Best Maternity Workout Clothes
Pregnancy can be exciting, inspiring, and wonderful—but also long, hard, and uncomfortable. Your body is changing in new ways as you grow a tiny human (or two!). For runners, being able to continue exercising through the second and even third trimester is not only a way to improve mood, relieve new anxieties, and even reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and preterm birth, but also simply a way to help you feel more like yourself again.
You might not want to invest a lot of money in new running gear that you’ll use for only a year at most. But at a certain point, if you want to keep comfortably reaping the benefits of running while pregnant, you’re likely going to need a few new items with enough stretch to expand with your body. We’ve dug up some great values for runners with limited maternity budgets here—and a few worthwhile splurges, as well.
Running While Pregnant
In case you’re not convinced of the value of exercising while pregnant, know that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends it—for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day on most or all days. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to run through your entire pregnancy, though many bodies might choose to. Other physical activities like yoga, strength training, and hiking can be just as effective in keeping you fit and healthy as your body grows. (Here’s more on the many benefits of running and exercise while pregnant.) Just make sure to fuel and hydrate well, avoid exercise outdoors in excessive heat, wear comfortable clothes, and accept that you might not run or perform at the same pace or level you did prior to pregnancy. Now is a time for listening to your body and giving yourself grace—not for beating yourself up over mile splits.
What You Actually Need
Some runners might choose to just buy regular running clothes a size or two larger than their usual size. This might work for some women, but for the majority it’s not as comfortable, flattering, and versatile over time as dedicated maternity workout clothes designed to accommodate a bump. There are no hard and fast gear requirements here—though if we could mandate one, it would be to find a supportive, high-impact sports bra, preferably with nursing-friendly straps. We’ve also found compression socks to be pretty indispensable for late-pregnancy swelling, and the best part is you can keep using them for running long after your nugget is out of diapers.
How We Tested
Every product here has been thoroughly evaluated and vetted by the team of test editors at Runner’s World. They research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers, and use our own experience running in these products through pregnancy to determine the best options. Many models have been tested by our staff or their partners, and those that haven’t have been carefully chosen based on their value, technical fabrics, looks, and ability to remain comfortable throughout the course of pregnancy. Here are the best clothes we’ve found for running and exercising through the second, third, and yes, fourth trimesters.
These comfortable, lightweight shorts have a wide waistband that expands with your bump, and a drawstring to pull tighter during those early months. The polyester-spandex blend fabric wicks sweat while you’re running and dries quickly after. Plus, they have a hidden pocket at the back for your keys. Price: $49.99
For those looking for more coverage, these running capris have it—lengthwise, and at the waist. A full belly panel keeps you covered well into the third trimester so you can run for as long into your pregnancy as feels right. The lightweight, stretchy nylon-spandex fabric wicks sweat and doesn’t tug or slide down. Price: $22.48
For fall and winter runs, this zip pullover gives your midsection full coverage in a cozy lightweight fleece embrace. Ruched sides and long sleeves with thumbholes keep the shirt from tugging, pulling, or riding up while you run, and the wicking tech fabric keeps you dry and comfortable. Price: $29.99
Swelling is a reality during pregnancy and long-distance running. Combat the painful outcomes of both with these 20–30 mmHg graduated compression socks. They support your muscles and increase circulation, so you can feel fresher at the end of long days on your feet, whether you’re running a half-marathon or just trying to get through a day of work in your final trimester. Price: $30+
Larger-chested runners have long been fans of Moving Comfort sports bras for their high-impact support. Now those bras are being sold under the Brooks umbrella, and all the things we loved—comfort, fit, breathability, and compression—remain unchanged. Adjustable straps with a hook and loop closure make the bra friendly to size changes or breastfeeding. And the Juno is flattering and comfortable through pregnancy and beyond—this is one maternity item you’ll be wearing long after the fourth trimester. Price: $30+
This inexpensive top works for running or just everyday summer wear, so you can get more use out of it while you’re in that brief window of time when you need it. It’s made of a breathable, lightweight knit fabric that feels soft against your skin and wicks sweat while you’re in motion. Price: $19.99
Thick enough that they’ll remain opaque through your third trimester (even in downward dog), these four-way stretch leggings have you covered while you run, stretch, or relax. The nylon-spandex waist panel can be comfortably worn folded down or up over your belly. Ankle zippers make it even easier to pull them on and off. Price: $65.00
This easy-to-unclip nursing sports bra is supportive and breathable for wear during pregnancy—and indispensable for breastfeeding on the run after the baby is born. It’s available in six sizes, so runners from an A to F cup can get a comfortable fit. Price: $34.99
With a five-inch inseam, these stretchy black running shorts have a longer, more modest fit that’s soft and flattering. The belly panel is supportive and versatile, whether you push it down or pull it up over your bump. Flatlock seams and an inner brief that doesn’t chafe keeps you comfortable and focused on your run. Price: $56.00
These soft, comfortable workout pants are a great option if you’re looking to keep your maternity clothes budget low. They’re lightweight, soft, and stretchy, with a waistband that stays under your belly as it grows. The overall fit is flattering, but taller runners might find the legs to be a bit short. Price: $9.99
This article was originally featured on Runner’s World. Click the pictures to shop or view more about a product.