Wondering what you need to stay fit during pregnancy? Or maybe what equipment you need to slowly work your way back into fitness postpartum? Whether you’re currently pregnant or entering the phase of postpartum when you can begin working out again, you have different needs than your average woman. Your body has gone through some intense changes! I’ll share with you the best prenatal and postpartum fitness essentials to help you stay fit!
Let’s begin with the most important and the one thing you cannot go without!
1. Water and a Good Water Bottle
Did you know that you’re more likely to drink water if you have a water bottle with you at all times? It’s true. You can easily forget to drink water if you don’t have it ready and accessible.
Water is incredibly important during pregnancy and postpartum – even more so if you’re breastfeeding! Staying hydrated during pregnancy can help prevent Braxton Hicks and preterm labor. It also helps with constipation, increases energy levels, and decreases swelling. (Increase water intake to decrease water retention!) Staying hydrated postpartum helps with your body’s healing process and increases milk production!
I recommend getting a sturdy water bottle that you can take with you everywhere! This NAYAD Roamer bottle is my favorite because it has a lid, handle and keeps my water cold all day. You can throw it in your diaper bag when you’re on the go or keep it with you when you’re lounging or breastfeeding on the couch. My kids love it too! Why is mommy’s water always the best?
2. Stability ball
A stability ball is one of the best pieces of equipment for pregnant and postpartum women. It can be used in various ways for both fitness and preparing for a baby’s birth!
Stability balls are recommended as a prenatal and postpartum fitness essential everywhere! It’s probably because the stability ball is perfect for low impact exercises and it allows a pregnant mother to open up her hips and prepare for childbirth.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can utilize your stability ball during pregnancy and birth, I highly recommend you check out Birth Ball Basics from 4th Trimester Fitness Method. Then you can join Postpartum Recovery after your baby has arrived. You won’t regret taking the time to focus on your pelvic floor and core!
3. Resistance bands
I have this set of loop bands and love them for lower body training especially for glutes, adductors and abductors. They come in a set of 3 different resistances for you to progress as you strengthen.
Therabands are great because they offer light resistance, are inexpensive, and can easily be used at home because they take up very little space. They’re particularly great for prenatal and postpartum fitness because the exercises inherently make you focus on strengthening your deep core muscles as you perform the exercises.
Here are 10 different exercises that you can do with a Theraband in pregnancy and beyond!
Traditional resistance bands also offer similar results as theraband, but offer higher levels of resistance. They also often include handles or other attachments to improve grip when working with higher resistance bands.
Related Post: 5 Total Body Prenatal Workouts
4. Thick foam mat
Yoga mats still work great, but when you’re pregnant or recovering from childbirth, a thicker foam mat is much for comfortable. Here are a few that I recommend that you can snag from Amazon for less than $30!
5. A Kettlebell
Kettlebells are excellent tools to work on strength and cardio.
You can take a learn a little more about Kettlebells in this intro to Kettlebells! It includes different types of kettlebells as well as a workout that can be performed during pregnancy and postpartum. (Just be sure to cut out those Russian twists when you get to the halfway point during pregnancy!)
Here is another kettlebell circuit workout that you can crush while you’re at it!
This may be a no-brainer, but dumbbells are one of the top prenatal and postpartum fitness essentials. It’s not always easy to get to the gym (especially once you have kids), so it’s important to build up your home gym.
Dumbbells are the best place to start when gathering fitness equipment to use at home. I recommend having a couple different pairs in increasing weight or you can purchase an adjustable set.
7. Supportive bra
Remember that your chest is growing during pregnancy and it’s definitely larger if you’re breastfeeding. A super supportive bra is important to keep the girls in check!
I recommend seeking out bras for high impact exercises for additional support even if you won’t necessarily be running or jumping.
It gets bonus points because the straps are adjustable allowing you to adjust the support when your boobs are changing sizes. Hello, breastfeeding!
8. Comfortable leggings
Every pregnant and postpartum woman needs a good pair of leggings (or 8) to wear all the time. I personally love using my favorite high-waisted leggings and sizing up along with a few pairs of over-the-belly for the later months.
Below are some tried and true leggings that you’re sure to love. The best part is that they’re all found at an incredibly reasonable price!
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Related Post: Fitness Essentials to Help Moms Get in the Zone
9. Your favorite workout shoes
Everyone is different, but you need a pair of sturdy, supportive tennis shoes before starting any prenatal or postpartum fitness program. Different shoes are necessary for different exercises! Plus your feet change a lot during pregnancy and postpartum, so pay attention to what your feet need.
I’m no expert in choosing shoes, but others are! Take a look at how to choose the right shoe for the type of exercise you want to pursue!
That’s right, I said it! Motivation to get up and be active during pregnancy and postpartum is KEY to actually getting out and doing it. It’s easy to say that you want to, but harder to put in the work. Moving during this phase of life is essential for you and your baby. (Don’t believe me? Take a look at how fitness benefits both mom and baby!)
Top 10 Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Essentials
There you have my top 10 prenatal and postpartum fitness essentials. I think that all of them are beneficial to any mom whether expecting or postpartum. After three healthy pregnancies, I’m simply sharing what I know worked best for me.
Remember, before you start any fitness program, first consult with your doctor. Make sure that it’s safe and recommended for your journey because everyone’s is different.
Once cleared by your doctor, start slow and always listen to your body and your instincts. You know what you need best!
I hope this article helped you on your prenatal and postpartum fitness journey. Be sure to share with your friends and pin this to your Fitness / Pregnancy / Postpartum Pinterest boards to look back on!