Meghan Markle might break with a four-decade-long tradition of giving birth at St. Mary’s Hospital in London and posing postpartum outside the Lindo wing, picture-perfect. While many royal watchers were looking forward to meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first baby immediately following the birth this month the way Kate Middleton and Prince William have introduced their children, the new addition to the House of Windsor will likely be announced via social media, according to The Sun, so Meghan can heal privately and bond with her new baby. It’s a wise decision, according to New York podiatrist Lori Weisenfeld, because there are health factors to consider before slipping on a pair of constraining pumps.
“Her whole body has just gone through a great deal of changes. And your core muscles have been stretched out, and your lower back has been put in a position that it hadn’t been in before,” Dr. Weisenfeld said, noting that these particular strains often make women less stable after delivery. “Really, it’s about being safe.”
Another foot care concern for new moms is that your feet actually spread out and often grow a size during pregnancy from a hormone called relaxin that expands the ligaments in your pelvis and elsewhere to prepare for birth. “After you have a baby, your shoe size increases. And that has nothing to do with the weight gain. Of course, weight gain plays a part, because when you do gain weight, your rings get tight. Your belt gets tight. Your shoes get tight. But even if you get skinnier or weigh less after you give birth, your feet will remain larger,” the physician explained.
Weisenfeld recommends getting fitted for your shoe size after each pregnancy. “It’s hard enough to walk around in heels, let alone heels that are too small for your feet,” she says. In addition, moms may also have residual swelling in their feet, a symptom that often surfaces in the third trimester. “It’s important to keep yourself well-hydrated.”
Compression socks are a good idea postpartum to help with the swelling, and putting on a pair of supportive house slippers or sneakers can help ward off foot pain. “Many moms are not using to being at home 24/7 postpartum, and they wind up being barefoot most of the day,” said Weisenfeld. “They wind up getting arch pain and heel pain and leg pain — and things that they normally wouldn’t encounter if they were wearing shoes that offer support and cushioning.”
Really, it’s about being safe. Weisenfeld added: “If you are going to wear a heel, especially if you are carrying the baby. you want to be safe. It needs to be a chunky heel that’s stable, or a wedge. A very skinny heel is going to be less stable.”
Watch the video below on how to walk in heels with Instagram star Carrie Dragshaw.
From the Archives: Princess Diana’s Shoe Style
How Royal Maternity Style Has Evolved Over the Years