We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
With brain-melting fatigue and morning-noon-and-night sickness to contend with, the first trimester of pregnancy can be a bit tricky when it comes to exercise. That said, the human body is pretty resilient and once the hormones start to settle, by the second trimester you might find you're bursting with energy and raring to go!
But even if you're not operating at full speed, it is still beneficial to keep active throughout your pregnancy, which is where maternity gym leggings can help.
Best maternity gym leggings to shop now
In a hurry? Here are the quick links to the best maternity gym leggings. Keep scrolling for the full list...
While some mums-to-be will be running marathons right up until their waters break, others might prefer to do gentle yoga classes or walk to the cake shop, and that's fine. As long as you do what feels right for you and listen to your body, there's no right way to exercise during pregnancy.
But one thing most expectant mamas will have in common is a growing belly! And no matter how stretchy your current fitness kit might be, sooner or later you're going to start busting out of it. So what is the right thing to wear throughout the trimesters?
We've rounded up the best maternity gym leggings on the market so your growing bump will feel comfortable while you focus on your prenatal fitness routine/scoffing cake.
Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
First things first, provided you've been given the all-clear your from your GP or midwife, it is absolutely fine to exercise during pregnancy.
'If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to continue regular physical activity,' says Sarah Campus, a personal trainer and nutrition coach specialising in pre and postnatal fitness. 'Physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery.'
'If you were exercising before pregnancy it is safe to continue,' she adds. 'However, it's not advised to start anything new so opt for low-impact workouts such as swimming, cardio and yoga. You should also avoid high-impact activities like boxing, horse riding, skiing and abdominal crunching for now.'
Exercise during pregnancy benefits
According to Campus, taking regular exercise during pregnancy is good for both you and the baby, and comes with the following benefits:
- Help with both labour and recovery
- Reduces backache
- Boosts your mood and energy levels
- Helps you sleep better
- Promotes muscle strength and tone
- Prevents excess weight gain
Shopping for maternity gym leggings
If you've already stocked up on a comfortable maternity sports bra and bump-friendly knickers, stretchy leggings will no doubt be next on your shopping list. It goes without saying that comfort is key when it comes to antenatal activewear.
'Maternity leggings that are just the right fit around the belly and snug around the legs are an excellent investment for pregnancy,' says Campus. 'As long as your leggings are not too tight around your bump, they make the perfect comfort pants for daily wear. The compression element can also help combat varicose veins, which is a common side-effect of pregnancy.'
But with so many maternity gym leggings to choose from, how do you know which ones to buy? 'Look for high, bump-hugging waists and enough supportive stretch to stay up without the need to pull-up your waistband constantly – which is so annoying,' advises Campus. 'You want support without being too tight or restricting. Breathability and good quality, opaque fabrics that wash well are also essential as they will be on rotation. You want plenty of space for your bump to grow throughout the different stages of your pregnancy.'
15 best maternity gym leggings to shop now
Keep scrolling for our edit of the best maternity leggings for pregnant mums-to-be, available to buy in 2023.
Best bedside cribs and co-sleeping cots for babies
The best baby monitors to shop in 2023
Best pregnancy pillows for support and comfort
12 best baby bath seats to shop now