It’s hard to dispute the benefits of exercising during pregnancy. Latest research promises moms-to-be healthier pregnancies and healthier babies in exchange for just a few hours’ worth of sweat per week. I myself attended Zumba classes until I was 33 weeks along and kept swimming all the way to 38 weeks. Other moms at the gym kept coming up to me and encouraging me to keep going. Apparently they worked out all the way through their pregnancies and they claimed that their babies slid out like butter…not my experience but I still had a great time dancing!
If you do decide to workout though the duration of your pregnancy, you will need to update your wardrobe with some new maternity workout clothes. Workout clothes tend to be expensive and maternity workout clothes are even spendier so you definitely want to stick with a strategy. Here is the thing, your body will keep changing through the duration of your pregnancy so you don’t want to spend $60 on a sports bra that will fit for two months before you will need a new one. I had great luck with purchasing high end sports bras for no more than $12 at T.J. Maxx.
Unlike sports bras, tank tops and yoga pants are meant to be stretchy. I actually wore my regular workout bottoms thorough my whole pregnancy. You want to find low rise pants/ shorts with elastic waistbands. They will sit bellow your belly and therefore are not at risk of becoming too small. For tops, remember that your belly will keep changing shape and size. Towards the end of your pregnancy, most of your tops will become too short. Look for extra-long tops in the beginning and you won’t outgrow your maternity workout wardrobe. My favorite workout top ended up being this little gem from Figure 8 Maternity. It’s cheap, breathes well, and long enough to accommodate a growing baby bump. I bout four which was great because in the last month of my pregnancy, these four tops were the only casual tops I owned that still fit. I ended up wearing two to the gym and the other two everywhere else.
If swimming laps is part of your maternity workout routine, much like me, you are probably looking for practical maternity swimwear. Swimwear tends to be crazy expensive and in this scenario, you need something temporary but practical for laps at the gym. Remember, your cleavage and baby bump will keep growing so look for swimsuits with a little extra room. I am a huge fan of two piece suits for your maternity workout clothes. As long as the bottoms are low rise, they should fit through the duration of your pregnancy and the tops will usually grow with you. The Ripe Maternity Tankini and Ingrid & Isabel Ruched Tankini Top are great examples of what I am talking about. A while back I documented my journey to finding the perfect maternity swimwear for the gym in this post: How To Find Flattering Maternity Swimwear While Staying Within a Budget.
Last but not least, don’t forget to add sensible shoes into your new maternity workout wardrobe. Unfortunately most pregnant women experience foot swelling so look for roomy tennis shoes. On top of that, your growing baby bump also changes your center of gravity creating ungraceful balance issues. The good news is that you can find quality, heavily discounted workout tennis shoes at your local DSW’s or T.J. Maxx’s clearance rack and this wardrobe upgrade isn’t permanent.