The Best Maternity Workout Clothes

Everything you read about pregnancy encourages you to work out while you’re expecting. Yet, ironically, go search for maternity workout clothes and you’ll find that your options mostly tend to be (1) limited (2) ugly (3) overpriced, or some combination of the three. Back in the day I used to work out in whatever raggedy old outfit I could find, but in recent years I’ve found that having cute, flattering, fun workout gear is a big factor in keeping me motivated to work out. So I was determined that this pregnancy, I’d find workout gear that I loved and that would keep me wanting to exercise up until as close as delivery as possible.

how to have a healthy pregnancy
Me in my cute workout gear at 20 weeks pregnant.

Maternity Workout Tops

I’m just going to say it: You won’t easily find super cheap maternity workout tops. At least, not quality ones. You can work out in a basic cotton maternity cami or tank, which shouldn’t set you back too far. But I sweat enough when I work out that I wanted something made of sweat-wicking fabric. I also wanted something that I’d feel really cute in. After scouring the Internet plus local stores that carry maternity lines, I ended up buying two tops from ForTwo Fitness. And I have LOVED them! I’d totally buy them again in a future pregnancy and plan on giving them as gifts to friends who plan on working out while pregnant. 🙂

best maternity workout clothes
Just rolled out of bed and ready for a walk. Haha.

ForTwo offers functional, comfy, and flattering workout clothes for moms-to-be. I own one t-shirt and one tank of theirs and love both. The ruching on the sides makes these tops surprisingly stretchy and comfy even into third trimester  They also wash well and haven’t yet had any pilling or signs of wear of any kind so far. I took the picture above the first time I wore my tee, at 15 weeks along, and the pictures below are last week at 34 weeks pregnant. They still fit and both look and feel awesome!

Here I am at 34 weeks along. The shirt still keeps me covered and comfy!IMG_5611

Even better? Along with being top-notch quality and fitting as flatteringly as anything can during pregnancy, they have the cutest sayings on them! If that’s not your style, they offer plain tanks and tees too, but I love the Sweating for Two text on my shirts. You can also choose Training for Two, Walking for Two, Running for Two, Racing for Two, Yoga for Two, Cycling for Two, Belly Up to the Barre  . . . pretty much any pregnancy workout you’re doing, ForTwo has a cute shirt for it. And if you happen to be carrying twins, they even For Three apparel items! How cute is that?

Here’s the link to my green tank. Also, here’s the link to my black t-shirt. I love both for different reasons and am glad I’ve one of each.

How to Save on ForTwoFitness Gear

The pricing on the items at ForTwo may seem pretty steep. I know I don’t often spend $50 on a shirt! But remember that you’ll be using these workout tops for months and months—some of the most important months of your life, no less, as your healthy choices will be affecting not just you but your baby. I found these shirts to be well worth the investment. However, know that if you’re smart, you won’t have to pay the full price listed on the site for your ForTwo gear.

cute maternity clothes
Here I am in the green tank at just shy of 35 weeks. Again, it still looks and feels great!

It seems like ForTwo is ALWAYS running some kind of sale or promo. Within seconds of visiting their site, you’ll likely be offered a coupon for at least 20% off a coming purchase if you sign up for their emails. These emails will alert you to potentially even better sales or coupons down the line, so if you can be patient for the next holiday (or even some random flash sale—they happen too), you should be able to snag an amazing deal within a few weeks. I was able to get my t-shirt and tank for about $65 total shipped, for example. That’s about $30 off the listed price!

Maternity Workout Bottoms

Like maternity workout tops, good maternity workout bottoms are something you’re going to have to view as an investment. They’re just not cheap. Anywhere.

I would have loved to try out the bottoms sold at ForTwo, because I imagine they’re as great as their tops. But my spending cash was nearly out by the time I’d bought my two shirts. I ended up opting for basic workout shorts from Old Navy or Target that were non-maternity. I simply bought them two sizes bigger than my normal and let them ride on my hips below my bump.The ForTwo tops are nice and long, so I was able to do this and still stay 100% covered. 🙂

Target constantly changes up the prints and colors, but they ALWAYS have a basic workout short available for $15–$20 a pair. If you’re lucky, you can snag them for under $10 from a clearance rack.

 

Now, if I were running or doing lots of jumpy cardio, these shorts might have slid right off my butt. Below the bump isn’t ideal for some modes of exercise, true. However, for walking and the mostly strength-based DVD workouts I’ve been doing this pregnancy, they stayed in place just fine. Occasionally I’ll throw on a basic pair of cotton yoga pants for a workout instead. But in general, I much prefer the freedom of movement shorts give over even the stretchiest workout capris or pants.

What About Shoes?

I’ll be honest: for my indoor DVD workouts, I’m usually barefoot. Since most of my strength training is very barre/pilates focused, even the trainers on my DVDs usually don’t have shoes on.

However, for walking, it’s a big deal to have good and supportive shoes. Every foot is different, so just be sure that whatever shoes you walk in make your feet feel good both during AND AFTER your workouts. Fun and trendy minimalist shoes probably won’t feel so great with all the extra weight you’ll be carrying.

The latest model is the 33, but I’m still rocking some 31s I bought a few years ago.

I personally love my Nike Pegasus shoes that I used to run in pre-pregnancy. They’re an awesome, cushy, supportive shoe if you’re a neutral foot. My current pair still had about 150 miles on them, so I’m planning on using them until I have this baby and then probably buying a new pair whenever I resume running after Scarlett arrives.

The cheapest place I’ve found these shoes is RoadRunnerSports.com. If you time it right, you can buy the OLD model right after the new one for the year is released and pay about $60 for them instead of the $100+ MSRP. This is true of many models of running/training shoes, so if you can be patient and plan ahead, you can pay nearly half price for your favorite model of shoe by shopping this way.

Maternity Workout Bras

Last but not least, you NEED a good, supportive sports bra for any pregnancy exercise. Now, you aren’t likely to be jumping around a whole bunch like you may have in pre-preggo workouts. No matter how fit you are, that just won’t feel good once your uterus starts getting big. But being so much bigger on top means you’ll thank yourself if you invest in something nice and sturdy (and, ahem, not see-through! Sorry if that’s TMI but that’s my biggest bra concern while pregnant). As an added bonus, the bras you use now will likely work great as workout bras after you have your baby, when breastfeeding will make good support/show-through coverage more important than ever.


The bra I use gives me plenty of support and has zero awkward nipple-show-through issues, even on chilly days. It’s the Champion Show-Off Sports Bra. I’ve got two in the basic black, though there are lots of fun color options. Amazon is hands-down the best place to get these guys. There’s a range of prices depending on your size and color choice, but mine were both about $20 apiece. I’ve seen them at local brick-and-mortar stores for about $40 apiece, so getting these online is by far your best move.

Obviously, shopping for a bra online means you can’t try it on first, but most of the sizes and colors offer free returns. For reference, I was a 36B pre-pregnancy and am now a 38D at 35 weeks pregnant, and the large is a great fit. I know I’ll appreciate these supportive bras once I resume workouts post-baby too, since I plan to breastfeed.


So there’s my rundown on maternity workout clothes. Happy shopping! 🙂  Comment below if there are any other great places to find workout maternity clothes that we should all know about.


Full disclosure: This page and a few others on my blog contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link on one of my posts that takes you to another site where you buy a product I recommend, I get a small commission. I take that as a huge virtual high-five and thank you from my readers and am tickled when it happens, but I hope you know that I have a staunch policy of only including affiliate links for products that I actually own and think are incredible, as well as only linking to the best price I can find for any given product. 

5 Easy & Cheap DIY Baby Projects

If you’re like me, once you hit third trimester the “nesting” urge kicks in. Suddenly I’m all over Pinterest looking up DIY baby projects. Like so many of us, I want a nursery that looks like it came from a Pottery Barn catalog, but unfortunately, I’m not a bajillionaire. I’m not a great seamstress (as in I still count it as a victory when I can sew a project and not cry or swear once), but even basic sewing and crafting skills can do a lot to dress up a simple nursery.

Baby Scarlett is due in 6 short weeks. I’m still healthy and well and even working out 5–6 times a week, but I’m getting progressively more tired and achey as my due date gets closer and closer. So this weekend I wrapped up the last of my baby-related projects so that I can settle in and take it easy for these last weeks of my pregnancy.

Here are 4 of the things I made plus one simple but amazing thing I bought, along with links to the tutorials I used, in case any of you want to give them a try. Have fun!

Nursing Cover

I breastfed both of my previous two babies for about 10 months each, and I hope to do the same with Baby Scarlett. I’m not at all averse to nursing in public (and am always so happy when I see other moms at the park, the pool, at church, or elsewhere who don’t feel the need to go hide in a closet to feed their baby!). But I personally prefer using a light cover when I do so.

You can buy adorable nursing covers, but here’s what I’ve found: they’re all pretty small. The nursing covers I bought and used with Soph and Rorie worked great at first. You don’t need a ton of fabric to cover a relatively still and calm newborn that weighs less than seven pounds. But give that newborn a few weeks and months and you may have a wiggler on your hands. My girls were constantly flailing and wiggling as they ate once they hit about 6 months old, and I found myself wishing my cover was bigger.

diy baby project nursing cover

So this time around I made my own so I could go for bigger dimensions. Also, sewing your own means you can pick whatever fabric you want. And who doesn’t love that? There are a million DIY nursing cover tutorials out there, but the simplest and clearest one I found was at Sew Much Ado. The only major deviation I made from this tutorial is that I chose to use velcro instead of D-rings. It seems like I spent a lot of time fiddling with those dumb rings back when I nursed Soph and Rorie. I’m hoping velcro will help keep this cover stay put once I’m using it with this coming baby.
diy baby projects nursing cover

Carseat Cover

I’m on my THIRD baby using the same infant carseat. It’s still not past its expiration date, so it’s totally safe, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sick of it. Also, now that I’m having girl #3, I’m kicking myself for every gender-neutral item I bought on baby #1 since it turns out I could have gone all girly girly on everything. Sigh.

Here's baby #2 coming home from the hospital in said gender-neutral Graco carseat.
Here’s baby #2 coming home from the hospital in said gender-neutral Graco carseat.

This time around I wanted to make something REALLY cute and feminine. I also know I’m going to be taking this baby out in the elements more than I did with my previous two—this is my first non-summer baby, plus I now have a kindergartener, so staying home all day when the weather is yucky (my old M.O.) is no longer an option for me.

I found myself drooling over the gorgeous but pricy Whole Caboodle sets made by Carseat Canopy. The minky everything looked so pretty but more importantly warm and cozy. But when it came down to it, I didn’t want to shell out that much money unless it was EXACTLY what I wanted. In my head I pictured something both red and girly, since this baby is going to be named Scarlett, but all the girly patterns available on their site were purple or pink.

I ended up finding a boy-pattern Whole Caboodle for a steal on eBay. I went with it because it had the red minky interior I was after. I then unpicked all the cotton top fabric on both the cover and the lap blanket and re-sewed on girly red fabric I went out and bought with a 50% off coupon at JoAnn’s. It was a bit of a pain to do all that unpicking, but don’t you think it turned out fun?

This was a great way to do it for me because I don’t think I could hack sewing the minky slipcover (which I really wanted), but I am totally capable of doing a simple blanket and cover.

For my past babies, though, I’ve just done a basic cotton cover (which, especially for summer babies, works great. Note that I made a basic pink one in the picture of the carseat above which was also darling). The best of the many tutorials for those I’ve found is at The Ribbon Retreat.

Wall Decals

This isn’t really a project, but I wanted to include decals in this post because I think they’ve made my girls’ rooms SO cute. We’re currently living in a basement apartment where painting’s not an option. So our walls are a generic neutral color, but I still wanted to dress up the walls in the nursery and the new “big girl bedroom” my older daughters are now sharing.

 

Scarlett wall decal

I’d never tried wall decals before these ones, but I am a huge fan.  Etsy is exploding with shops that make adorable, customizable decals of all kinds. I opted for ones with my daughters’ names. I looked and looked through dozens of sellers on Etsy and finally found what I considered the cutest decals for the best prices from CanoDesigns (for the Sophia/Aurora ones with the butterflies) and OZAVinylGraphics for the framed Scarlett one. Sandra from Cano Designs in particular was awesome to work with. She sent me a few proofs and font samples until I figured out exactly what I wanted, and I was really impressed that she’d take so much time on me.  In fact, she even let me know that all of you guys can use the coupon code FORYOU15 to get 15% off anything you buy from the CanoDesigns Etsy store. 🙂

 

As a side note, I know that I was really scared of ruining my decals by applying them to my wall incorrectly. The good news is it was actually really easy to do, but I know I felt better watching a tutorial or two online before I went to slap them on my walls. Here are the videos I found the most helpful: this one on the “hinge method” of applying the decal to the wall, and then this one on removing the clear transfer tape layer.

Curtains

I wanted cute curtains that coordinated with the rest of the room, so the easiest and cheapest option for me was to sew my own. I opted for shorter curtains rather than prettier floor-length ones because of the heaters on my walls, but I still think they turned out cute and added something to the room.

diy baby projects curtains

I’m not an experienced sewer by any means. Most of you could probably just measure a window and go to town from there without any further instruction. But as a newbie, I appreciated a step-by-step walk-through. This tutorial from Design*Sponge was awesome for spelling out every step from choosing fabric to how to get the rod pocket just right.

Ruffled Crib Skirt

Last of all, I made this ruffly, fun crib skirt for the nursery. It looks crazy hard, but it’s really not! It’s time consuming for sure, but not difficult. You could buy something similar from Pottery Barn for a whopping $79. But making your own will save you buckets of cash (especially if you can be patient enough to wait for good fabric store coupons that’ll chop your fabric price by 30% or more) AND allows you to pick whatever colors and patterns you want for your fabric. Note that I coordinated with the curtains so that the room looks all pulled together. 🙂

red ruffled crib skirt

The tutorial I used for this one is from a blog called Saleena Marie.  Again, this project isn’t difficult but simply takes a little time thanks to all the fabric cutting and then ruffling. So pick a good movie or fire up some Gilmore Girls and plan on spending a bit of time on this one. It’s so worth it in the end! The ruffles transform an otherwise blah crib into something absolutely darling.

A Few Last Touches

That was pretty much it for my nursery. It’s a cute, functional little space that I can’t wait to actually use. But here are a few final things I added to the room.

Having a few cute things to hang on the wall always makes a room feel more complete to me. If you guys follow me on Pinterest you know I’m a fan of all things “Keep Calm.” Well, when is the reminder to Keep Calm and Carry On more appropriate than when you’re up with a screaming newborn in the middle of the night? I moved this sign from another room in my house to the nursery both because of the sentiment behind it and because it’s red. It was just too perfect.

Keep Calm nursery

My husband’s family also has a tradition of tying a little baby blanket for every grandbaby in the family. We did Scarlett’s a few weeks ago with some of Mark’s siblings, and it turned out really cute. The top fabric is the same as one of the tiers of the ruffled crib skirt and the bottom is plushy red minky.

 

McConkie family

I think my very favorite thing about Scarlett’s room, though, is this picture.

unnamed-1

My mother-in-law, Gina, passed away in February. She fought cancer for nearly four years before we lost her at the start of 2016. There are so many things about Gina that I want my Scarlett to exemplify, which is why we’ve settled on Scarlett Gina McConkie for her full name. This gorgeous picture is of Gina with my husband Mark when he was a baby. Isn’t it amazing? I’m sad that my Scarlett won’t know her Grandma McConkie, but I love that we can keep her memory close by having her picture there in Scarlett’s room.


So there you have it! For any of you expecting mamas, feel free to comment below and link to tutorials for baby projects you’ve done. I might have a little steam left in these remaining 6 weeks and am always up for a fun little project or two. 🙂