You only need to search #fitpregnancy on Instagram to be met with a deluge of expectant mamas, squatting, weight lifting and contorting themselves into yoga poses. Studies show that exercising when you’re a human incubator has many benefits. Over five months into my own pregnancy, I find that moving my body daily improves my digestion, stops my muscles aches and combats my hormonal tearfulness.
But, there’s the small matter of style. How can you make your workout wear stretch with your blooming body? Especially if, like me, you’re reluctant to spend a fortune on maternity wear. In the early stages of my pregnancy, I quizzed my fit friends for about what they wore during exercise when they were pregnant. Luckily for me they were wonderfully honest. Here are my (crowdsourced) tips for gym style during gestation…
Fastenings are your friend.
“The hardest part of my day is putting on my sports bra,” I told my husband this morning – and I was only half joking. Right now, a lot of my pre-baby exercise tops feel supportive once they’re on. It’s getting them on that’s the problem. Squashing my milk sacks into position can leave my sweating, especially when your nipples are a no-go area. That’s why any top with zippers, poppers or buttons is a blessing.
Vie Active’s ‘Lori’ sports bra has a zip down the front so you can ease yourself in and out of it easily. Pair it with their Sydney Open Back Tank which can be worn lose or with the hem tied into a crop.
DD cups? Double up!
“My boobs were the issue because they were so sore that I needed to have them firmly in place,” a friend admitted. Her solution? “I wore wore two sports bras over the top of each other, especially during the second trimester when my workouts were still high intensity”. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune doubting your workout wardrobe. Cotton On’s Contour Workout bra has eyelets at the back so you can loosen them as your bust blooms. Wear it underneath their Workout K.I.R bra and you’ll be good to grow, for a grand total of $60.
Don’t Waist Away.
“I wore pants with wide, soft waistbands that fit over my bump in the early days, then tucked it under my bump in the third trimester,” another friend told me. Luckily, activewear brands have realised that gym goers don’t want to flash their crotches and started catering to high-waist wanters. Cotton On Body’s High Capri pants are only $24.95 and come in flattering black or charcoal. Run Faster Gear has a full range of high-waisted pants, and are supported by Running Mum’s Australia. The patterned pants by Los Angeles brand, Rumi X are made from recycled bottles and come in a maternity version. It’s never too early to teach your child about ethical fashion.
Buy a ‘belly bra’.
Years ago I read an interview with the British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe who admitted her secret weapon during pregnancy was a ‘belly band’ (or belly bra as I like to call it). Worn by a lot of women in their third trimester, I’ve been wearing this version from Queen Bee Maternity since I was 19 weeks pregnant when doing cardio activities, to give my back and abdomen more support (as I modelled on Instagram). Unlike some belly bands which end on your thigh, this one is shorter so leaves your legs free for movement. It also adds an extra thermal layer, keeping my bump warm when jogging on colder mornings.
My friend swapped from a bikini to a one-piece after her first trimester, for an unexpected reason. “My belly got ridiculously hairy whilst I was pregnant,” she reveals, “I looked like Chewbacca so covering up felt like the better option.” Whether or not you’re sprouting body hair, which is a common side effect of pregnancy, a costume can feel more supportive than a two-piece and also feels warmer (personally, my nipples hurt in cold water). The Upside has super sexy one-pieces and paddles suits which will stretch with you. When I wear my RipCurl wetsuit my husband describes me as a “knocked-up Bond Girl.” I’ll take that compliment, thankyou!
‘Squish’ Your Sneakers
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