I feel like I should apologize that this blog is now totally about pregnancy, but 1) there is not enough information out there about pregnancy and fitness and 2) I’m posting more than I was when I wasn’t posting about pregnancy and 3) I think five people read this blog. Anyway, I kept wishing I could find more blog posts on pregnancy and sports, because a lot of people didn’t properly tag their posts and it was hard to find them after they had already had kids. So, I figured I’d put as much info as I could out there, especially because pregnancy is so varied by person, so sometimes you just need to read as much as you can before you find somebody who is having your same experience.
So I wanted to touch on attire. This was hard for me, because I started showing really early. I just had dinner with a friend who is 15 weeks and she’s so much smaller than I was at 15 weeks – she’s still wearing regular pants, with a rubberband. That trick worked for me to like, Week 11. So, I’ve had to adapt more than some of the people whose blogs I read who just kept wearing their same running shorts.
Firstly, I’m going to say that you shouldn’t feel bad if you need to move up into maternity clothes sooner than other people might. Everybody is different. As long as you feel like you are having a healthy pregnancy, you are going to gain weight and your body is going to change in uncontrollable ways. (I had a lot of issues about this around Week 22, but I feel like I’ve moved past them.) My thighs increased significantly, which made it impossible to wear a lot of my old gym and running shorts.
Maternity-specific workout gear is hard to find if you are not looking for yoga pants and cotton t-shirts with cutesy slogans. Old Navy was the best bet for me, personally, and I love the Active Shorts I got (I bought two pairs) as well as the yoga pants. I am still able to wear a few pairs of my regular Target gym shorts, because they are long enough and the legs are lose enough to accommodate my new shape.
For shirts, you can get by for a long time in many of the looser cut non-maternity tanks, as long as they are long. The key is to get stuff early on that comes down at least past your hips, because then it will grow with you. I found a couple of long tanks at Costco (they are in right now) and they have been great – I’m still wearing them at 27 weeks. I haven’t raided my husband’s stash of activewear shirts yet, but a lot of people do wear men’s shirts because they tend to be longer and more generously cut in the chest and stomach. I haven’t opted for this because I find the sleeves really baggy.
Sports bras have actually been easier than I thought. The Champion Seamless ones that you can get at Target have lasted really well through a lot of changes, and I also bought a size up in Moving Comfort sports bra before I was even pregnant, because they were buy one get one free and I knew I might need a bigger one. I will say, I thought my Fiona bras would fit longer and I outgrew them pretty quickly. If I need to go a size up again before delivery, I will just get more of the Target ones because they are cheap and offer enough support for me, especially because I’m not running much.
Swimwear is a challenge. Originally, around 12 weeks, I sized up to a size 12 (I had been wearing an 8) and that got me through to around 20 weeks. Then I bought a suit from Target and I ordered the top in a small and a medium and kept the medium, returning the small, figuring I would grow into the medium because I was expanding rapidly. I think this was the wrong call, and I wish I had just kept the small and figured I would buy a third swimsuit if I needed it. Instead, I bought a third swimsuit. So right now, I’m swimming laps in this number by Motherhood. It’s a halter tankini, and it stays in place really well while I lap swim and aqua jog (more on that in another post). Don’t get discouraged just because there aren’t a lot of lap suits made for pregnant ladies – the regular maternity swimsuits are pretty supportive and the actual fabric part of the top stays down (as long as you don’t size up) while you swim. It’s definitely better for swimming laps than an average tankini.
If you are willing to spend more on maternity clothes, you will have better luck and be able to buy the expensive shorts that cost $40-50 apiece. I don’t spend that on workout gear I plan to wear for years, so I felt like I couldn’t justify it now. I will also say, I workout every day but since I haven’t been overexerting myself/sweating as much, sometimes I wear workout tops two days in a row (particularly if I’m just doing a 20 minute yoga DVD), so I’ve been getting by with not a lot of gear. I have 2 pairs of maternity shorts, 2 pairs of other shorts that fit, 1 pair of yoga pants, 4-5 activewear tops that fit (one has a built in bra), and 5 sports bras that fit. I’ve been hanging up the sports bras to dry after workouts and wearing them a couple of times before washing.
Anyone have favorite maternity activewear sources? Favorite non-maternity gear that worked well for pregnancy?