When it comes to running clothes during your pregnancy, whether it’s six weeks, three months or six, there will come a point where your pre-pregnancy running clothes no longer fit you. Maybe they’ll hurt your growing boobs or maybe you’ll notice a big slice of belly sticking out of the shirt you thought still fit in pictures.
At some point, you’re going to have to find some new running outfits to go with that growing bump. Before you balk at this idea, thinking you’ll skip any running gear purchases because you’ll only need these new items for a few months, the good (though slightly disheartening news) is that even after your baby is born, you won’t instantly return to racing weight. What fits you during the latter stages of pregnancy will likely also fit you for a while after pregnancy.
Maternity Running Clothes
When it comes to maternity running clothes, you can splurge and buy actual maternity workout clothes or you can repurpose non-maternity clothes in the right style and size, or with a little hack, to work for you.
Your belly size is not the only thing that changes in pregnancy and in many cases your bra size will change before you even really need to change clothing sizes. I’ve already changed sizes twice, in a little over five months- so there’s that. Luckily, with sports bras and spandex you get a little more leeway and use out of original ones before switching over. Eventually though, chances are you will need to size up.
Splurge: After picking the brains of friends, MANY suggested Brooks (formerly Moving Comfort) bras. I ended up with the Juno. It’s very supportive, good for larger cup sizes, and from what I’ve been told, also good for nursing as well.
Save: I found a few reasonably priced bras at stores like Marshalls and TJMaxx which work fine for lower impact activity.
Hack: Instead of buying new expensive more supportive bras, some of you can get away with double-bagging ’em: double up on lighter stretchier bras you already have or buy a couple of cheapies, like this one from Target.
No matter what your favorite style for running shirts before pregnancy, eventually they’ll be too tight in the chest, or your belly will get too big, stretching out or poking out from the bottom of them. The goal is to find shirts and jackets long enough and roomy enough in all the right places.
Splurge: There are cute maternity workout tops out there, including For Two Fitness. You’ve probably seen pictures of these on social media before, they fit well for pregnancy bodies but also have sayings on them to point out the obvious in a fun way!
Save: Quick fix that I did was to simply buy a bigger size of some of my go-to running tops. There are always good sales on Running Warehouse, plus adding a discount code (like #SALTY10) can help you save even more.
Hacks: Salty found an extra large tank top super cheap and made adjustable darts with safety pins to keep the shirt nipped in at across the chest, but roomy around her belly. Consider borrowing a jacket or some long sleeves from your favorite running partner to get through those last months. Lastly, a belly band can extend the life of shirts that fit except for their length.
I got away with wearing my old bottoms the longest out of any of my old running clothes, but by five months my favorite lucky booty shorts were no longer going to cut it … or should I say cover it. It was time to find something a little more comfortable. When it comes to pregnancy running shorts, pants, or tights, I highly suggest opting for styles with a wider waistband. A wider stretchy waistband digs into your belly less and is more forgiving as you grow.
Splurge: Many places sell actual maternity fitness shorts and bottoms. When you get further along, full panel bottoms can definitely help keep things where they are supposed to be.
Hacks: When splurging on larger bottoms for running through pregnancy, consider the season that you’ll be returning to running as well. You’ll likely need bigger bottoms during at least a few postpartum months. Spandex bottoms are forgiving and will likely fit you for longer after baby than other bottoms.
You may be just fine wearing your normal running shoes all throughout pregnancy, or you may have to make some adjustments. Some women find that their feet get wider during pregnancy, others have to go up a half or full size, especially later into the second and third trimesters. You can always go to your local running store and try out a few different shoes to see what feels right. Or, once again, scour Running Warehouse for some deals too (their return policy is great, so if the new shoes aren’t right, send them back).
The fact is, it may seem like a pricey thing to invest in for a few months but you may actually end up wearing the larger or different size shoes for a while after you have your baby. Some women find that their feet actually don’t return to pre-baby size.
Belly Bands and Support Belts
Some women find they don’t need any bands or belts, and others, like myself, found it very uncomfortable to run or even walk without a very supportive belt. That little bundle of joy really pushes out your round ligaments, which can cause pain. The bands and belts help support your belly but also your lower back. The bands are typically less supportive and the belts more supportive.
In second and third trimester it’s not uncommon to deal with some serious cankles. Yes, they’re scary looking, but that swelling can also be really uncomfortable. Compression calf sleeves and socks can help. They increase blood flow and can decrease the swelling and discomfort, too. Just remember that not all compression is created equal so be sure to look for reputable brands, that have gradual and tight fit!
Note: Always note localized swelling, like cankles, to your doctor at your routine maternity check-ups. If the swollen area hurts or is on one side and not the other, extreme, or you’re simply worried, give your doctor’s office a call. It’s better to be safe and make sure there isn’t something else going on that might require attention.
Yeah, this one is basic, but really important. We all know we need to eat more when pregnant, but what can often be overlooked is that you also need an extra 10-25 ounces of water per day and that number is higher if you are running or working out, especially in the heat (inside or outside).
You might be tempted to drink less before heading out, since you are already hitting the bathroom more times per day than you’d like. It’s better to pee 16 times during a run than not drink enough, so accept the pee stops and drink up! Increasing your water intake can also help ward off nausea, constipation and muscle cramps, and even Braxton Hicks contractions.
If you run outside, invest in a handheld water bottle unless you already have one and run near a water source to refill it as needed. If you run inside, keep a water bottle on the treadmill and take that break to refill it, even if that means you have to reset the mileage tracker.
If you ran during pregnancy, what did you wear and what gear was critical for you?