You might have seen pregnant women ditch heels and opt for comfortable footwear. Well, there’s a reason behind it. Besides the risk of tripping and falling that comes with wearing heels, the weight gain during pregnancy puts pregnant women more at risk. During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity shifts, causing her to lose balance, especially in the third trimester (1). Hence it becomes imperative for pregnant women to choose comfortable footwear over stylish stilettos.
Importance Of Right Footwear During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in the body. The weight gain, change in body shape, and center of gravity not only affects the way you walk but it also leads to several other problems. Though some of these problems cannot be prevented by going for comfortable shoes, it brings some relief and cannot be undermined. Below we list down a few of such issues:
Varicose veins: The increased blood volume during pregnancy may put pressure on the veins, causing them to enlarge. Varicose veins most commonly appear in legs but can also appear in other parts of the body. They tend to be harmless. Varicose veins can be uncomfortable during pregnancy. One way to naturally treat varicose veins is to avoid wearing high heels (2).
Swollen feet: Swollen feet are experienced by most women towards the last trimester of pregnancy. As the uterus expands, the weight puts excess pressure on the feet, causing fluid retention and low blood circulation, which leads to swelling. Besides gentle exercises, avoiding standing for long, and elevating the feet to allow blood flow to the heart, wearing comfortable shoes can also help (3).
Foot pain: Foot pain is a common discomfort during the second and last trimester of pregnancy. The aching of feet can be caused by various reasons linked to pregnancy weight gain and change in the center of gravity, among others. Wearing the right footwear can help provide balance and relief from pain (4).
Look Out For These Qualities In Your Maternity Footwear
Happy feet equals happy you! So, before you splurge on footwear during pregnancy, pay heed to the following:
- Don’t go for your exact size. Instead, go for the next size. Your feet may swell up towards the end of your pregnancy. This can make it uncomfortable for you to wear shoes in your actual size. A slightly larger pair will help you feel relaxed and comfortable during the last trimester.
- Opt for shoes that provide comfort. Certain shoes are designed to provide good ankle and arch support. They may even offer relief from joint and back pains caused by wearing the wrong shoes.
- Slip-on shoes for pregnancy! If you are not looking forward to spending 20 minutes trying to put on your strappy sandals or the shoelaces, slip-on shoes are your best bet. You can slip into it with ease even during the last trimester and don’t have to bother about bending.
Can I Wear High Heels During Pregnancy?
No, it’s not a good idea to wear high heels during pregnancy as you may be more susceptible to falls due to the change in center of gravity and weight gain. Falling during pregnancy can turn out to be fatal or lead to severe complications. Some women are confident wearing high heels even during the 9th month of their pregnancy, but you can never be too sure that you wouldn’t fall. If you are wearing a gown or a dress, opt for low-heeled wedges that provide some support.
Tips For Choosing Maternity Shoes
Your feet need pampering while pregnant. And choosing the right footwear is the first step towards it. Scroll down for some tips for selecting footwear during pregnancy.
- It is best to go for flats. But if you must choose fashion over comfort on certain special occasions, opt for low and sturdier heels.
- If you are wearing heeled footwear, wear one with no more than 2 inches heel and avoid wearing stilettos or kitten heels.
- Low and wide heels such as wedges offer more support and provide even weight distribution than pointy heels. There is also less risk of tripping.
- If you are unable to find a pair of shoes that give you good arch support, you can try wearing insoles with your regular shoes.
- For the best comfort, choose shoes that allow your feet to breathe. Mesh and canvas shoes are a good option.
- Avoid shoes with narrow mouths as they can be uncomfortable when you wear them for long.
- Loafers are a great option as it goes well with jeans, formal pants, and even some dresses.
- Sandals are a good option for someone who likes it simple and casual.
- If you are going for a long walk or anything that requires you to be on your feet for long, a pair of your most comfortable sneakers are your best bet for ultimate support.
Wearing heels can be an uncomfortable and painful experience for a mom-to-be, not to forget the added risk of falling. But if you must choose heels on special occasions, try to avoid pointy ones and make sure you remain seated for the most part to avoid putting a strain on your ankles.
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