Pregnancy significantly changes a woman’s body, impacting her way of life. For example, a high-heel lover mother may think twice about wearing high heels. After all, wearing high heels can improve posture and self-confidence. They are easy to fit into fashionable clothing.
Conversely, high heels can place additional strain on the back and knees, which may aggravate discomfort or pain during pregnancy. (Source: Gotham Footcare) Despite the potential risks, many pregnant women still prefer wearing them.
Now the question is “is it safe to wear high heels during early pregnancy?”
As I already talked about the changes, it’s essential to understand how wearing high heels can affect both the mother and the growing fetus.
- Can high heels harm a pregnant woman?
- Can wearing high heels cause miscarriage during pregnancy?
In this post, I am here to explore the topic of wearing high heels during early pregnancy. I will discuss the potential risks, benefits, and expert opinions regarding wearing high heels during pregnancy. You will get tips for safe and comfortable footwear choices as a bonus.
High Heels and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
Indeed, high heels have been a fundamental in women’s fashion for decades. This footwear can extend (seemingly) the legs and add a touch of glamour to any outfit. Also, they are a widespread fashion accessory for unique occasions or to make a fashion statement.
Defining High Heals
Many women continue to wear high heels during early pregnancy. They can elevate the heel, causing the foot to tilt forward. Also, they can shift the body weight towards the balls of the feet. Even they look stylish and make the legs appear longer. But they can also negatively affect a woman’s body, particularly during pregnancy.
Mostly, the thought of wearing high heels appears in mind for weight gain, hormonal fluctuations, and changes in posture. These changes can impact a woman’s balance and stability, increasing the risk of falls and injuries.
A study by Mohamed EL-Gharib found that women are too affected by musculoskeletal disorders due to wearing high heels when pregnant.
Another study, entitled “High-heeled Shoes in Pregnancy” by Mohamed Nabih EL-Gharib and Sherin Barakat Albehoty, also includes, “The elevation of the heels induces a direct consequence on how your weight is spread across your foot.” (2018)
Research shows that high heels during pregnancy can negatively impact balance and stability. As a result, it leads to a greater risk of falls and accidents. It is because high heels alter the body’s center of gravity. Then, it puts more pressure on the toes and balls of the feet, causing instability and difficulty walking.
High heels can also lead to strain on the back and knees. It can make worse existing discomfort or pain during pregnancy. The increased pressure on the knees can also lead to joint damage or worsen pre-existing conditions such as arthritis.
To minimize the potential risks of wearing high heels during early pregnancy, experts recommend wearing shoes with a low heel or no heel.
Sneakers, loafers, and other flat shoes are generally recommended. They distribute the weight more evenly and provide better traction. Hence, you can feel less pressure on the feet wearing them. Also, you will have decent balance and stability. There will be lesser the risk of falls or injuries.
You should look for shoes with a wide toe box, a supportive arch, and a cushioned sole. It may also be helpful to wear shoes with adjustable straps or laces. They can accommodate swelling or changes in foot size during pregnancy.
Factors to Consider When You Wear High Heels During Pregnancy
Generally, it is recommended to avoid wearing high heels during pregnancy. Yet there are instances where a woman still wants to wear them for a special occasion or work. If you are one of them, it’s essential to remind the possible risks and take steps to minimize them.
Some factors to reflect when wearing high heels during pregnancy are:
The Stage of Pregnancy
It is essential when deciding whether to wear high heels during pregnancy.
In the early stages, it may be safer to wear high heels. It is because the center of gravity has not yet shifted. Also, the body is not carrying as much weight.
However, as the pregnancy progresses, it becomes more challenging to balance in high heels—besides, the risk of falling increases. Avoiding high heels in the later stages of pregnancy is generally recommended.
The Type of High Heels
High heels with a broader base and a lower heel are generally considered safer than stiletto heels. The latter ones can be more difficult to balance. So, it would help to prefer high heels with good arch support and cushioning for less risk of strain or injury.
Height of the Heel
The heels’ height is another factor you should think. The higher the heel, the greater the risk of injury and discomfort. So, you should choose shoes with a heel height of no more than 2”. It is good to reduce the strain on the feet, legs, and back.
Fit of the Shoe
Proper fit is crucial to ensure comfort and stability when wearing high heels. Your selected shoes should not be too tight or too loose. Also, they should provide adequate support and cushioning.
Length of Wear
The frequency and duration of wearing are crucial things to consider. For example, the longer you wear high heels, the greater the risk of discomfort and injury. Again, wearing high heels daily can increase the risk of muscle strain, injury, and swelling.
So, you should wear them in moderation and alternate with more supportive and comfortable footwear. Additionally, limit the time you wear high heels and take breaks to rest your feet and stretch your legs.
Surface and Environment
The surface and the environment you’re walking in can affect your balance and stability when wearing high heels. So, try to avoid stepping on uneven or slippery surfaces. Also, be cautious when walking up or down stairs.
Wearing high heels during pregnancy can exacerbate back pain or joint problems. It’s essential to consult with a medical professional before wearing high heels to determine safety measures.
Wear comfortable, supportive shoes such as sneakers, flats, or sandals. They provide better support and reduce the risk of injury and discomfort.
Is It Safe to Wear High Heels During Early Pregnancy?
Being fashionable and appealing, wearing high heels can also pose risks to the health of the mother and the baby. You will learn about the dangers of wearing high heels during pregnancy now like these:
High heels shift the center of gravity forward, causing a woman to tilt her pelvis and lean forward. It can strain the lower back and increase the risk of falling. As a result, it injures both the mother and the developing fetus.
Increased Pressure on the Feet
High heels put extra pressure on the toes and balls of the feet. It can cause discomfort, pain, and swelling. It can be particularly problematic during pregnancy when your feet and ankles are more prone to swelling and edema.
Increased Risk of Ankle Sprains
The height and instability of high heels increase the risk of ankle sprains. You may feel significant pain and discomfort. Likewise, ankle sprains can lead to immobility, increasing the risk of blood clots during pregnancy.
Increased Risk of Back Pain
The shift in the center of gravity can put additional pressure on the lower back. It can impair pre-existing back pain or cause new back pain.
Increased Risk of Knee Pain
The pressure on the knees from high heels can exacerbate or cause new knee pain.
Increased Risk of Pelvic Pain
High heels can cause a woman to walk with an altered gait. It leads to additional strain on the pelvic muscles and joints. Consequently, it results in pelvic pain that is debilitating during pregnancy.
Reduced Blood Flow to the Feet
Wearing high heels can reduce blood flow to the feet. It can cause numbness, tingling, and cramping. Also, it can be particularly problematic, as reduced blood flow can lead to complications such as blood clots.
Increased Risk of Falls and Injuries
Wearing high heels can increase the risk of falls and injuries. It is indeed dangerous during pregnancy. A fall can cause harm to the mother and the baby. Even in severe cases, it can lead to miscarriage or preterm labor.
Negative Impact on Circulation
High heels can also negatively impact circulation. It is essential for the health of both the mother and the baby. Thus, poor circulation can lead to swelling, varicose veins, and other health issues.
The Benefits of Wearing High Heels During Pregnancy
There are certain risks associated with wearing high heels during pregnancy. Still, you will get some benefits from wearing high heels during pregnancy.
Some benefits of wearing high heels during pregnancy are:
Wearing high heels can improve a woman’s posture. They force the spine to straighten and the shoulders to pull back. It can help counteract the natural tendency to hunch over that many pregnant women experience as their center of gravity shifts.
For some women, wearing high heels can make them feel more confident and put-together. It can be essential when some women feel self-conscious about their changing bodies.
Wearing high heels can make a woman feel more confident and attractive. It can improve her mood and reduce stress levels. Again, it can be particularly beneficial when many women experience mood swings and heightened anxiety.
The pressure put on the feet by high heels can help reduce swelling in the feet and ankles. It is beneficial for pregnant women who are prone to swelling and edema.
Increased Calf Strength
Walking in high heels requires using the calf muscles to strengthen them. It can be helpful when leg cramps and swelling can be expected.
The pressure put on the feet by high heels can help improve circulation. It can reduce the risk of blood clots during pregnancy.
High heels can increase the risk of falling. But they can improve a woman’s balance and stability. If her center of gravity constantly shifts, this increased stability will significantly help her.
Easier to Fit into Fashionable Clothes
It can be challenging to find stylish maternity clothes. But high heels can make it easier to wear pre-pregnancy clothing that may not fit comfortably.
Tips for Wearing High Heels Safely During Pregnancy
In some situations, wearing high heels during pregnancy may be necessary or desirable. Some tips for wearing high heels safely during pregnancy are:
Choose the Right Heel Height
Stick to heels that are no higher than 1-2”. These will be more stable and put less strain on your feet and legs.
Choose the Right Shoe Style
Look for shoes with a wide base and adequate foot arch support. Avoid shoes with pointy toes. They can cramp your toes and cause blisters and other foot problems.
If you need to wear high heels, take frequent breaks to rest your feet. Sit down whenever possible and elevate your feet to help reduce swelling.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles. It can improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling when wearing high heels. Also, focus on activities that target your legs and core muscles.
Buy Good Quality Shoes
High-quality shoes designed for pregnant women can provide better support. They can reduce the risk of foot and leg problems. So, look for shoes with good arch support and shock-absorbing soles.
Avoid Wearing Heels on Slippery Surfaces
It’s essential to avoid wearing high heels on slippery surfaces like wet or icy pavements. Stick to solid, stable surfaces to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
Orthotic inserts can provide additional support for your feet. They reduce the risk of foot and leg problems. So, talk to your doctor or a podiatrist about getting custom-made orthotics designed to meet your preferences.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your feet and legs feel when you wear high heels. If you experience pain, swelling, or other symptoms, switching to a cozy pair of shoes may be time.
What to Look for in Maternity Shoes
Since your feet may swell during pregnancy, finding comfortable and supportive shoes is crucial. Some things to consider while shopping for maternity shoes are:
During pregnancy, your arches may flatten, which can cause foot pain and other problems. Look for shoes with good arch support to help prevent these issues.
Walking and standing for long periods can strain your feet and legs. Look for shoes with shock-absorbing soles to help reduce this strain.
Wide Toe Box
Your feet may swell during pregnancy, so choosing shoes with a wide-toe box that provides ample room for your toes is essential.
As your feet swell, you may need to adjust the fit of your shoes. Look for footwear with adjustable straps or laces that allow you to adjust the fit as needed.
Heavy shoes can make your feet and legs feel tired and achy. Look for shoes made from lightweight materials, such as mesh or canvas.
Sweaty feet can cause blisters and other foot problems. Buy shoes made from breathable materials that allow air to circulate your feet.
During pregnancy, your center of gravity may shift, increasing your risk of falls. Find shoes with slip-resistant soles to help reduce this risk.
If you need to wear heels during pregnancy, prefer heels no higher than 1-2”. Also, they should provide adequate support for your feet and legs.
Your shoes should fit well and not pinch or rub your feet. Select shoes that make feet to breathe and move naturally.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best types of shoes to wear during pregnancy?
The best types of shoes provide adequate support, comfort, and safety. It will help if you prefer shoes with the following:
- good arch support
- shock-absorbing soles
- wide toe box
- adjustable straps or laces
- lightweight and breathable materials
- slip-resistant soles
- supportive heels
It’s also a good idea to try on shoes later in the day if feet are most swollen. Also, try to wear the socks or stockings you plan to wear with them.
Can wearing high heels cause miscarriage?
Still, no solid evidence suggests that wearing high heels can cause miscarriage. But wearing high heels can increase your risk of falls and other injuries. It can be harmful to both you and your developing baby. So, you should avoid wearing high heels during pregnancy.
How high can the heels be when wearing them during pregnancy?
You should choose heels that are no higher than 1-2”. They should provide adequate support for your feet and legs. Higher heels can increase your risk of falls and other injuries and strain your feet, legs, and back.
Can wearing high heels cause long-term damage to your body during pregnancy?
High heels during pregnancy can strain your feet, legs, and back. It can cause long-term damage if done regularly or for extended periods.
Are there any alternatives to wearing high heels during pregnancy?
Yes, there are many alternatives to wearing high heels during pregnancy. Some comfortable and supportive options include sneakers, flats, sandals with a low heel or wedge, and slip-on shoes with elastic or adjustable straps.
How often should I wear high heels during pregnancy?
If you must wear heels, limit your use to special occasions. Also, choose heels no higher than 1-2:” and provide adequate support for your feet and legs.
Do I need to wear different types of shoes during various stages of pregnancy?
Your feet may change throughout your pregnancy. So, you may need to wear different shoes during different stages.
Is it safe to wear stillettoes during postpartum recovery?
Your body indeed needs time to heal and recover. But wearing high heels can strain your feet, legs, and back. So, it’s up to you whether you should wear them.
What should you do if you experience pain or discomfort while wearing high heels during pregnancy?
Listening to your body and taking any discomfort or pain seriously is essential. For any pain or discomfort while wearing high heels during pregnancy, stop wearing them and switch to more comfortable shoes. You should consult your healthcare provider when the pain persists.
Can wearing high heels increase the risk of falling during pregnancy?
Yes, wearing high heels can increase the risk of falling during pregnancy. Your center of gravity shifts, and your balance becomes more precarious. So, be mindful of this risk and take extra precautions to prevent falls, such as using handrails and avoiding slippery surfaces. Also, wear low-heeled shoes with a good grip.
Is it safe to wear high heels while exercising during pregnancy?
No, wearing high heels while exercising during pregnancy is not recommended. Exercise is essential during pregnancy. But it’s important to wear appropriate shoes that provide support and stability. However, athletic shoes, sneakers, and other comfortable, supportive shoes are the best exercise options during pregnancy.
Can wearing high heels lead to swollen feet during pregnancy?
Swollen feet are a common symptom of pregnancy. Wearing high heels can worsen this issue.
Is it safe to wear high heels while traveling during pregnancy?
It’s generally not recommended to wear high heels while traveling during pregnancy, especially on long flights or car rides.
Can wearing high heels affect breastfeeding?
You should prioritize your comfort and safety while breastfeeding. Also, wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive.
When should I stop wearing high heels during pregnancy?
It’s best to stop wearing high heels during pregnancy as soon as they cause discomfort or pain.
So, what do you think now? Is it safe to wear high heels during early pregnancy?
I guess you have read the whole blog. Yes, you can wear high heels, but you should remember those risky things. You may face negative consequences like decreased stability and posture, back or knee pain, reduced blood flow, etc. Still, many benefits are available for wearing those high heels.
Be cautious about whatever decision you choose. First and foremost, ask your doctor for better suggestions.
Thanks for reading such a long blog.
Born in Texas, Jennifer loves to spend time with her kids. Often, she shares her thoughts from the experience of being a mother. She focuses on surprising the Momoutfit readers with incredible information. Her vision is being a better mother, a visionary person.