Pregnant in heels: Podiatrists say no

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Pregnant in heels: Podiatrists say no
Pregnant celebrities taking high heel wearing to full term are sending women the wrong message.

Pregnant in heels is not just a guilty pleasure of trashy reality TV addicts, it's a trend that's causing growing concern among Australia's podiatry community as well.

Taking cue from celebrities like Jessica Simpson who famously flaunted her six-inch heels for most of her pregnancy, (even joking that she wore her YSL stilettos all the way to the delivery room!) women wearing high heels throughout pregnancy could cause serious injury to themselves or their unborn child, experts warn.

Related: Magazine girls prefer pain to flat shoes

"We've recently heard news of a bag-laden Jessica Simpson shopping in 'sky high heels' during her second pregnancy and other high profile women donning their heels during various stages of pregnancy. These are risky endeavours by public figures which tell other pregnant women it's okay," podiatrist Brenden Brown says.

"Wearing high heels at any time is an injury risk but this is significantly increased when pregnant, particularly in the later stages as you gain weight and body mass, which affects balance and puts stress on the feet and ankles."

Brown recommends that pregnant women should go for a supportive, enclosed shoe with a slight heel.

Even Jessica Simpson gave in towards the end of her pregnancy and traded her heels for flip flops, but Brown argues the sudden swap from stilettos to flats was also foolish.

"A flip flop — or thongs as we say in Australia — gives no support to the foot and when you are carrying a heavy load, you need all the support you can get," he says.

Related: Doctors fear dangers of texting while parenting

"Adding a pair of high heels to this mix is an absolute no-no and should be avoided," Brown says.

Last year New South Wales paramedics reported a rise in triple-0 calls by women suffering ankle fractures, dislocated knees, head injuries and broken wrists caused by falling from their shoes, saying troublesome footwear caused more injuries to women than sports accidents.

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