What's in your DREAM postpartum / maternity closet?

Guen_E
Athleta Product Expert
Athleta Product Expert

Hi everyone! My name is Guen, one of your Athleta Product Experts here to help you navigate your style and product needs.

 

Finding the perfect postpartum and maternity clothes can be challenging. Your body is changing, and you need clothes that make you feel both comfortable and confident every single day.

 

Are you currently in the postpartum stages? Or perhaps you've gone through this in the past.

 

If you had a magic wand, what would make your clothes perfect for maternity and postpartum?

 

Would you give your favorite leggings more stretch in the waistband? Or put absorbent cups in your blouses? Maybe add more chic patterns to your maternity dresses?

 

Tell us in the comments below what would make your clothes perfect for you and your needs. Our designers want to hear from you, so don't hold back!

35 REPLIES 35

Vanessa
Community Manager
Community Manager

Calling Toddler Moms @Heather_C @Sarah_E 📣 Curious to see what the perfect clothes would have been for you both....

carochambers
Member

something between the lulu align waistband and the salutation waistband. lulu is too stretchy, salutation not stretchy enough for pregnancy.

Yes - this is spot on!

Yes! Completely agree with this. While I did manage to wear my lulus throughout my entire pregnancy, they did tend to sag down a little once my belly got bigger. 

Heather_C
Guide
Guide

Anything that is nursing-friendly and great for activity! There are so few brands (only one I really know of) that designs activewear that allows for easy nursing, especially sports bras. Otherwise, definitely agree with @carochambers -- a stretchy / supportive waistband. I was able to wear lulu aligns until the day(s) I went into labor. but postpartum it feels a little too stretchy. Also a big fan of shirts that are loose at the bottom with ends that tie, which allows for them to be worn all through pregnancy and easily transition to postpartum. 🙂 

Yes to all of this. An actual sports bra that can double as a nursing bra was the biggest item I needed postpartum. As an athlete, it was important for me to be able to do both, nurse and be physically active, and finding a good nursing sports bra was elusive. 

Heather_C
Guide
Guide

I have found that during my pregnancies (3 total), I was able to wear a lot of activewear brands that have longer tanks and flowy shirts. The stretch always works for the first trimester,, it's just the length that makes it wearable for the full pregnancy. Currently wearing an Athleta LS shirt that is pretty long in the torso, and also wore it all through my most recent pregnancy. 🙂 

CarrieFit
Member

This is such an important discussion. I help postpartum women with Diastasis Recti and pelvic floor function, and one thing they are looking for is just enough compression to feel held, but not squeezed. And for the breasts to be well supported and also accessible in case of breastfeeding emergency.

 

pentaxk
Member
Postpartum it would have been nice to have pants that not only had the high belly coverage that maternity clothes have, but with more compression. Trying to wear compression belts was super uncomfortable when trying to sit or bend over. But maternity pants with the stretchy high belly coverage was too loose.

Lilisjourney
Member

I am 4 months postpartum. I am still looking for clothes that fit my ever changing body. Ideally, I want clothes like pants that look like jeans or nicer joggers but fit like comfortable leggings. I want it have medium/light compression and fit my wider hips and wider stomach. I currently live in the Farallon hike joggers bc I can dress up and dress down. 

Kmhilgart
Member

Postpartum tops for me would have a zipper down the middle at least halfway and be loose fitting, but tailored and a material that doesn't show the contour of a healing body. High stretchy waistbands on pants are nice, or underbelly low riding. I would really love for fleece to come back! Generally speaking. 

Alexandra36
Member

6 months postpartum here, and I love my high waist salutation capris that are one size up… but wish they had an even higher waistband. While I’m working on my fitness goals, I still need pants that stay in place and are in between a maternity waistband and high waist. Thanks for asking this question!! 

emilyrb
Member

The salutation joggers have been wonderful postpartum. While I don't necessarily get the compression I sometimes want, I feel like they are great for being on the floor with the baby and are appropriate for going out of the house. Maternity pants are too loose but you still need to be comfortable in this stage and these joggers have been wonderful I even feel somewhat cute in them which is saying a lot right now! 

santo051
Member

Thanks for posing this question.  Overall I found athletic maternity and postpartum clothes to be limited in size, availability, color, and style.  One thing I found difficult to find prenatal and postpartum was a good pair of workout shorts.  I also would love to see more cold weather activewear for pre- and post-natal.  Postpartum I found that drawstring pants with a stretchy waistband were good because as I lost weight I could adjust the waistband by tightening the drawstring.  I was able to wear my maternity leggings for a short time after giving birth but the panel quickly became too loose.  Sizing up with normal leggings has been hit or miss.  I like a moderate amount of compression in the waist but find that some are uncomfortably tight. I also love pockets in pants and shorts because when you are holding baby you need somewhere to stash your phone or other things.  I would have loved to try on maternity pieces in store, but almost everything was online only.  As your body changes, it's really hard to order online and be confident you're choosing the right size. Even if physical stores didn't have inventory to purchase on the spot, I'd love to see a few pieces on hand in stores for try-on purposes.  

KATIEK1418
Member

I would have love a soft long sleeve top is a cotton that wicks (often sweaty in late pregnancy and postpartum period) and had a zipper that unzipped from bottom up either down the middle or on the side to be fun and yet functional for breastfeeding needs. 

Also, as others have shared high waisted leggings that could assist from pregnant to postpartum body changes. 

ChristieSpell
Member

High waisted, soft, pants that can transition easily with post partum weight loss, and maybe even work during the maternity phase. Basically a stretchy waistband that doesn't pinch and maintains it shape. Structured, comfortable maternity sweatshirts so you look put together with little effort. I think a post partum sleeping/nursing set with a robe and nightgown or traditional PJ option (absorbent would be incredible, both for milk and post partum night sweats) would be a big hit as well for gifts. 

alice
Member

I am 25 weeks pregnant, just starting to get big, and I am living in my studio joggers.  I love that they are super soft, and the waistband can be super tall, or more of a normal height.  They are the best pants I have found for sonogram appointment days, because they are so stretchy and soft.  They are even comfortable when the sono techs bunch them down for and hour!  Can you make the legs warm like sweatpants for the winter, but keep the top slim, soft, and comfy, pretty please?

 

As far as tops go, I am finding that many of my tops are not long enough.  I have seen other pregnant people posting online showing lots of skin, but I am in my thirties and the weather is getting cool.  I prefer to keep myself covered.  Tunic-length sweaters would be perfect.  It also seems like someone is always wanting my blood, so it would be extra nice to still have the ability to easily roll up my sleeves in a sweater (i.e. plenty of arm stretch).  And in the perfect world these magical sweaters would look cute and work for nursing even after the baby arrives.  I feel weird buying nursing-specific tops right now, but I know I am going to want them eventually.  So many nursing tops are very obviously for nursing, and I'm not mentally ready for that yet.  And I would really not want any accidental exposure 🙂 

Update: 30 weeks and I am as big as a barn! Wishing for super soft leggings/bottoms that go over and gently support and smooth the belly, and cute button up tops that will cover my butt. I could use the tops for nursing, but they wouldn’t be as ugly as must nursing tops. My bladder is less reliable and I hear there is going to be some major bleeding in the future, so leak-resistant bottoms would be a dream. And leak-proof undies with ample coverage. I am not looking forward to the disposable hospital undies.

Hi Alice! FWIW, I have the Kindred Bravely postpartum undies and LOVED them. They come in a set of 3, and I was super grateful to have those after I was done with the hospital ones (which honestly, I also love, haha). 😉 

Stephlivz
Member

I’ve found maternity and postpartum clothing from typical brands I like to shop at are either lacking or nonexistent… and the brands that do have some good stuff have limited inventory, and common sizes always seem to be sold out. I waited half of my pregnancy to buy a few items I wanted, which stinks considering pregnancy lasts a limited amount of time. 

Now that I am 14 weeks postpartum, I am yearning for a few things…

 

One is Tights with a forgiving waistband… not maternity, but also not cut-off-your-circulation tight! Something to bridge the gap between 9 months pregnant and having time to lose some points and shed some inches.

 

The second thing id love to see more of are cute and functional sports bras that double as nursing bras. I have to swap between bigger sports bras I bought when pregnant and my nursing bras when I do have a bit of time to exercise, as I don’t have any that seem to serve both purposes. 

 

Lastly - anything from athleta that is nursing friendly, like long flowing tops! Long is key, my favorite things to wear right now need to hide all of the insecurities!

Ames123
Member

I would definitely make lower cut leggings. I had issues with my waistband of my leggings rubbing on my c section incision. It hurt and made me so afraid to get pregnant again. I don't want to have to go through another c section. The procedure itself wasn't too bad, the feeling of material on my incision was the worst feeling ever.

My second csection recovery was cake compared to the first one. Had barely any pain at all!

P5dean
Member

I’m almost 4 months postpartum. I’d love some cute joggers, similar to the salutation that could last throughout pregnancy. My salutation joggers got me to about the second trimester, then they were too tight.  But I was able to get right back in them postpartum which was great. I’d love a nursing sports bra. There are so few on the market. I’m not big on nursing specific shirts, since they’ll only get worn while I’m nursing. I just like loose and flowy tops that are easy to pull up to nurse. Like another comment said, a legging halfway between the Saluation and the lulu align would be perfect! The athleta leggings waist band is just too tight to get through anything past the first trimester. Things that don’t require you to size up, with the prices of athleta it’s not a brand I can really afford to buy another pair to wear just while pregnant and then get no use out of once my baby’s born. 

Jlattin9456
Member

For pants,

I look for a comfortable waistband that can fit a changing body with either a drawstring or buttons on the inside to tighten/loosen according to fit.  

For tops, something that is nursing/pumping friendly without being an "obvious" nursing shirt. I have a dress with hidden zippers from Gap on the side and it's one of my favorite features. 

In general, items that are versatile,  having the ability to dress up for the office or casual enough for a day out. Comfortable, effortless, without being sloppy. Low maintenance. 

_eugenia_
Member

Athleta was the FIRST place I looked for maternity clothes! I was so bummed there was NOTHING maternity available. 

I really wanted comfy clothes that doubles as lounge wear AND workout clothes. My body stretched past all my clothes during the second trimester and I was looking to buy new maternity wear to work out and to be able to work in. I opted to buy the sleep collection and oversized tops. To workout in, I bought a ribbed set (aurora crop and elation ribbed pants) in a bigger size than normal. 


I’m in the tail end of my second trimester, so I still have a ways to grow - if there’s a way for the clothes to grow and stretch with me, that would be wonderful! I’m not sure that sleep onesie will probably carry me through the rest of my pregnancy as the belly is already showing signs of stretching. Rompers/onesies are a little tricky since I have to go to the bathroom ALL THE TIME, but I make it work since I love it so much. I do have the athleta studio wide leg pants, studio joggers, and studio (?) shorts, so I have options when I need quick easy access and/or when the romper is in the wash!

 

I love longer length torso tops - I already have a long torso, so not all tops work. I used to love crop tops pre-pregnancy, but starting the second trimester they’re more waaayyy tooo short to wear without it looking comical.

 

I’m having a winter baby, but I was already miserable in the summer - hats off to mothers of summer babies cause I know other mamas were crazy overheating! Long story short, please make maternity clothes extra breathable! I already feel warm in the fall, I expect to be really hot during the third trimester in the winter. I can't imagine the mamas who were in their third trimester in the thick of summer.... 


Dreamy things include stretchy and soft fabrics. Nothing too tight cause I don’t like anything restricting while I’m pregnant. I have bought 3 things from the sleep line, but I want some items with more structure. I go against the popular grain and I don’t love the powervita line - it’s too hot to do yoga and HIIT in! But it’s been a while since I bought from the powervita line, so maybe it’s changed since? The perfect yoga pant would be fitted but not have the waist band too tight - maybe a crossover v-shaped band to allow for a growing belly or at least something that folds over for different wearing options (I know some mamas like to have bands above the belly). 


Thinking ahead, it would be nice to have clothes that makes nursing easy. Like nursing bras? Or clothes with snaps or means to allow for nursing? I’m not sure what I’m envisioning not what my needs are because this if my first pregnancy. But time will tell and I can report back! 


I would love pieces that are maternity/post-partum friendly and also stylish enough to wear all the time. Maybe convertible jackets and/or sweatshirts with side zippers near the hips that will allow for expansion and contraction? Maybe cool hidden zippers or buttons on tops or stylish slits that allow for feeding? Sports bras that have feeding abilities? 


Color wise, I would love basic colors - black, neutral grey, and navy for going back to work (if that’s ever going to be a thing!) but having color options would be great - teal, burgundy, etc would be nice to mix and match with the basics! Being able to mix and match items from non maternity lines and maternity lines would be great! 

dukesgirl09
Member

With a due date this past August I was looking for clothes that would keep me cool the last trimester. Up until the last few months all my workout clothes had plenty of stretch to accommodate my growing tummy. 

post pregnancy I loved my shorts that had the wide elastic waistbands and liners to help with my body shrinking back down and also they were major helpers in keeping the post pregnancy underwear from moving all over. They have had the perfect amount of stretch without being constructive and causing any stomach bulges pre and post due date and oh so comfortable! 

I also lived in any tops that had cutouts on the back (air flow!!) and we’re not crops so that they covered my whole stomach. 

stinapag
Member

I'm just in the second trimester with my first, and I haven't experienced post partum yet, but support in the chest is going to be super important.  And given that I'm already a DDD, I'm going to be HUGE when I'm breastfeeding. 

 And I suspect clothes that work as I decrease in size, stretchy but supportive.  

Kirstie
Member

This is such a great question, thank you for seeking out input!

 

When I was post partum I really loved the wide and stretchy waist band of the Venice Jogger.   This wide waist band was able to lay across my c-section and didn't apply sharp or uneven pressure to that zone as I healed.  These pants were also easy to wash and care for and had great pocket depth for quick stashes of baby items or tiny socks that never seemed to stay on.  I also enjoyed the movement of these pants as I begin walking with the baby around the neighborhood.  These pants having a flat front and no visible drawstring also meant there was nothing to catch the baby or baby carrier on when wearing the baby.  

 

If I could dream about what would be in my ideal post partum closet from Athleta, it would probably be a tank top that was soft, moisture wicking, and nursing friendly (maybe even pumping friendly?)  A top that wold allow me to walk while wearing the baby that was soft enough for the baby's skin and could wick away the core sweat from the additional body heat and would allow me to nurse too.  

 

This would also imply that the workout bra would be nursing friendly too but have enough support... Trying to go on a long stroller run and making myself available to nurse in a standard high impact exercise bra was not easy and was (expectedly) sweaty.  I had wipes and a clean towel to take away sweat so I could nurse properly on long runs with the baby.

Valerie_C
Guide
Guide

A dress shirt with buttons (easy access to breastfeed) that doesn't need to be ironed.  Also button down dress that can transition from home to going to the grocery store easily.  Thanks great question!

SplatteredW
Member

Nursing clothes that do not double as maternity! Sure, right out if the starting gate you still fit in maternity clothes, but many more months of this breastfeeding time has been with a non-pregnant shape. After 3 months I was back to a non-pregnant shape (albeit not my pre-pregnancy shape, exactly) with probably 9 more months of nursing to go. 

It would be nice to see nursing/pumping apparel that works harder to transition to your post-pregnancy, and even post-nursing life. 

Ideal prenatal and postpartum wardrobe would be items that grow with you (both up and down) throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. I found that I stretched out regular athletic wear during and couldn't wear them after. I'd love it if there was some sort of motherhood exchange program for athletic wear that as your sizes changed, you could exchange for items you love.

laneybird
Member

Currently 6 months along with my first. The areas I needed to hide in the first trimester are the same areas that will need some masking and support postpartum. Please consider marketing products that can be used in both the 1st and 4th trimesters--more tunic/CYA tops with v-neck or scoop necklines (crewneck is not the most flattering on an expanding bust line), a-line dresses that aren't too clingy, pants that can be adjusted with a drawstring. FWIW, these pieces would also be useful during premenstrual bloating!

 

For regular items that can pull double duty during 1st and 4th, it would be helpful to have some general sizing recommendations. With the morning sickness and fatigue, there was no way I was going to drive 40 mins just to try on some clothing. I wasn't sure how many sizes I should go up to maximize wearability, especially since different styles have different rises and different levels of compression. 

 

For trimesters 2 and 3, there is "maternity activewear" at some stores, but it's usually limited to tights that would never pass a squat test and nursing bras that are cut kind of like a sports bra but offer no actual support. The lack of functional design in maternity clothing is bewildering. NOTHING has pockets.  Instead of hoodies, there are pullovers with these weird cowl necks that look awful and serve no purpose whatsoever. The only maternity swimsuits on the market are fashion swimwear with ruffles, halters or triangle tops that just aren't practical for lap swimming. Call me crazy, but I want maternity workout pants with POCKETS to hold my phone and a key. Or how about a pullover with a functional hood? Tights that actually have a little compression? A swimsuit that a person can actually swim in without fear of a strap coming untied? 

 

Postpartum, my dream item is a wrap top in a UPF/quick dry fabric that I can wear over a nursing cami. Something soft and lightweight with easy access that will offer sun protection and dry quickly in case I need to rinse off baby drool (or worse) when I'm on the go. A piece like this could also be styled for the office or over a sports bra for some extra coverage when traveling to and from a workout. 

Xyndi
Member

I just had my second child last year, and boy there wasn’t a large selection of clothing options available. Shopping for maternity clothes at the typical clothing stores tend to be too cutesy, with too many florals and ruffles, and are just plain uncomfortable. During my first trimester and through the second trimester my go to pants were Athleta’s Farallon Jogger, Cabo Linen Wide Leg Pant and Cabo Linen Shorts. What I needed at the time is a waistband that was high waisted to provide support but also a thick waist band to feel secure that the band was not going to roll over. During the third trimester I lived in leggings and shorts. I personally preferred full-panel leggings with some compression. I found a pair that has pockets on the sides, similar to the Salutation Stash Pocket Tights but the pair I found did not make me feel secure around the thighs and belly. I was constantly pulling them up and making adjustments. When you are 7-9 months pregnant the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable. The one thing I did find difficult to find were maternity shorts. I had to size up with regular running shorts, which fit around the waist and belly but left me with a wide leg opening. As for tops, basic tops that have ruching on the sides, to grow with the belly, work wonders. It would be better if the material is breathable, moister wicking, and soft. I also lived in dresses both during my pregnancy and postpartum. Having a few dress options that also are nursing friendly would be amazing. During postpartum, all you want to wear is cozy, comfortable clothes like joggers (like the Recover or Balance) and leggings. My dream wardrobe would include: full-panel, high waisted leggings with pockets and some compression (like the salutation pocket tights or headlands cargo tights); maternity joggers (like farallon or Trekkie); maternity wide leg pants (during the summer, the linen material is so comfortable); maternity running shorts; full-panel high waisted biker shorts (that can also work postpartum); basic t-shirts and tank tops that are tight fitting, CYA, and side ruching; and lastly dresses. I love a lot of Athleta clothing items, the color palette you have available (nothing too crazy), and fabrics are some of my all time favorite items. 

ldubatx
Member

I love that you are asking this question! Having recently just experienced this amazing/horrific season of life :):

 - Stretchier waistbands for salutation / less compression and seams over sensitive c-section areas

 - Tops that can zip under the chest line (but aren't obvious) for easy access to breastfeeding 

 - Sweat absorbent materials? Holy moly, so much sweat/heat flashes as your hormones regulate! 

 - All the pockets, like everywhere

 - Nursing exercise bras that are actually cute! Senita is a great option for this but would love to have more avail on the market!

- More cute work pants that are actually leggings but can pass for a nicer option when you can't even think about putting on real pants 🙂 

 

Kwuellner
Member

I’m DYING for athleta to make a maternity line. I am the biggest supporter and fan of your DD range and honestly the pads in athleta sports bras are the only ones I like to actually keep in. I’ve been shopping around for maternity/nursing bras and I’m so disappointed with everything that is supposed to fit based on size charts - the cups are too small for DD or the pads are a horrendous shape. So right now my dream would be for athleta to make a D/DD designed maternity bra. 

Besides that I love stash pocket tights and would love those in maternity! I’ve worn the Gap maternity leggings, but nothing beats the athleta material and the dual side pockets.