I think I echo most women’s sentiments when I say that one of the worst things about pregnancy is the point where your bump gets too big for you to comfortably wear your gorgeous collection of high heels or when your feet swell so much that you can’t get those shoes on anyway, even if you tried!
The thing is though, no matter how uncomfortable they can be, sometimes heels are the only way to make an outfit work. When you’ve found that perfect dress for a night out with the girls, your hair is gleaming and your makeup looks amazing, you can just hear those strappy, sexy sandals calling you from the back of the closet.
But hey, if you wear heels out once a week can it really be that bad for you? Surely not!
Well let me tell you the facts and you make up your mind for yourself ...
First of all you need to understand what heels do to the body. When you put on a pair of heels you tip your weight forward so that your center of gravity shifts. This means that you have to adjust your posture or alignment so that you don’t fall flat on your face.
To enable you to balance, your pelvis has to tilt anteriorly which increases the arch in your lower back. This in turn compresses the discs in your lower spine and crushes the nerves leading out from the spinal cord. This compression also places incredible pressure on the veins and arteries, decreasing the flow through this area, slowing down the whole circulatory system, including the blood supply to your baby.
And it’s not just your back that suffers. Because of the pronounced arch in your lumbar spine, your abs become stretched giving you a protruding belly and your hip flexors shorten.
On the top half your shoulders will round forward to balance out the lower body and your head will migrate forward putting enormous strain on your neck.
Now, consider this. All of the postural problems above are also prevalent in pregnancy. The weight of your bump and boobs will cause the exact same things to happen. Not only that, but because you are pregnant you will also be producing a lot of the hormones relaxin and oestrogen which make ligaments and muscles relax and joints become extremely unstable.
So when you add heels to a pregnant posture you are increasing the damage to your back, shoulders, and neck to the point of overload. And this is when your body tells you enough is enough and gives up. Hence you end up with severe back pain and possibly serious long-term damage.
So although you may think that wearing heels on the odd night out can’t hurt too much, just remember that your body is already stretched to the limit carrying your baby.
Is it really worth it for one night out?