like these pretty Lilac 90s Maternity Joggers from Missguided (now £18.75 - down from £25!) They are designed to fit from 5 months of pregnancy with a jersey bump band to fit seamlessly under clothes.
The style of the trousers itself is a retro 90s design, with an ankle grazing length, drawstring at the waist and elasticised ankles.
3/4 length leggings
Your body temperature rises when you're pregnant, so exercising can make you feel even hotter than usual, and if this is the case a pair of cropped leggings may be the way to go.
These grey Mamalicious maternity 3/4 sports leggings (on sale at £13.20 from £22!) have a high rise elastic waistband and are made of a super stretchy fabric for optimum comfort whilst you workout - perfect for yoga!
We also love this 2-piece active kit from Seraphine (down from £69 to £45!). It’s been designed to work in pregnancy and beyond and is ideal for yoga and working out.
The Racerback Tank Top is secure, breathable and stylish and the workout pants, with their comfy seamless waistband, can be worn over your bump or folded down after your baby is born.
This maternity Active Vest by Isabella Oliver (down from £49 to £29) is a favourite with the press. It’s designed to keep you cool, comfortable and stylish whatever you do.
Made from technical jersey, it’s super comfy, moisture-wicking and the gathered ruching and double strap detail make this every pregnant woman’s must-have maternity activewear piece.
Workout Hoodie with a Difference
Last but not least, it’s always good to own a go-to hoodie to pull on, over your stylish maternity activewear. You can’t go wrong with this 3-in-1 maternity hoodie (£59) from Seraphine.
With zip-off kangaroo panels, handy side pockets, stretchy side panels and a soft fleecy finish inside we can guarantee this will become a wardrobe favourite during, and after, workouts for months to come.
So, there you have it mums-to-be, everything you need to know to give you the most stylish, and yet practical, maternity activewear wardrobe possible.
Now why not get shopping and then send us some pics? And don’t forget to wear your stretch mark prevention underwear too, it’s safe, comfortable and will add an extra layer of support for that gorgeous bump of yours.