When you’re pregnant, it’s truly the time to dress for comfort, especially when you want to exercise. While clothing shouldn’t be constrictive, pregnant people do need activewear that provides support for a rapidly growing and changing body, and it can be daunting to shop in a category that you’ve never needed before.
The fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab evaluate maternity clothes of all kind, from maternity leggings and jeans to nursing bras and more. To find the best maternity workout clothes, we combined our fabric and clothing expertise with input from a number of fitness experts, including prenatal trainers and coaches, who shared how to shop for the best pants, tops, bras, leggings, socks and more that you’ll need during this unique period of your life.
“It’s important for most people to maintain an exercise routine during pregnancy,” says health coach Aimee Nicotera, MS. “As your body changes, you still want to feel good in your gear. Clothes should fit well, provide support, allow for breathability and, of course, function.”
Katie Breard, who’s an online pre- and post-natal coach, adds, “Choosing workout gear during your pregnancy can feel daunting. But when you feel confident and comfortable in fitness gear, you are more likely to get moving — something that is so beneficial for your own health and the health of your growing baby.”
The most important tip of all is that you feel good and motivated to move during what can be an uncomfortable time. Says pre- and post-natal coach Ilyse Baker, “Overall, your clothing picks should make you feel like a strong, confident and sexy parent-to-be!”
Here are the best maternity workout clothes for your growing bump:
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Best Maternity Workout Leggings
Even though these aren’t specifically designed as maternity clothes, the Lululemon Align pants were highly recommended over and over again when talking to moms about their favorite pregnancy workout wear. These super-soft leggings come in a high and regular rise, in full-length and cropped versions, and they’re also available in a variety of colors.
They fit snugly but don’t offer tight compression, which Gia Calhoun, who has trained countless pregnant people as VP of Pilates Anytime, says is important: “When looking for maternity clothing, it is ideal to find something that is comfortable yet supportive. If the clothing is too tight or compressive, it will restrict movement and will cause discomfort. Similarly, if the clothing is too loose, it won’t provide the support that might be needed as your bump grows.”
While the price of these pants is on the higher end, they will fit and stretch comfortably along with your changing body through every stage. The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Textiles Director, Lexie Sachs, noted that she wore them throughout three trimesters and has continued wearing them for years postpartum.
- Can be worn throughout pregnancy and beyond
- Soft fabric feels like second skin
Best Value Maternity Workout Leggings
Maternity Full Panel Elevate Powersoft 7/8-Length Leggings
These leggings have a slightly thicker fabric that offers a nice level of comfort and stretch. They also have a full panel that can be pulled over the belly for maximum support. Although they are already priced lower than many other brands, moms noted that these often go on sale if you want to snap up multiple pairs.
The high waist can come in handy for a variety of reasons, even after you’ve given birth. Pre- and post-natal coach Katie Breard (who’s also a mom herself) notes, “When I was breastfeeding, I loved having super high-waisted leggings so when I pulled up my shirt to breastfeed I wasn’t exposing my entire stomach.”
Related: 10 Best Nursing Covers to Comfortably Breastfeed Your Baby
- Well priced
- Full-panel support
- Avoid paying full price; these are often on sale
Best Maternity Workout Tee
Featherweight On The Down Low Maternity Tee
Our expert sources raved about Beyond Yoga for maternity activewear, and its line offers a variety of tops in all different sleeve lengths. We found that this short-sleeve tee is versatile for different uses and appealed to almost everyone we spoke to. It also offers side ruching which is important, says Desi Bartlett, author of Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy: “Maternity tops should have ruching on the sides to allow for growth of your baby.”
The top also sits at a great length (meaning it’s long enough that it won’t suddenly feel too short as your belly grows) and can be worn for all different types of workouts. “As your belly grows, longer tops and tanks are more comfortable for many mamas,” says health coach and mom Aimee Nicotera.
- Wear anywhere
- Nice length
Best Maternity Workout Compression Socks
Knee-High Compression Socks 3-Pack
Compression is key when it comes to maternity socks. “You want to have blood circulation to avoid numbness, aches and pains,” says certified trainer and Kinetic Sweat founder Jess Rose McDowell. “Compression material improves your overall performance and recovery.”
McDowell also says this particular brand of socks has worked well for her pregnant clients, both in and out of the gym. As a bonus, they come in tons of pretty colors and even fun ombré and tie-dye patterns so they are fashionable instead of looking like medical socks.
- Great for circulation
- Come in vibrant colors and patterns
- Tall compression socks can feel awkward at first
Best Maternity Workout Tank Top
SportSupport Maternity Support Crossback Tank
This popular tank top is a favorite among pregnant people. It especially stands out for offering a nice level of bust support to keep you feeling secure. “You want to wear a top that keeps everything in place, making it easy for you to get in and out of,” says certified trainer Jess Rose McDowell. Plus, GH Textiles Director Lexie Sachs advises that racerback tanks offer a good range of motion during exercise.
Trainer Katie Breard also said that she found this tank comfortable both during pregnancy and after her C-section. The downside is that it’s on the more expensive side, but it’s a worthwhile splurge because it will stretch to fit your shape.
- Comfortable both during and after pregnancy
- Good bust support
Best Maternity Biker Shorts
Women’s Maternity Biker Shorts
Many of the experts we consulted with recommended high-waisted, fitted biker shorts. “The high waisted fit compliments the body nicely and stays snug on the body above the hips,” says trainer Jess Rose McDowell. McDowell also suggests checking the length, as you’ll want a more generous inseam than usual so you don’t have to worry about your shorts riding up.
This particular pair offers full belly coverage, which many expectant moms find comfortable as the style reduces pressure on your ligaments and back. The hidden side pocket to stash your phone or keys in is also a bonus!
- Full belly coverage
- Handy side pocket
- Some reviewers noted the material is a bit thin
Best Maternity Sports Bra
Sporty Mesh Maternity/Nursing Sports Bra
Looking for a comfortable sports bra can be a chore even when you’re not pregnant, but expecting moms have even more specific needs in this category. This brand was recommended by several of the experts we consulted as being both comfortable and functional. Made of breathable mesh to help keep you cool, it’s great for medium-impact activities during pregnancy.
It features multiple back hook-and-eye closures to accommodate your changing size, and the comfortable straps can be converted into a racerback, which was recommended by our sources for extra support. “As the breasts get larger, especially in the last trimester, it is important to wear a bra that will give you enough support to keep an upright posture,” says Patricia Friberg, creator of the Belly Beautiful workout. Bonus: This particular sports bra can also be used as nursing bra, so you can keep wearing it after delivery.
Keep in mind: A sports bra should be compressive for support, but it shouldn’t be too constricting. “I always tell my clients that if you are wearing a sports bra and see an indented line after you take it off, it is too tight,” says trainer Katie Breard.
- Versatile for pregnancy and nursing
- Adjustable and convertible straps
- Not designed for high-impact activities
Best Value Maternity Sports Bra
Nursing Adjustable Sports Bra
If you want a quality maternity sports bra without investing too much, this one came highly recommended in our research. “I discovered this brand during my last pregnancy,” says prenatal fitness guru (and mom of four) Sara Haley. “It has super affordable nursing and maternity bras that worked well, and I didn’t feel like I was breaking the bank.”
This bra also features good coverage, adjustable side straps and clip-down access for nursing, so you’ll be able to get more use out of it than some other maternity workout styles. Just note that it’s made out of cotton instead of performance fabrics, which is ideal for people who prefer the feel of a natural fiber, but “doesn’t wick sweat away, takes longer to dry and doesn’t retain shape as well,” advises GH textiles expert Lexie Sachs.
- Suitable for pregnancy and nursing
Best Maternity Running Shorts
Maternity Rollover-Waist Run Shorts
If jogging is your pregnancy workout of choice, consider these shorts, which got rave reviews from prenatal fitness experts. Affordable but also cute and functional, they feature a relaxed fit and a versatile panel that can roll up or down, depending on what’s more comfortable for your body.
They are on the short side with a 3-inch inseam, so if you’re not comfortable with a shorter length, these may not be the pair for you. Old Navy also offers 8-inch inseam biker shorts for longer coverage.
- Trendy colors and patterns
- Convertible panel
- Short length may not be suitable for some
Best Maternity Workout Pullover
Maternity Reversible Pullover
For a pregnancy during colder weather, you might want something cozy for brisk walks or hikes. This stylish pullover is chic, super soft, has pockets and is made with Dri-FIT moisture-wicking fabric. Best of all, it’s reversible to wear forwards or backwards, which means the split hem will be comfortable during pregnancy when worn in the back, and after you’ve given birth, it’s convenient for nursing when worn in the front.
- Has pockets
- Quick-dry fabric
- Available in only one color
Best Maternity Workout Jogger Pants
Maternity Brushed Jersey Under-Belly Joggers
For prenatal yoga or any other low-impact workout where you want a looser fit, try these ultra-soft joggers. The fabric is smooth, and the pants are banded at the ankle so they won’t get in your way as you move.
They fit under the belly as opposed to over the bump, which some people prefer. Mom of four Sara Haley, who’s also the creator of the prenatal workout program Expecting More, says, “My note on maternity workout pants is to try to figure out what feels best on your belly. I had some pregnancies where I preferred to have my pants worn over my bump and then I had some where I wanted them to lay under.”
- Soft and comfortable
- Loose fit is versatile for lounging
- Less suitable for more intense exercise
Best Maternity Workout Belly Band
Flawless Belly Pregnancy Support and Layering Undergarment
If this is your first pregnancy, you may not have even heard of a belly band, let alone know what it does. But trainer Sara Haley says, “The best thing to invest in to support your bump during exercise is going to be a belly band.” She and several other wellness experts we spoke to recommended this specific band from Belly Bandit, which offers ample support and is great to wear under tops that may be getting uncomfortably short as your bump grows. As a bonus, it can also be used as a comfy nursing cover after delivery.
- Comfortably supports the bump
- Versatile beyond exercise
- Some may find an extra garment to be cumbersome
Best Maternity Running Jacket
Maternity PowerSoft Side-Shirred Hooded Jacket
This running jacket was popular with many real-life moms we spoke to, who raved about the comfy fabric and flattering fit. It comes in three trendy colors, and it’s affordably priced. Plus, it has thumb holes to prevent the sleeves from riding up, reflective features for safety and visibility and shirred panels to adapt to your growing belly.
- Stylish and affordable
- Smart design features
- Not a must-have if you prefer sweatshirts or pullovers
Best Maternity Workout Sneaker
FuelCore NErgize Sneaker
While you don’t need a maternity-specific style, good footwear is essential for prenatal workouts. This one in particular was a top performer in Good Housekeeping’s tests and offers a flexible fabric to accommodate swelling feet. “Users raved that it was lightweight and comfortable, while podiatrists and sports medicine doctors appreciated the flexibility,” says GH Institute Textiles Director Lexie Sachs.
- Top-rated in GH sneaker tests
- Lightweight and flexible
- Less cushioning than some other sneakers
Best Maternity Cropped Leggings
Live In Maternity Crop Leggings
Prefer a cropped legging to full length? These leggings were highly rated by real moms. They have a stretchy panel that expands with your growing shape, and they’re supportive but not too compressive. They do stretch all the way over your bump which many people prefer. Pre- and post-natal coach Ilyse Baker says, “Over-the-belly maternity leggings support your lower back and bump.” Beyond exercise, these are also great for everyday wear.
- Over-the-belly support
- Versatile for workouts and beyond
Best Long-Sleeved Maternity Workout Tee
Classic Crew Maternity Pullover
If you’re too cold for a tank but too warm for a sweatshirt, this lightweight, long-sleeved crew-neck shirt is your best bet. Beyond Yoga has gotten raves from many of our experts for its super soft fabrics, and this top is no exception. Though it’s pricey for a top, it’s versatile for exercise with its performance fabric and everyday wear with its classic design.
- Soft and comfortable
- Performance fabric to wick sweat
Best Trendy Maternity Workout Top
Studio Maternity Cropped Long Sleeve Top
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t be on-trend in the gym! This cropped, boxy-fitting, long-sleeved tee can be worn with a pair of over-the-bump leggings for a look that combines style and comfort. After delivery, you can keep wearing this as a layering piece.
- Fun and stylish
- Versatile to wear after pregnancy
- Cropped design isn’t for everyone
Best Maternity Yoga Pants
Secret Fit Belly Maternity Yoga Pants
These stretchy flared pants are the perfect pick for yoga-loving moms-to-be or anyone who prefers a looser leg. The design features a flattering boot cut and supportive belly panel. Reviewers rave about the great fit of these pants, which is important, says trainer McDowell: “You shouldn’t have to think about your activewear being too tight or too big or have to fidget with it during your workout.”
- Full belly panel
- Wide leg instead of tight-fitting leggings
- 32-inch inseam may be too long for some
Best Maternity Workout Underwear
Under The Bump Maternity Underwear 5-Pack
The last thing you want to worry about during your workout is your underwear riding up or giving you a wedgie. This smooth pair lies flat against your skin, thanks in part to its unique crossover design that sits below the belly. It’s also made with soft, stretchy breathable fabric that’s comfortable for both exercise and everyday wear.
- Cross-over design lies flat
- Comfortable fabric
- Sold as a set of five
Most Versatile Maternity Workout Top
Purana Wrap Sweatshirt
Great for a brisk outdoor walk or just lying on your sofa and watching TV, this is among the most versatile maternity workout pieces that we found. It’s soft, comes in eight different colors and is long enough to cover up your backside. The wrap style also serves as an easy-access nursing top and cover so you’ll get plenty of wear out of it after you have your baby.
- Many different uses
- Soft and comfortable
- Has pockets
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io