Mums-to-be who wear high heels are risking long-term damage, an expert has warned, reports the Telegraph.
But it’s not just high heels in the spotlight – Uggs, flip flops and ballet flats are also a poor choice for pregnant women because they offer little support, Lorraine Jones, from The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, has said.
The Society polled 1,000 pregnant women and found 66% regularly wear flip flops, 32% wear high heels, 53% ballet pumps and 30% Ugg boots.
“Weight gain and hormonal changes in pregnancy have a huge impact on the body,” said Lorraine.
''Muscles and ligaments soften and stretch because of an increase in the ovarian hormone, relaxin, which makes your feet more prone to ankle and ligament strains on a daily basis.
''High heels alter your posture, shorten your calf muscles and place increased pressure on your back and knees.
''In pregnancy this places extra pressure on your joints when they are already under strain, which can result in a host of foot, leg and back problems and could increase the likelihood of falls.
''Shoes like ballet pumps, flip flops and Ugg boots are also unsuitable for daily wear in pregnancy because they don't provide your feet with the necessary support.''
Of the mums-to-be polled, seven out of 10 said they’d suffered foot problems, such as swollen ankles (37%), swollen feet (45%), and foot arch and heel pain (16%). About half also said they felt the pressure of keeping up with celebrity-lead trends. However, there is something we can learn from those celebs - “Many of the pregnant celebrities you see wearing high heels in magazines are attending events so, like them, try to keep your high heeled, high fashion shoes for a special occasion and stick to a more supportive shoe on a daily basis,” said Lorraine.
To keep you feet health in pregnancy, the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists advises you:
- Opt for comfy, supportive footwear, ideally with a strap, laces or Velcro. It’s essential to have supportive footwear with extra shock absorption, a supportive arch and firm heel.
- Go for a heel height of 3cm - this shifts weight a little further forward on to the feet and can help ease discomfort.
- Make sure there’s 1cm between your longest toe and the end of your shoe.
- Avoid high heels – they can put unnecessary pressure on joints that are already under strain.
- When sitting, don’t cross your legs or ankles.
- Move your lower limbs even when resting – lie on your back and move your legs like you’re riding a bike to help leg muscles and reduce swelling, or rotate your ankles to prevent cramps.