A GUIDE TO BUYING THE BEST MATERNITY ACTIVEWEAR
Research shows that staying active during pregnancy has benefits for both the mother and baby. This fact is backed by scientific studies and demonstrated by a lot of strong women, such as the likes of Serena Williams, Paula Radcliffe, and Alysia Montano. According to experts, Dr. Catherine Cram and Dr. James Clapp (authors of “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy”), physical activity can lower the risk of excess weight gain, gestational diabetes and postpartum depression in the mother without harming the baby or causing the child health problems later on (in fact, much the opposite.) Staying active can actually help you to have a shorter labour and recovery, increase your confidence in your body, as well as help your unborn baby with stress adaptation. Cool, huh! At Lenny Rose Active, we’ve created a fitness platform, RoseFit, for expectant mummas to engage in prenatal exercises, prenatal yoga, and help prepare your pelvic floor for a strong and empowered pregnancy, and ultimately to an empowered birth.
With your beautiful changing body comes challenges to staying fit and healthy. In order to optimise your fitness journey - whether prenatal exercises, a gentle maternity yoga class, hiking, or home workouts, you will need to invest in maternity activewear that will give you the support and comfort to help you move confidently and with ease. We definitely don’t want maternity leggings or maternity yoga pants that we need to keep on adjusting as we move - uh oh! And talk about nursing sports bras that might cause more harm than good - ugh. Also, it is not advisable to wear normal activewear when you’re pregnant because they don’t provide enough support that maternity activewear offers, and the band tends to gather and roll, and cause discomfort and annoyance.
We’ve rounded up important things to consider when buying maternity fitness wear in order for you to feel your best while staying active through the different stages of your pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, we recommend the following:
1. Supportive Maternity Activewear like maternity compression tights, maternity yoga pants, or maternity leggings with targeted support in crucial areas (think pelvic floor, lower back, and pelvis).
You’d want to invest in maternity leggings or shorts that provide comfortable compression to reduce swelling in the legs, feet and ankles, and targeted support in areas like your lower back, bump, sacroiliac and pelvic floor. Another thing to consider is the quality of the fabric - one that is soft and breathable to make you feel comfortable moving and should feature a 4-way stretch with quick-drying and moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool and dry.
At Lenny Rose Active, we offer a wide range of maternity leggings that are perfect for your maternity activewear essentials that you can wear during pregnancy and even after giving birth.
2. Underwire-Free Maternity Sports Bra
The Australian Breastfeeding Association recommends underwire-free maternity bras to maintain breast health. Buying a good maternity sports bra will be the best decision you’ll ever make for your pregnancy to postpartum wardrobe! Go for a bra that helps with relief from aching neck, back, and shoulders with targeted posture support that will aid you in your performance on high impact to low impact activities (running, yoga, pilates, toddler wrangling). Firm fit must also be considered to ensure minimal breast bounce and must have breathable and quick-drying fabric - must also be easy and convenient to wash (you will want to live in it!)
Maternity activewear tops for exercise should be airy, loose fitting and comfortable so you have a full range of motion, don’t overheat and avoid chafing. The good thing about loose t-shirts is that you can wear them throughout your whole pregnancy without needing to update your closet to keep up with your beautiful changing body. It's a smart decision to invest in tops that have soft and breathable fabric that grows with you and retains shape at the same time.
Post-pregnancy, we recommend the following:
1. Postpartum Recovery Shorts
Postpartum recovery shorts are specifically designed to aid speeding up recovery from giving birth, and provide support to help new mums with common and normal postnatal issues and injuries (pelvic floor injury, c-section recovery, swelling, back pain, pelvic girdle pain, abdominal separation (diastasis recti/DRAM), vulvar varicose veins, pelvic floor issues). Buying a pair of these will also provide you support especially in your core - not only when you return to exercise, but to assist your core during everyday motherhood tasks. They are also suitable to wear after a c-section with its carefully designed seams to protect against rubbing or irritating your scar area.
2. High Waisted Maternity Leggings
You might want to go for high waisted maternity compression leggings if shorts are not your thing. You can use maternity compression tights by wearing them high waisted for gentle support, or rolled down for extra support under your bump. After giving birth, it’s important to choose tights with buttery soft, lightweight and breathable fabric (not to mention moisture-wicking and quick-dry maternity tights, as you will have them on rotation even after birth!) Check out our best-selling Eco Magic Maternity Leggings, available in full length and ⅞ - plus we have a new burgundy colourway!
3. Nursing Sports Bra
The Australian Breastfeeding Association recommends underwire-free bras for both pregnancy and breastfeeding, to maintain breast health. Buying a good nursing bra may just be the best maternity wardrobe decision you’ll ever make! Go for a bra that helps with relief from aching neck, back, and shoulders (from those hours of sitting feeding your bub) - with targeted posture support that will aid you in reduced discomfort early on (for those long days and nights feeding your little one), and your return to exercise performance on high impact to low impact activities (running, yoga, pilates). A firm and well-fitting bra is key to ensure minimal breast bounce and must have breathable and quick-drying fabric - must also be easy and convenient to wash (you will want to live in it!)
4. Nursing Tee or Nursing Tank Top
Go for nursing tees with discreetly placed zips for easy breastfeeding and hands-free pumping, as well as tank tops that have dropped armholes for easy breastfeeding access. This way you will invest in tops and tees that you can keep as forever wardrobe staples.
Some other things to consider are workout tools to facilitate you in doing your pregnancy fitness, and a wellness platform where you can find expert-crafted and curated workouts to guide you through an empowering pregnancy. As an expecting mum, especially a first-timer, having support, not only from what you wear, but also expert, on-call health professionals, and a like-minded community with people who are going through the same beautiful journey, as well as those who have gone through such experience, is invaluable.
While you might feel investing in maternity activewear is quite expensive, wearing them will really have a huge difference as it provides you optimal support and freedom in movement making your daily life, not just fitness, pursuits more enjoyable and comfortable. You deserve to feel your best! The comfort that comes with maternity fitness wear will make you want to wear it every day - from just lounging around your home, doing errands, to the park or workout! The best maternity activewear for you is gear that grows with you throughout your journey and accommodates the changes that will happen during pregnancy to postpartum.
At Lenny Rose Active, we have the best maternity activewear Australia has to offer. You might enjoy reading about Best Maternity Activewear: The Lenny Rose Difference, where we highlighted what stands out about our products compared to other leading maternity brands. We also offer health insurance rebates on all our support products and Ultimate Nursing Bra. Our products are timeless pieces which you can wear again on your next pregnancy, or sell them on AirRobe or pass it on to a friend (OR you might just find our tights so comfy that you will hang onto them for everyday use years after you have your bub!)
For more guides on how to pick the perfect maternity wear for you, read our other guides here:
- A First Time Mother’s Guide to Buying Maternity Tops
- A First Time Mother’s Guide to Buying Maternity Bottoms
- A First Time Mother’s Guide to Picking the Right Maternity Leggings
- A First Time Mother’s Guide to Picking the Right Maternity Nursing Bra