'Can I wear heels while pregnant?' Here's a guide to dressing during pregnancy

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Fashion is a form of self-expression, and you should be free to wear whatever you want. But are there any rules when you’re pregnant? Here’s a guide on what not to wear during pregnancy.

What not to wear during pregnancy

We all know that a woman’s body undergoes major changes during pregnancy, and one thing that goes away quickly is the pre-pregnancy body. That being said, it’s inevitable for a woman to stop wearing her old clothes for the time being and dress for her new role as a mum-to-be.

This can be an opportunity for you to reinvent yourself when it comes to fashion. Or you can still stay with what you’re used to. However, you need to rethink how to express your personal style while making sure you’re safely nurturing your baby bump. And as much as we want to stay fab and keep up with the trends, comfort trumps fashion when it comes to maternity dressing.

You don’t have to throw all your old clothes away just because you’re pregnant and they don’t fit you right now. But you should definitely take note of the things you should avoid wearing during pregnancy. Below are some of the common clothing pieces that pregnant women wonder if they can still wear while pregnant.

Can I wear jeans when pregnant?

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We all have that trusty pair of jeans that go with anything in our wardrobe that we can’t bear to part with. And you don’t have to, at least until the second trimester when your baby bump starts to show and a tight pair of jeans can feel restricting.

Wearing tight clothes is not recommended in pregnancy as having a good blood flow is very important. Wearing constricting garments can lead to a host of health issues, such as pain, reduced blood circulation, and even yeast infections, not to mention making the pregnant woman feel hot and very uncomfortable.

So when you’re already having a hard time buttoning your fave pair of jeans, consider giving it a rest for the next six months and invest in a quality pair of maternity jeans that you can still use even after giving birth. 

Is it bad to wear high heels when pregnant?

A great pair of heels can boost a woman’s confidence. However, wearing high heels may not be the safest choice for a mum-to-be.

While they’re part of our list of what not to wear during pregnancy, it’s actually not the shoes that are unsafe. But because of the shift in the centre of gravity (having a baby bump) and your ligaments becoming loose as your pregnancy progresses, you are more at risk of becoming off-balanced and falling. 

And more than possible bumps, bruises and a swollen ankle or broken bones, falling while pregnant puts you at risk for trauma to your abdomen, which can be very dangerous for your unborn baby.

Moreover, because of the increased blood flow, pregnant women are more prone to putting pressure on their veins, leading to varicose veins and spider veins. Wearing heels can also affect blood flow and put added pressure on your veins.

Finally, wearing high heels while pregnant may increase pelvic, back and hip discomfort. Even before you were expecting, you may have noticed that your hips, pelvis, back, and legs are sorer after wearing heels. We all know that back pain is common in pregnancy, and wearing heels may only make it worse. 

It’s best to put away your stilettos for the time being and opt for shoes that are more supportive and don’t cause additional discomfort in the rest of your body. Wear comfortable shoes – your pregnant body will thank you for it.

Underwire bra during pregnancy – is it okay?

If you haven’t tried wearing one yet, an underwire bra is a sort of contraption that makes the breasts look like they’re in perfect form under a shirt. Jokes aside, some women like wearing an underwire bra because it gives their breasts extra support. However, some women find it uncomfortable and restricting.

Despite that, wearing an underwire bra is considered safe during pregnancy. It just depends on the comfort of the pregnant woman, but there’s no health-related reason to stop you from wearing one.

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Some people believe that wearing an underwire bra can inhibit blood flow and hamper breastmilk production, but this has not been proven. It also does not cause clogged ducts or mastitis when you’re breastfeeding. For your milk production to be affected, you would have to be wearing a very tight bra for a very long time.

Whether you want to wear an underwire bra or not during pregnancy is totally up to you, but make sure you invest in a well-fitting bra that can last you even after pregnancy.

Can I use tight underwear during pregnancy?

Maternity shapewear is also safe to wear during pregnancy, as long as it does not constrict the belly area and decrease the blood flow.

However, according to the American Pregnancy Association, wearing tight underwear can increase the chances of vaginal yeast infections. During pregnancy, women experience an increase in vaginal secretions. And if you opt to wear tight, unbreathable underwear, it may increase the possibility of allowing yeast that naturally occurs in the vagina to overproduce and cause an infection.

You don’t have to look so boring and worn-out, mum-to-be. You can still wear what you want when you’re pregnant, as long as you remember the number one rule in maternity dressing: always choose comfort over style. Choose clothes that fit well and where you can move well. In fact, there are a lot of pregnancy clothes in the market that are both stylish and safe for your growing bump.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.