Because I'd categorize myself as pretty fit before I got pregnant, I thought I'd be one of those people who'd be able to do a CrossFit or HIIT class with no problem. Instead, as soon as I was six weeks along, I basically couldn't (and still can't, let's be honest) even breathe after walking up 10 steps from the subway platform to the street, and all I wanted do to was drink ginger ale and go to bed at 6pm.Ah, the things no one tells you before you get pregnant
Once the second trimester hit, though, I instantly started to feel better, and I could begin to mentally wrap my head around hitting the gym. I went to slip on a pair of my stretchiest yoga pants before my session only to find that they did. Not. Fit. What do I do now? I thought. At that point I was showing a bit but definitely thought my spandex pants would have coddled my belly; instead, I felt like they were cutting off my air supply. Luckily, I had a leotard, some tights, and a pair of shorts that worked in a pinch.
Align Pant, $98 at
Post workout, I immediately asked our fitness editor for help. I explained my dilemma, and she told me I had to try . She'd heard from other pregnant women that they're known for subtly stretching with their growing bellies. Really? I was skeptical but also desperate and down to try anything.
I ripped open the package to examine the leggings when they arrived a few days later. They looked like regular yoga pants, so I couldn't figure out why they were so magical—until I put them on that night. Turns out, my colleague WAS RIGHT. Here's why:
1. They're SO insanely soft.
If you've yet to become pregnant, spoiler alert: Your skin might itch like crazy, so the last thing you want lying on your belly is a scratchy pair of yoga pants. But this material is beyond anything I've ever slipped on before. It's made from Lululemon's sweat-wicking, trademarked Nulu fabric that is "buttery-soft," as the , and they're not messing around. I swear, the leggings are legit so comfortable that I now understand why women just wear them around town while running errands.
2. They're lightweight and high-rise.
This means they feel like air, and the waistband is like a built-in belly band that offers your bump the support it needs. Oh, and said band doesn't dig into your skin, leaving behind a lateral indentation like an equator that you think may never go away. Instead, the fabric gently hugs you—a reminder that it's got you without forcefully holding your torso hostage to the point where you feel like you can't breathe. I'm about to be nine months pregnant, and the pants STILL fit like a perfectly tailored, not-too-tight glove.
3. They still look brand new.
After countless workout classes (my go-tos are prenatal yoga, , personal-training sessions with , and ), I've washed these pants a ton, and they've retained their vibrant black hue and soft-to-the-touch feel. (Just remember to follow the directions to machine wash them with like fabrics in a cold, gentle cycle, and lay them flat to dry.)
Pregnant or not, I can't recommend these workout pants enough, and neither can other women: Since documenting my workouts on IG, other previously or currently expecting moms have DM'd me to rave about how they won't wear any other legging.
And if there's one thing I've learned from being pregnant, it's to consider (and take) the advice of moms when they tell you the same thing en masse—because they know what they're talking about.