Five Tips on Buying the Best ‘Maternity’ Shoes For You
OK, just to clarify, we won’t be going into how to avoid the “pregnant” part, just the barefoot (as in you can’t stand a single shoe in your closet) while pregnant. After all, any woman who has been there knows that sooner or later, you reach the point where the only shoes an expectant Mom can tolerate usually have bunny ears and can be machine-washed.
With everything medical science knows about pregnancy and pre-natal care today, there are certain “distractions” that still plague pregnant women worldwide. Near the top of the list — largely because it shows up early and lingers weeks after your bundle of joy has appeared — are swollen feet. Known as edema (swelling) of the feet and ankles, foot pain is disturbing even when you’re not pregnant. The good news is there are several things you can do to reduce and even avoid this kind of pain.
When you’re pregnant, three things to happen that strongly affect your feet. The first two are (1) the normal retention of fluid during pregnancy and (2) the equally normal weight gain. Third, literally all the joints in your body, including your feet, are loosened up by the higher levels of hormones as your body prepares for delivery.
All this means is that your belly isn’t the only thing expanding during pregnancy. So are your feet, and for many women, their shoe size permanently goes up about one full size after pregnancy. Please don’t cry. Think of this as a rare opportunity to buy a whole new wardrobe of shoes!
If you’re a regular SSPC patient, then you already know to buy your shoes with a little “wiggle” room inside. Many of your sandals, clogs, soft fabric and good leather shoes might be salvaged. But as you’re pulling together your maternity wardrobe, why not invest in some dedicated “maternity” shoes?
Depending on the season and your lifestyle, you may be able to get by with one pair of dress shoes and one casual. For your dressier shoe, the first thing you must do is to semi-retire your four-inch pumps. Stick to shoes with a two-inch heel or less while you’re walking with a baby on board.
Look for shoes with non-skid soles and plenty of space for your feet to spread out. Shoes made of canvas or leather are the most “breathable” materials for your feet. The shoes to avoid are flip flops (they’re dangerous and offer no support) and shoes with shoelaces. Remember, the time will come in your pregnancy when you won’t be able to see your feet, much less tie shoelaces.
For a casual shoe, we like clogs, particularly German-made leather clogs (NOT the ones for $7 at Wal-Mart). These are favorites among surgeons, nurses, chefs, etc., who have to stand for long periods of time. They’re a little hard to run in, but that’s probably something pregnant women should avoid anyway.
As always, orthotic inserts are an especially good idea for pregnant women. When you’re pregnant, your center of gravity changes as you gain baby weight. Inserts help correct your newly distorted center of gravity. This not only lessens foot problems, it also reduces back and leg pain, too! By Month 8, you’ll be really glad you made the investment!
There are two kinds of inserts for pregnancy, one for the first two trimesters and one for the home-stretch. If you give SSPC a call, we can help you pick the inserts right for you.
Finally, we’re often asked if support hose can help reduce or eliminate foot and leg pain for pregnant women. Yes, but only during the early months. Just be sure that the foot of the pantyhose is not tight on your foot. Even if you have to go up a size, you never want to cut off the blood flow in your feet.
Now, that’s not hard to avoid barefoot and pregnant, is it?