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Postpartum Workout Gear Recommendations

Postpartum Workout Gear Recommendations Dr Juliana Galante Run Tri Bike

A conversation I often have with a majority of postpartum moms includes “What comfortable workout clothes do you recommend?” or “What postpartum workout gear do you recommend?”

The reality is your body is different than it was prenatally, and that is okay! Your body is beautiful and amazing for what just happened. You just spent nine month growing another human! That is amazing. Also, it is okay to not be the same weight or look the same as you did before your pregnancy. Especially in the early months postpartum, you may not feel completely like yourself, and I get you! So what if I told you that you could feel physically and mentally great in your body?

Feeling good in your body begins with fueling your body appropriately and sleeping (as able) to allow for recovery. You will also need to adjust your workouts to include core-specific strengthening, progressive strength training and a mobility program. Last but not least, feeling good involves your NEW WORKOUT CLOTHES! Going to the gym in the clothes you wore prior to your pregnancy can feel uncomfortable, especially if you are breastfeeding, as your bras may need more support due to hormonal changes. This article is about some of my favorite postpartum workout gear. Along with the specific gear, I will tell you why they will be an awesome addition to your closet. Returning to exercise postpartum may be hard but in the right postpartum workout gear you’ll feel better about it.

As a disclaimer, I am going to start by saying that everyone is different shapes and sizes. I tried to hit various sizes and brands but not every brand will work for everyone. Try various ones before you find the perfect fit for you.

Let’s start from the top!

Postpartum Workout Gear

Sports Bras

Having a comfortable sports bra is KEY in returning to running and higher impact activities postpartum. Whether or not you are breastfeeding or not, your top has changed due to hormones which means support is important. I have included sports bras that are easy to wear when breastfeeding. I added them because nobody likes to pull a tight sweaty sports bra over to feed.

  1. Underamrmour High Crossback Zip Sports bra  This sports bra is so easy to get on and off for feedings. It is supportive and amazing for high-impact sports, keeping everything compressed and in place.
  2. Athleta Advanced Zip Bra  This sports bra is great for high-impact workouts such as running, HIIT workouts, and jumping-type exercises. This bra is supportive for most bra sizes including up to a D-DD cup size.
  3. Delimira High Impact Bra Amazon  This sports bra is supportive and has very comfortable straps. It is easy to unstrap from the front for nursing and has a large clasp in the back.
  4. Belly Bandit active Sports nursing bra This sports bra is very adjustable for all sizes, has straps that won’t dig into the skin, and is very supportive. It is an easy bra to wear for nursing.

Postpartum Workout Leggings 

Some times you don’t want to workout and it could be because of your clothing. Finding a pair of workout leggings that fit your body comfortably can change that mindset. The type of legging is going to look and feel different for everyone. Rule of thumb, the things I look for include comfort and compression- BUT just the right amount. When you take off your leggings you don’t want to see a red stripe or indentation. This is happening because the leggings are sucking your stomach in to the MAX. Find leggings that give you the right amount of compression. It has to feel comfortable and secure, without cutting off circulation. Also, comfort is so important; wearing leggings that are too big and slide or too small and ride up is NO fun. Consider going to stores to try the leggings on before purchase, if possible.

  1. My absolute favorite- during pregnancy and postpartum is lulu Align High rise. These leggings are super soft, comfortable, have pockets, and are HIGH RISE. They never move or cause chafe when running or when changing positions, and are worth the investment! The one thing about this item is they run small. So try not to get down when you are a larger size than normal. Don’t get down on yourself when you are a larger size than normal.
  2. OFFLINE by aerie  These leggings are very cute with a crossover waistband. They are also comfortable and lightweight making them easy to wear in yoga class or when walking. Also HIGH rise!
  3. Belly Bandit Leggings  These leggings are high-rise and comfortable. With just the right amount of compression, these leggings are a must. One issue is they are not the best for running or higher impact sports. I am not the biggest fan of some of the language used on this website, but I do love the leggings. Just know, no one is expecting you to “bounce back” and “go back to pre-pregnancy weight.” This may feel like a goal for you, but what is really important is feeling strong in your body so you can continue to care for your children.

Postpartum Workout Shorts

Depending on the short length and waist size it can be tricky to find the right combination for you. After chatting with many moms, most say they like some support under the shorts. I found two pairs that my clients rave about.

  1. Nike Flex Essential 2-in-1 shorts 2 in 1, aka shorts and short tights in one! These are awesome and very comfortable especially for running. They aid in preventing chafe, HUGE upside.
  2. Athleta Salutation Short These short tights don’t ride up! And they have pockets and are true to size.

Following these recommendations for postpartum gear will help you get out crush your workouts. And you’ll have the added benefit of looking fabulous and comfortable while you do it! I’d love to know, what is your favorite postpartum workout clothes brands?

Dr. Juliana Galante PT, DPT, PCES, CSCS Run Tri Bike Magazine Contributor

Juliana is a Women's health and Orthopedic Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is the founder of Pacer Physical Therapy providing both in-home and virtual care to new moms and runners. She started Pacer PT to empower pregnant and postpartum moms who want to get strong through education, exercise, and healthy habits. Juliana believes that all women should have an equal opportunity to balance, family, work, and fitness so they can be healthy and active with their families.