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Whether you’re newly pregnant or have just delivered your little bundle of joy, leggings are going to be your best friend. Comfy, stretchy, easy to put on and take off—why would you ever consider wearing anything else?
What some expecting women don’t realize is that your leggings need to change along with your body. Each trimester—and postpartum recovery—will present new challenges and different needs than the stage before it. The leggings you choose to wear during each stage can make a big difference in helping you manage symptoms and lessen overall discomfort.
So, how do you know what leggings you should buy right now? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Consider this your all-inclusive Belly Bandit guide to maternity leggings.
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are both exciting and challenging. The joy of being able to welcome a new member to your family can be accompanied by discomfort brought on by several significant physical changes that seem to happen all at once. Common first trimester symptoms include extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, mood swings, tender or swollen breasts, and a waistline that slowly starts to expand.
It’s no wonder why most women consider this trimester the hardest of all. However, despite so many abrupt changes, it is normal to gain little to no weight during these first few weeks. In fact, most women won’t even notice weight gain until the second trimester.
So, what does this mean for your leggings? During the first trimester, your primary concern should be comfort. Look for cozy leggings that aren’t too snug. Since you won’t experience much belly growth during this trimester, you can continue to wear regular, non-maternity leggings if you would like, or go ahead and embrace a comfy pair of maternity leggings that can grow with you throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Some of our favorite first-trimester maternity leggings are:
B.D.A.™ Maternity LeggingsUltra-soft with a tagless, seamless design, these will be the everyday leggings you never want to take off.
ActiveSupport™ Essential LeggingsMoisture-wicking fabric with four-way stretch keeps you cool and comfy for workouts and busy days.
ActiveSupport™ Power LeggingsSupportive, non-restrictive, and they have pockets. What more do you need from a pair of leggings for pregnancy?
Designed to be worn before, during, and after pregnancy, all of these leggings feature an ultra-soft, built-in belly panel that can easily stretch over a growing bump or fold down for a more snug fit. If you’re not sure where to start with your maternity leggings collection, we recommend investing in a pair of leggings that you’ll be able to wear for the majority of your pregnancy and after.
During weeks 13 to 27, you and your baby will be experiencing rapid growth. Your abdomen begins to swell and you may even feel the beginnings of your baby’s first movements.
But while much of the nausea, headaches, and breast soreness from the first trimester will begin to subside—or even disappear entirely—you may discover an entirely new set of aches, pains, and discomforts in your back, pelvis, and hips as your muscles strain to support your growing belly.
During this second trimester, support should be your main concern. Here are a few great options for second-trimester leggings:
B.D.A.™ Maternity LeggingsIf you didn’t get them during your first trimester, you’ll want them now. The breathable knit fabric is great for sensitive skin that is beginning to stretch and become itchy or dry.
ActiveSupport™ Essential LeggingsThat burst of second-trimester energy is a real thing! Stick with your existing workout routine as much as possible (with modifications where you need them) and your daily activities with these supportive maternity leggings.
ActiveSupport™ Power LeggingsFeaturing under-belly support and compressive, interlock fabric, these maternity leggings are a must-have in the second trimester.
Maternity Bump Support™ LeggingsNow that you’re well on your way through the journey of pregnancy, you’ll love the support and smoothing effect of these leggings. Made out of our WonderWeave™ material, these leggings help keep lotions, creams, and oils on your body to help hydrate your skin and fight stretch marks.
Belly Bandit maternity leggings are specifically designed to give moderate to substantial belly support—something regular leggings don’t offer. During this second trimester, you’ll need the extra support and stabilization from maternity leggings to help protect your body as it works to support your growing belly. In addition to supportive leggings, you may consider trying one of our maternity belly support belts. These maternity belly belts brace your lower back and gently lift your bump to help distribute the weight more evenly, giving your strained back and pelvic muscles a much-needed break.
The home stretch! The two biggest challenges expecting mamas face during this trimester are swelling and pain from fatigued muscles. During pregnancy, the body produces about 50% more blood and body fluids to support the needs of your baby. This extra fluid circulates throughout your body and tends to pool in your lower extremities, causing puffiness and painful swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs.
On top of the extra weight from increased fluids, your baby is also growing rapidly. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, your baby will gain one-half to three-quarters of a pound per week! All this extra weight forces your muscles to work even harder to support you and a growing belly, resulting in aches and often persistent pain and discomfort.
Long story short? Your body needs every bit of extra support that it can get! The third trimester is the time to break out your most supportive maternity leggings. You may even find it helpful to wear maternity leggings or maternity socks that offer compression around your legs and ankles to help encourage blood flow and reduce swelling. Remember: You should never wear any leggings that compress your belly while pregnant. Be careful to only wear leggings intended for maternity use during this trimester.
Our top maternity leggings recommendations for maximum support and pain relief in your final trimester are:
Maternity Bump Support™ LeggingsLow compression and high support make these leggings third-trimester wardrobe essentials. Pull them over your belly for a gentle lift or fold the waistband under your bump for maximum support in your lower back.
ActiveSupport™ Power LeggingsWhether you’re working out or working to stand up from the couch, the under-belly band on these maternity leggings will give you the non-restrictive support you need to keep moving during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Maternity Compression Tights We know these are technically maternity tights and not leggings, but they’re so great we couldn’t leave them off our list! Just as comfortable as leggings, these tights offer the added benefit of graduated, medical-grade compression to help reduce swelling in your feet and legs.
Also known as “the fourth trimester" because of the many changes your body experiences on its journey back to normal, the postpartum period comes with its own set of challenges.
Postpartum leggings like Belly Bandit’s Mother Tucker® leggings offer compression to help stabilize weakened muscles and promote faster healing. Ultra-soft performance fabrics combined with our world-famous compression technology have resulted in a line of leggings that are gentle on sensitive skin and healing incisions while also compressing your midsection to help your body return to its pre-pregnancy state.
Choosing the best maternity leggings at the right time can help you move more easily through each stage of pregnancy and recover more quickly after giving birth. The right maternity leggings can help lessen your discomfort and give you the confidence you need to enjoy every new adventure that motherhood throws your way!
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