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Wearing high heels during pregnancy

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Fashionable or faux pas?

Should you give up your high heels during pregnancy? When the pregnancy test showed two lines, you vowed not to be one of those women who stop taking care of their outward appearance during pregnancy. You swore to wear cute clothes, albeit in a slightly different shape, and to walk into the delivery room in high heels. But does that really happen?

Pregnant and in High HeelsFace it: Women love shoes. The love affair starts young and heats up over the years -- as a woman's shoe closet grows exponentially. But it doesn't stop there. Shoe-love is only enhanced by the magical powers of a great pair of heels. Whether they're stilettos, chunkier stacked heels, sky-high wedges or something else, high heels give women a few added inches and a boost in mood.

Unfortunately, when you are pregnant, people are quick to tell you that you need to switch to flats. But do you really give up your heels?

Habitual height

For some women, high heels are as ingrained in their lifestyles as eating and showering. You get accustomed to the added height and can feel naked without the heels."Hell, yes, I wore heels during my pregnancy! I kept my shoe habits the same as if I wasn't pregnant. God help the poor fool who tried to pry from me my stilettos," said Margarita Miranda-Abate, 41. "I didn't stop wearing them until I was placed on bed rest and my feet were so swollen that I could fit my size 5-1/2 foot into only one pair of gorgeous green kitten heels that I wore to the delivery room."

Self-esteem booster

High-heeled shoes make many women feel powerful, sexy, young and beautiful. That can make the day a whole lot brighter. And when you are pregnant and your body is changing rapidly and in unfamiliar ways, sometimes you need that boost. "I've found an occasional high heel does wonders for my self-esteem. I found a pair of racy black T-straps at a consignment shop that are amazingly comfortable. I pull them out whenever I need a self-esteem boost. At a time when my belly is so big, and I often feel less than delicate, the shoes make me feel pretty," says Laura Lee Ellis, 27, who writes lauraleeellis.blogspot.com.

Going flat

Unfortunately, for some high-heel-loving moms-to-be, high heels aren't in the cards. Between painful conditions like sciatica and uncomfortable ones like edema (swelling), giving up high heels can become a must. 

"I'm 31 weeks pregnant and just made the switch to flats last week. I was wearing heels and was fine with it until I had a sciatica issue (which my doctor said was partly due to wearing heels). But last week, my feet just started hurting, and gym shoes and flip flops were the only things that made them hurt less. I have been wearing flip flops to work and bringing heels to change into if we have a client in the office," says Katharina Lane, 26.

What do the experts think about wearing high heels during pregnancy? Patti Glick, RN, told PregnancyandBaby.com you can wear high heels, but be sensible. "Since the entire center of gravity changes as the baby grows, it's best to minimize the heel to one-half to one inch at most," she says. "Also, for improved stability, a wider-based heel is preferable.  I am not in favor of platform shoes at all -- pregnant or not."

With gladiator sandals and T-straps being so in this year, going flat for pregnancy actually can be a very fashion-forward move. But if you still don't want to give up your heels, brands like Aerosoles and Clarks offer some cute high heels that are decidedly foot friendly.

Tell us: What do you think about wearing high heels during pregnancy? Comment below!

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