Wearing Heels in Pregnancy – Side Effects & Safety Tips

How to Wear Heels During Pregnancy

Many women love to wear heels, but they are advised not to wear them during pregnancy. Most doctors also opine that heels and pregnancy don’t go hand-in-hand and strongly suggest women shun them during pregnancy due to the risks associated with wearing heels. The expectant mothers who are not sure if they should or shouldn’t avoid their heels will find this article helpful. Here, we will talk about the potential risks of wearing heels and also share some tips to ensure your and your baby’s health if you do want to wear your favourite pair on a special occasion.

Risks of Wearing Heels During Pregnancy

A woman in red heels experiencing pain in her feet

Here are some of the risks that come with wearing high heels during pregnancy:

1. Cramps in the Calf

Wearing heels contracts the muscles in the calf and puts a strain on them. This leads to cramping in the calves, which may worsen during pregnancy.

2. Back Pain

Heels are meant to alter the posture and give women a rounder and more defined back. This happens because high heels cause the pelvic muscles to bend forward. As you will have gained some weight during pregnancy, this change in posture will put a lot of stress on your back and cause pain. Pregnancy also loosens the ligaments of the legs and the lower back. Since heels put a lot of pressure on the back and the pelvis region, these ligaments will not be able to support them, which will lead to a lot of pain in the back.

3. Loss of Balance

Pregnancy weight, in addition to the hormonal changes in the body, can weaken your ankles, which may lower your ability to balance your body. Wearing high heels can further affect your balance and make you more susceptible to tripping and falling over. This can cause unnecessary injuries to you and even to your developing baby.

4. Swollen Feet

Due to excess water retention in the body, you may find that your feet, ankles and even your legs swell up quite a bit. This can make walking or standing for a long time difficult. Wearing high heels during this time can only aggravate your pain as it will cause more fluids to accumulate in your feet.

So, clearly, there are several risks associated with wearing high heels during pregnancy. But, if you do want to wear your favourite pair for a special occasion, you may want to give the safety tips given below a consideration.

Safety Tips for Wearing Heels During Pregnancy

Despite the risks, if you still want to wear high heels during pregnancy, you might want to keep the following tips in mind:

  • If you’re up for it, you may wear heels in the first trimester. However, avoid wearing them beyond your first trimester as it could affect your and your baby’s health. This is because your body goes through hormonal changes, and the muscles in the feet begin to stretch. Even in the first trimester, wear only shorter and sturdier heels that allow you to walk comfortably.
  • Skip wearing stilettos or shoes with thin and pointed heels. These heels will not be able to give you any support and will affect your balance, more so during pregnancy. Instead, you can opt for block heels or wedges that provide better support and balance to your body. Since you will put on some weight during pregnancy, your centre of gravity will shift and walking in heels during this time can affect how you walk. It can even make your joints unstable and put a lot of strain on your muscles.
  • Invest in good shoes. Cheaper shoes are not sturdy, and the heels may snap at any moment, especially if there is too much weight on them. Hence, you can invest in a good pair of durable heels if you want to wear them during pregnancy.
  • Don’t stand or walk on the heels for too long. Take breaks and try to sit as much as possible. Standing for long hours on heels would cause discomfort and increase the risks of a fall, too. You can consider carrying a pair of comfortable flats to change into.
  • Buy shoes that fit comfortably and don’t grip your feet too tightly.
  • Don’t wear heels every day. Flats are a much better choice for everyday use.
  • In case you feel discomfort while wearing heels, try out some stretching exercises to stretch your calves and ankles. You can also gently massage your feet to relieve the pain.
  • Do not wear heels for more than two hours at a stretch.

While there is no medical condition that prevents pregnant women from wearing heels, it is still not recommended due to the discomfort and the pain it causes. You will undoubtedly go through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and your body will carry extra weight which is already putting a strain on your feet and the muscles in your ankles and knees. Wearing heels will only worsen all of this, and is exactly why doctors recommend pregnant women to wear comfortable shoes during pregnancy. Also, a pair of fashionable heels might not be worth risking your health as well as your baby’s well-being.

Also Read: Tips for Choosing Comfortable Footwear

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