Wearing high heels during pregnancy: Beauty or Danger
Expectant mothers take a big number of precautions: they try to eat certain foods, take vitamins, do special exercises, meanwhile many of them choose to wear stiletto shoes even in the 3rd trimester, and some kick off the heels only before the delivery.
It’s good that mothers-to-be want to look stylish, but some women just fall for fashion and care about the outfit more than about the baby’s health. Now is time to reconsider the type of shoes that future mothers choose in terms of safety and comfort.
Сan you wear heels during pregnancy? And what are the side effects of wearing high heels during pregnancy? Most medical specialists suggest women to put away high heels during pregnancy, at least by the 3rd trimester, due to a number of effects that high heels pose and their possible aftermaths:
- Due to the constant changing of center of gravity, the mom-to-be walks less steadily and can easily lose her balance. Wearing heels contributes to this instability and may lead to a fall or slipping and endangering the fetus.
- High heels increase tension on the woman’s back that already feels increased pressure due to the gained weight, and this tension provokes lower back pain. Wearing low heels or flats may save the pregnant woman from this extra backache.
- Many mothers-to-be have a related problem: their feet can swell due to fluid retention. Foot edema (swelling) and excruciating discomfort complicate walking and reduce everyday activity. Wearing shoes on heels is not a good choice in this case, but the pair of wide flats would be of help. Besides, your feet can expand by the whole shoe size or half to the last weeks of pregnancy, so forcing the feet into the high heel shoes would only bring pain and discomfort.
- During pregnancy, hormones relaxin and progesterone may loosen the ligaments that control the back and help joints keep stable. As a result, these ligaments soften and stretch. High heels make this condition worse since they increase pressure on the weak area. The same pregnancy hormones may also lead to lengthening and widening of the feet as well as diminishing ankle’s strength.
- Joint pain and cramps in leg muscles are more likely to appear if the pregnant woman keeps wearing high heels: her calf muscles get shortened that can cause their tightening and calf cramps.
What type of footwear is safe?
High heels (even those that look stable and wide) are not appropriate for everyday use and for wearing after 25 weeks, but pregnant women can indulge themselves in wearing heels on special occasions or a few times per week.
In the 1st trimester the woman can wear high or medium heels up to three inches if she feels comfortable, but the more pregnancy progresses, the lower the heels should be. Starting from the 2nd trimester, it’s better to put away three-inchers and go for kitten heels up to 1.2 inch or ballet flats. Flats reduce the back strain, so they’re a definitely better choice of footwear during pregnancy.
Though flats or low heels are preferable in comparison with high heels, supportive shoes or sneakers would be even better for expectant mothers and have been recommended by experts to wear throughout most of the pregnancy.
If supportive shoes have such additional features like shock absorbing, firm heel and supportive arch, they’re just perfect for future moms.
Early in pregnancy, high heels are not a big problem, but at the later stage their wearing can cause backache and strain and increases the danger of falling and hurting the baby. Pregnancy is beautiful as it is, and high heels are not necessary.
One night out in stiletto shoes is hardly worth the risks they pose, so it’s better to avoid stress and danger associated with wearing heels and to invest in some ballet flats and supportive shoes.