Jan 24th- The other day I sent my girls an email about sending an obligatory baby bump picture and then I attached the link of Gwen Stefani rocking her baby bump instead of one of me with mine.
Obviously she looks amazing and I definitely sent the email while wearing sweats. Now I’m not going to be hard on myself about this, she is a celebrity and as Sarah Jessica Parker so correctly pointed out regular women should not compare themselves to celebrities ever, especially during pregnancy and immediately after because it is their job to look good. Luckily for me it is my job to work from home on a nerdy medical database, so my laundry at the end of the week consists entirely of sweatpants, yoga pants, and hoodies.
Anyway the reason the picture of Gwen stuck in my mind is the stiletto heels. Now I have never worn heels like that, my chronic pain condition is reason/excuse enough for me to only wear modest sized heels when necessary. I have heard about the long term adverse health effects associated with wearing high heels in women in general. So I was curious to look into is whether it is bad for pregnant women to wear heels. Turns out it is not the best thing for a few different reasons. Due to the change in hormones when pregnant and the effects they have, wearing high heels can put added stress on your changing body. For one, pregnancy marks a time where hormonal increase allows for your ligaments to loosen in your low back and stomach to allow for the additional occupant and the eventual eviction of said occupant. One website I read credits progesterone with this change while another names relaxin as the culprit. To be honest I don’t remember relaxin from my school days and had to look it up- it is part of the insulin superfamily of hormones and there are seven different types. Both men and women have relaxin for different purposes, women produce it in their ovaries and breasts throughout their life and when pregnant their placenta, chorion, and decidua also produce it. There are spikes of it at 14 weeks of pregnancy and at delivery and its role in pregnancy is to mediate the hemodynamic changes a pregnant woman undergoes- increased cardiac output and blood flow for example, as well it relaxes the pelvic ligaments. Progesterone is a steroid hormone, and like relaxin it has both a normal role and an extended pregnancy role in women. It is mainly known for its role in developing and maintaining the endometrium, as well it stimulates development of glands in the breast for milk production. But I also found a source that links progesterone to the loosing up of ligaments in your lower back and abdomen during pregnancy. So for one a pregnant woman’s muscles are undergoing change and wearing high heels could cause back and hip pain. The second part of this is that most people know as a woman gets further into her pregnancy her center of balance is thrown off. Doctors recommend using caution on stairways and avoiding icy areas outdoors. Wearing high heels can only make this balance issue worse. So as a general rule get your high heel wearing out of your system in your first trimester, and then switch to low heels or flats going forward. Really no love lost for me but clearly Gwen is having a tough time kicking the habit.