There are certain discussions about pregnancy fashion that seem to crop up time and again. One is whether it’s acceptable to carry on wearing figure-hugging dresses once your bump begins to show (of course it is) – and the other relates to heel height. Every time a pregnant celebrity is spotted wearing shoes of any kind, debate erupts over their suitability. If they’re stilettos the commentary is usually especially fierce, but flip-flops and even boots can result in newspapers dedicating column inches to analysing their pros and cons.
So, how high is too high when it comes to pregnant women and heels? Should we go straight to flats, or is it acceptable to put on heels sometimes? The answer seems to be that while the odd pair of heels may be acceptable for a special occasion, you shouldn’t be teetering around in them for the whole nine months. This is despite the fact that you probably saw Rachel Zoe, Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham wearing stilettos even into the late stages of their respective pregnancies. However, Posh may actually have acted as a good advert for stepping away from the Manolos – as she suffered with a slipped disc after sticking to her designer heels even when she had a really big bump.
Why can heels be dangerous when you’re pregnant? The main thing to consider with heels is that they throw your centre of gravity off-kilter even when you’re not expecting, so this effect is underlined when you’ve got extra weight in your tummy to contend with. You might feel more wobbly and unable to keep your balance – and the last thing you want to do with a baby on board is fall over.
High shoes can also cause you real pain in your back and joints. The hormone relaxin is produced during pregnancy in order to loosen the joints in preparation for labour, but it also has an effect on the legs as it passes through them. If you wear precarious shoes while your ankles are weaker than usual, you can increase your risk of a sprain and even do permanent damage to the ligaments, not to mention causing your spine even more stress by contorting it into unnatural positions.
Expert organisations such as The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists recommend switching to supportive footwear as soon as you can after your bump begins to show, as it’s best for your body and for the safety of the baby. If you think flats can’t be stylish and supportive, then check out our ShoeTherapy range and prepare to be proven wrong!
Founded by Cecile, the revolutionary shoe brand ShoeTherapy is a line of stylish shoes that are medically proven to alleviate back ache, and is the first patented shoe that’s recommended during pregnancy. In the shape of cute ballerinas and our new fashionable loafer styles, the footwear collection is the perfect match to our stylish maternity wear. Loved by Cathy Butterworth, Fashion & Booking Editor at Elle Magazine and Brigid Moss, Health Editor at Red Magazine, these pumps are a must have for your maternity wardrobe. You’ll love them so much you’ll be wearing them long after your pregnancy too.
If you can’t go without your heels for long, try to keep them only for special occasions. Don’t forget that even celebrities won’t be wearing their Louboutins all the time – you only see them when they’re really dressed up and they probably put their trainers on as soon as they get out of paparazzi range!
Wedges can be a happy medium as they’re easier to walk in … but why not follow the good example of Kristin Cavallari and others and go for pumps instead? Even dedicated heel-wearer Jessica Simpson eventually changed her mind and opted for less vertiginous footwear before she gave birth, so you can too and still look great.