WHAT I’VE LEARNED ABOUT BEING PREGNANT, WORKING OUT, AND WHAT TO WEAR
1. Shopping stops being fun.
So, shopping for workout wear is massively less fun when you’re pregnant. There’s no such thing as “man this top makes me feel sleek and powerful.” It’s just “man, I look like a hippo.”
Couldn’t even zip the damn jacket.
2. You’re tired as shit.
Working out when you’re pregnant is massively less fun, also. First trimester I barely did anything because I was so fatigued. I mean, a walk around the block was a win. I’m not kidding. Also, your blood volume increases, which makes you feel instantly like you’ve lost all of your cardiovascular fitness. So while you can still wear your workout clothes, you can’t workout and feel like the laziest piece of shit on earth. Or at least I did.
3. Even if you want to run the whole pregnancy, you might not be able to.
Second trimester, I got my energy back, but my appetite grew. So I’ve just been growing in every way. Working out…eh. I can’t run because it feels like my bladder is going to fall out, and I’m generally pretty lazy. I walk. I’ll do a little Dailey Method. A little lifting. A few 21 day fix videos. Also, I went to spin twice, figuring “hey, no impact, perfect.” One class was fine. But another class, we did a lot of really fast pedaling, which was basically me bouncing (slamming) up and down really fast on a bike seat for an hour. Pretty uncomfortable. Anyway, workout commitment and consistency?…Not even close. Granted, I work from home, so I struggle with structure and routine. You may not be such a worthless slacker.
This is me after spin.
4. Even though you don’t want to shop, you have to.
As far as workout wear goes: 1st trimester I just bought larger sizes of pants I liked. My Athleta Chaturanga leggings were king. They’re really soft and stretchy, not a compression pant. I also rocked a pair of seamless champion tights that I just bought huge. I didn’t feel comfortable bouncing a ton, so it didn’t matter if they weren’t tight enough to really stay up.
Champion seamless yoga capris.
5. At some point you WILL have to buy maternity pants. And it will change your life.
So you might think you can save yourself some money buy just buying larger workout pants, that you’ll still need later as you’re coming back down from preggo size. Yeah. You need those. But at some point, that belly is going to grow. And even though pants fit in the butt and legs, they just get more and more uncomfortable on your gut. I went on a road trip in regular jeans before I could bring myself to buy maternity. It was a mistake. I had to lie back with the car seat reclined, pants undone Al Bundy-style, whining the whole time about how I couldn’t breathe. Don’t be vain and stupid like me. Be comfortable and get on with your life.
6. Start with under the belly.
At first you’ll want under-the-belly stuff. These basically have a big elastic waist band and slope down at the front. Very comfortable. I have some jeans and leggings. And I tried the Maternity Straight Up Pant, and Maternity Metro Legging from Athleta. The Straight Up is called that because they’re closer to a straight leg than a bell-bottom yoga style. I didn’t like them because they were tight and compression-y. The Metro Legging is a legging with seams and pockets so it’s styled like a jean. I like them because they’re slightly more pant-like than leggings, but they do tend to slide down when I’m walking.
Athleta Maternity Straight Up
Athleta Maternity Metro
Athleta Maternity Metro.
As far as “public pants” go, I found that the J.Crew maternity minnie pants were actually LOWER rise than the regular ones. No bueno. The Old Navy fake Minnie pants (pixie) maternity are a fine substitute. And for anything in the “black stretchy pant” category,Target is fine. I have some Gap and Old Navy maternity jeans. Also fine. You could spend more, but really, you just keep on changing sizes so why? Oh, and Free People is pretty great for big flowy but still edgy-ish tops. I just wear tanks, big cardigans, big flowy tops, and the occasional blazer. I am not a dress person. I am not a baby-doll top person. They look like sad potato sacks and I just won’t go there.
7. Transition to fold over/ full belly.
Of course I couldn’t be without my Old Navy Yoga Pants, so I ordered those a size bigger, and then quickly realized that that was pointless and ordered the maternity ones. They have a full belly panel. Which I folded over because my gut didn’t quite fill it up yet. (Now it does.) Same thing with full-belly panel jeans. You’ll want to transition, or at least I did, because while I can technically wear the under the belly stuff, my belly looks more like rolls of beer gut when I sit down and it falls over the band. With a full panel, you get a smooth line. And you can fold it to give yourself a “belly band” effect. I might try a belly band with the low panel pants to see if that works too.
As far as full-on, full-panel maternity workout pants go, I have the Chaturanga (great), some Old Navy capris (fine, but not nearly as stretchy and comfy, compression = not fun), and the Old Navy Yoga Pants. Which everyone knows you don’t work out in, (butt sweat), you just wear around the house because you don’t want to wear real pants ever. Speaking of, those fold-over “yoga leggings” that the kids wear as pants (shudder) are SUPER COMFORTABLE for pregnant times. That fold over flap just becomes a belly panel. Thanks, Target! (and no, I do not mean PINK pants. PINK is for little sluts, littler wannabe sluts and old clueless wannabes. You know better. Don’t do it.)
Athleta Full-panel Chaturanga with the fold over trick.
Old Navy Maternity Compression Capris
Fold over “yoga” (yeah right) leggings from Target.
7. Tops are depressing.
You can totally hide for a while. I just layered tanks and high-low tops and it was totally fine for the first bit. I have been able to wear regular tank tops so far. (I am a pear, though. Apples, maybe not. We get what we get.) But I’m at 26 weeks now, and I don’t think I can really wear my regular ribbed tanks anymore. I have a stash of maternity tanks (rouched sides, extra material) ready to go. You’d think you’d want to wear baggy tops, but with me it’s kind of the opposite. Because my beloved tunics don’t flow and hide. Now they kind of almost…fit. It’s not a fun feeling.
I bought one new top at LuluLemon (black friday weekend clearance). The Run Times Tank. They don’t have it on the site anymore. It’s another bra and breezy over-tank kind of a top, but the over-tank has a little more coverage, the bra has wider straps, and a higher neckline, and the bottom of the bra extends down further so only a teeny little bit of rib skin shows. I look like a marshmallow in it. It bums me out. But it will be a cute feminine thing for after baby. Oh, and special fun note on that top in particular: I posted a picture of me in it on instagram, and some really charming fellow who has an instagram account that posts only pictures of women with bubble butts (in thongs, and yoga pants and volleyball shorts) said, and I quote: “hahaha absolutely disgusting. :)” How did he know how I felt? He must be a real empath. Some lucky girl is going to get to marry him. Or some sex doll with a bubble butt will get to marry him. Because apparently that’s all women’s bodies are to him. Parts. Yay internet!
So anyway, to me, tighter tops are less depressing because at least you’re not adding more volume up there. And for your budget, that’s good. Because you only need a few tank tops. And the Breathe tank from Athleta is great.
Athleta Breathe Tank
Speaking of breathing…good luck with that because…
8. You can’t breathe so good.
My out of breath-ness comes and goes. But blood volume + baby taking up more and more of your body cavity = less lung capacity. It doesn’t feel that way all the time. But…it’s only going to keep getting more crowded in there.
9. Your baby squishes your stomach. So full is REALLY FULL.
And yet, I keep on eating more than I need to, every single time I eat. What’s up with that? Oh yeah, I’m an idiot with a compulsive eating problem. And hormones. Good times.
10. Your boobs get HUGE. And they hurt. Like. Hell. But not all the time.
I never wanted big boobs. My boobs were fine. Neither here nor there. Never bothered me. Now, they’re big, and it has taken some getting used to. I won’t even go from bed to the bathroom without some support. I basically live in bralettes now. My jog bras don’t fit. I bought bigger ones, but they’re still pretty damn uncomfortable. I can’t do bouncy jumpy run-y things anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I don’t need sport-level support. I bought bra band extenders for my real bras. Which kind of work. But I broke down and bought some real bras in the right size yesterday at soma. Yeah. the kind that pretty much have fabric up to your neck and stick out ABOVE your tank top neck lines? Those. Real woman bras. Not very exciting. But the holidays are coming and I will have to go out in public more often. So. Support is probably a good thing to have.
11. You can’t work out for more than 5 minutes because you have to pee every 3 minutes.
Seriously. I mean, I pee more than a puppy when I’m not pregnant. Pregnant, I pee more than I thought was humanly possible. I can’t take a walk that’s longer than 20 minutes, because, no way. And now my dog is getting fat. Even when I walk on the treadmill at home, I have to hop off every five minutes. I’m not joking. It’s ridiculous. I took a “fit 4 baby” fitness class…had to pee before, during, and after. In second trimester came the “double pee.” I’d go upstairs, walk down half a flight of stairs, and have to turn back around and go again. And now that I’m almost in third trimester, the triple pee has started. I will, I shit you not, I sweat to fucking whatever, have to pee three times in five minutes. So yeah, that’s another reason why workouts are tough. You either have to pee, or are stopping to pee. Jumping Jacks? Not gonna happen. I peed twice while trying to write this paragraph.
I could go on about all the other things I’ve learned, but there’s an entire universe of mommy bloggers for that shit. I’ll just keep it to the workout clothes and fitness stuff.
Here are some of my pregnant WorkOutFits: And yes, I had pink hair for a bit. It was leftover from Halloween.
Athleta breathe top and maternity Chaturanga leggings. 23 weeks.
Lululemon Run Times Tank, Old Navy Yoga pants, 25 weeks