Is it safe to wear heels during pregnancy and are there any risks?

Is it safe to wear heels during pregnancy and are there any risks?

But is she taking an unnecessary risk or is it a safe fashion choice? Let’s take a closer look.

Is it safe to wear heels during pregnancy?

High heels in early stages of pregnancy are generally seen as ok, although experts suggest switching to a sturdier heel or wedge shoe for extra balance and comfort.

However, later stages see the body change drastically and this can cause a litany of problems for a mum-to-be.

Firstly, high heels can cause a lot of back ache due to the extra weight gained during pregnancy.

When you put your heels on, your posture changes slightly, putting more pressure on your back, and on your knee and ankle joints.

With your centre of gravity also changing during these nine months, high heels can pose a potential risk of falling and injuring both yourself and your baby as you are less steady on your feet.

During pregnancy, women generally walk differently to accommodate the growing baby, and ligaments tend to be looser, leading to joint instability and muscle strain.

Women also experience swollen feet during their third trimester – a condition known as oedema – so restrictive high heels can be extremely uncomfortable and painful.

It is generally encouraged during the second and third trimesters to opt for comfort and safety over fashion.

What are the risks associated with heels during pregnancy?

Wearing heels during pregnancy unfortunately opens the doors to a number of risks to both mother and baby.

Some of these include increased calf cramps, back pain and stretched muscles.

As well as this, pregnant women have less balance and a higher risk of falling over.

Swollen feet are a common complaint during pregnancy, and this is exacerbated by high heels.

This is mainly due to fluid retention in the legs and feet, and can lead to excessive pain.

Women who choose to wear high heels during pregnancy also have a higher risk of suffering a miscarriage as a result of a fall.

Tips to wear high heels in pregnancy

If you must opt for fashion over comfort and safety, here are some pointers to keep in mind.

  • It is generally okay to wear low heels in your first trimester, after which the hormonal flow increases and your muscles start to stretch
  • Opt for lower and sturdier heels if you really want to wear heeled shoes
  • Buy shoes that are comfortable and don’t have a tight grip on your feet
  • Avoid stilettos, platform heels or kitten heels as the thinner the heels, the less support your body will get making it more difficult to maintain balance
  • If you have to wear heels during the entire day, try to take short breaks. Take them off for a while, relax your feet and then put them on again.
  • At parties or outings, avoid walking or standing for long durations while in high heels. If you have to wear them to get the perfect look, try to get a seat to keep the pressure off your ankles
  • Replace your heels with flats for everyday purpose
  • If you have worn heels and are experiencing discomfort, try stretching exercises for calf muscles and gently massage your feet

Why is Meghan Markle under scrutiny?

The Duchess of Sussex has been repeatedly criticised during her pregnancy for stepping out in five inch heels regularly.

She is currently coming to the end of her second trimester, with the royal baby due in April.

Speaking to Fabulous Online, Dr Sarah Jarvis warned the Duchess and expectant mothers that she "doesn't recommend women wear high heels later in pregnancy" because the ligaments in the body are already under enough strain preparing for birth.

"One of the most affected areas is the back," she said. "It's already prone to strain because your centre of gravity is shifted by baby-weight in front."

Wearing high heels in the later stages of pregnancy therefore makes expectant mothers "more prone to back pain and falls".

"What I would ask is, 'Is it worth putting yourself and your baby at risk for the sake of fashion?'"

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