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Active Mum's Wardrobe: Maternity and Postpartum Clothing Must-Haves

I totally get it, you’re spending every minute of the day soaking up all the energy you can muster as you grow new life and then your midwife asks, “Are you exercising?”! Although exercise is sometimes the last thing on your mind when you’re already feeling tired, studies show that women who stay active and exercise throughout their pregnancy are less likely to require intervention and are physically more prepared for labour.

If you ever needed an excuse to go clothes shopping, this is it. Imagine exercising in your existing maternity clothes that you might wear for everyday and then imagine exercising in seamless maternity sportswear. We both know which choice would be more comfortable, and this is key if you’re going to build a habit of exercising consistently throughout your pregnancy.

Pregnant woman looking at herself in the mirror while holding her belly

The challenges of finding clothes as an active mum

Your body will change in more ways than you realise as your pregnancy progresses and you’ll need the best maternity clothes and maternity underwear for your activities. Some of the challenges expecting mums face when finding the right activewear for pregnancy are:

  • Inconsistent clothes sizes
  • Little or no support for their bump
  • Knowing which nursing bra to wear for exercise
  • Finding maternity clothes that size with you as your bump grows
  • Getting too hot in their maternity clothes for exercise

With the right maternity sportswear and pregnancy underwear, these common issues can be avoided.

It’s important to note here that you do not need to size up in your clothes because you’re pregnant. In fact, you would be far better off to buy maternity wear in your pre-pregnancy size as they will fit better to your figure. Petite maternity clothes and plus size maternity clothing ranges are also available to buy from most retailers.

Learn more: What Bodily Changes Can You Expect During Pregnancy?

Staying Active During Pregnancy & Postpartum:

The benefits for staying active during pregnancy are endless. From relieving physical discomfort to improving your health and wellbeing in preparation for your new arrival, exercise in moderation can be one of the most effective remedies in pregnancy and postpartum.

Gear Up for Every Activity

First Trimester

In the first few weeks of conceiving, your body will be going through rapid changes and your energy levels will noticeably drop. It’s also advised to keep exercise activities low key during your first trimester to reduce the impact on your body.

Key pieces you’ll want for your maternity wardrobe will be supportive sports bras and seamless leggings that can expand with you from the start of your pregnancy all the way through to postpartum. When you’re buying any piece of clothing, comfort is crucial!

Second Trimester

In your second trimester you will be starting to show, and your energy levels may have lifted from before. You can embrace higher-impact activities wearing maternity activewear that’s got the flexibility and comfort to see you through your workout such as running, swimming, or cycling. Wearing a pregnancy support band will support you and your bump to move freely with extra support during your work outs.

pregnant woman cycling on an exercise bike wearing sports clothes

Third Trimester & Postpartum

Towards the end of your pregnancy, you’ll find yourself adapting your exercises and swapping your high-impact sports for more gentle ones such as yoga or walking. If you experience any discomfort that limits how much exercise you can do, know that’s ok and listen to your body if you need to rest.

Learn more: Nutritional tips for active and athletic pregnant women

Adapting Your Activewear for Pregnancy

Investing in a great pair of maternity leggings for exercise is essential for optimising your comfort in pregnancy. Although you could continue to wear some of your existing sportswear, like loose fitting tops and sweatshirts, items like Noppies Seamless Leggings will make a great addition to your maternity wardrobe. You can also wear maternity tank tops that are a bit longer in the body to give you more coverage.

Maternity sports bras with hook and eye loops will offer you more support and allow you to adjust as your rib cage expands slightly throughout your pregnancy. Having adjustable straps will also make a big difference as your body undergoes changes and your milk starts to come in. Maternity underwear like Noppies Seamless Nursing Bra can offer maximum support and ultimate comfort made with Sensil® Breeze fabric and cooling technology.

Another essential item you will find beneficial for pregnancy and postpartum is a support band like, Lola&Lykke’s Core Relief Pregnancy Support Belt and Core Restore Postpartum Support Belt. A maternity support band will give your body extra support when you’re exercising and help you to maintain the correct posture. You can even wear it day-to-day on those days you feel you need added support to be active and soothe any discomfort with a wearable hot/cold gel pack.

Learn more about Maternity Support Belts

Must-have clothes for pregnancy and postpartum

Now you’ve got a better idea what maternity activewear to start adding to your basket, these are our top picks from the Lola&Lykke and Noppies Collection which will see you through pregnancy and postpartum.

Noppies maternity clothing line

After an exciting wait, Noppies maternity clothing line is now available online at Lola&Lykke. Noppies pride themselves on creating sustainable clothes with a seam-free finish that are so comfy, they are like wearing a second skin. Made using Sensil® Breeze fabric, Noppies maternity clothes keep you cool and dry all day long. The unique fabric is lightweight, eco-friendly and stretches with ease to adapt to your changing body.

Four models posing and wearing seamless maternity collection by Noppies in different colors

Everyday maternity clothes

Maternity clothes can be worn from the moment you feel that your non maternity clothes are no longer comfortable. There will be some of your pre-pregnancy clothes that you can continue to wear because they are oversized, loose-fitting, or have extra stretch in them to accommodate for your bump.

Everyday maternity outfits need to maximise your comfort, be versatile in what you can wear them with, and be breathable to regulate your body temperature. For example, consider maternity leggings that are high waisted with a bump panel and moisture-wicking material. Flowy and loose tops are easy to wear and can be easier to adjust for breastfeeding too.

Seamless maternity underwear

Sometimes the maternity underwear you wear isn’t always right for exercising in and you need something with a bit more give and that won’t be seen through your leggings! High-waisted and seamless pregnancy underwear will be easier to wear under your maternity clothes and offer breathable fabrics and gentle compression. Seamless maternity underwear is by far the comfiest choice, and you can often buy it in matching sets with a seamless nursing bra too. Nursing bras don’t have to be worn only after baby arrives, you can wear them throughout your pregnancy too as the design and features often complement what expecting mums need in a supportive bra for exercise.

Learn more: Maternity Underwear vs. Regular Ones: What Sets Them Apart?

Shoes to wear during pregnancy

he best shoes to wear during pregnancy are slip-on shoes and/or trainers with a supportive insole. Trainers come in so many styles and colours and are truly versatile in what you can pair them with. Choose for a style that you can slip-on without having to bend down or tie laces, this will be ideal for the later stages of pregnancy when you can’t reach past your bump or postpartum if you’ve undergone surgery.

Also consider styles of shoe that are supportive for your back and posture and are made using breathable fabrics to keep your feet cool. Many women experience swollen feet during pregnancy and the best shoes to wear for swollen pregnant feet are either breathable trainers or open flatform sandals for walking.

The Importance of Comfort & Confidence

When you’re already feeling a little uncomfortable through the different stages of pregnancy, one of the things you do have control over are the clothes you wear, and more importantly, how they make you feel.

Swapping your non-maternity clothes for seamless leggings and nursing bras can still make you feel confident and trendy, and you will develop your own signature style throughout your pregnancy. When you’re feeling positive about your body image, this will shine through with an air of confidence, and you can celebrate the changes your body is going through as you embrace motherhood.

pregnant woman standing on hill wearing pregnancy support band and sportswear

Key Takeaways

In short, staying active throughout your pregnancy will see you reaping the benefits as you progress through each trimester and postpartum. Choosing the right maternity clothes for exercise will not only provide you comfort but they can also be worn to support your body in conjunction with a support band as you exercise.

Explore different styles that you know and like and consider key features such as seamless-styled clothes, breathable materials, and maternity clothes with longevity that can be worn postpartum too. Head over to the maternity clothes section on the Lola&Lykke website to inspire your maternity wardrobe.