FittaMamma the active wear brand for pregnant women
In the UK alone there are 800,000 pregnant women at any one time.
Many of which will want to continue the active lifestyle they had prior to getting pregnant.
Hove resident Alexandra McCabe set up pregnancy active wear brand FittaMamma in 2014.
“I was buying something for my sister in law, who wanted to keep active during her pregnancy but I couldn’t find much out there,” she says.
“It got me thinking about pregnancy sports clothes.”
The recommendation is that pregnant women should exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to benefit both mother and baby. According to recent research, 31 percent of women state that they are put off meeting these guidelines simply because their fitnesswear doesn’t fit properly.
Key to Alexandra was that the clothes not only looked good but were functional as well.
“The pieces need to offer support for a woman’s changing body, her pelvis, the way the skin stretches to support that, the belly and breasts.”
Alexandra spent a lot of time researching fabrics and fit in a ground-breaking development with the University of Portsmouth.
The clothes provide a high level of support to make any exercise during pregnancy more comfortable.
The clothes have been subjected to vigorous testing by the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth under lab conditions previously only used by lingerie and sports bra manufacturers.
In extensive tests against standard ‘high street’ maternity fitness clothes, the supportive FittaMamma range demonstrated a reduction in the bounce and movement of the bump by an impressive 48 per cent, a radical improvement in comfort for pregnant women.
Professor Wakefield Scurr who led the project explains: “Even though it was a small scale study, the findings are compelling and statistically significant.
“In a series of experiments, the bumps of pregnant women wearing non-specialist fitness clothing experienced bounce movements of up to 6.2cm. This was reduced to just 3.8cm wearing the FittaMamma gear, an improvement of 48 per cent, which makes a very tangible difference to the wearer.”
FittaMamma co-founder Alexandra describes the results as ‘really satisfying’.
“We are the first maternity brand to have biometric testing,” she enthuses.
“Our customers love this product – it fulfils the need for pregnant women to wear gym wear that is truly supportive, functional and comfortable and looks really stylish when they exercise.”
The brand currently sells ten products and stocks sports bras by HotMilk.
“We didn’t see why we should develop something when another brand is doing it so well. The workout tops we find mums of twins wear under their clothes to give them some added support.”
Alexandra also wanted to build a community through her website where women could go.
“At the time of the launch websites like Mumsnet were exploding and I realised that people didn’t just want clothes but somewhere they could go and get all the information they needed in one place.
“Questions on fitness, what they can and can’t do things like that. Also a directory of local classes they may be interested in.
“When you are pregnant everyone has an opinion so I wanted to provide a space for mums to be able to visit online, get information and make their own decisions.”
The product development, Alexandra says, has been led by the customers. This has included the items being made from a more technical fabric and further research into sportswear that can accommodate breastfeeding.
Now a mother herself to a 15 month old Alexandra has experienced first hand the importance of keeping fit and the right clothes.
“Fitness is vital to me so I make sure I keep fit, as I am just a nicer person when I work out.”
The clothes retail at between £29.99 and £64.99 online at www.fittamamma.com