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Top 5 shoes when your feet are suffering from postpartum swelling

Picture the scene. You’ve just completed the almighty feat of birthing your precious bundle of joy into the world. You’re a goddess. You’re invincible. Nothing can bring you down. Except, maybe, the wrong pair of shoes.

It’s true – choosing the right pair of shoes to wear after birth is an important decision. Scroll on down to find out why and discover the best options for you…

Why are my feet so swollen after giving birth?

Postpartum swelling (aka postpartum oedema) is a common condition that refers to the swelling of the body that occurs in the days and weeks after child birth. The swelling typically affects the feet, legs, and ankles but you might also notice it in other parts of the body too.

What causes postpartum swelling?

Postpartum swelling is caused by the build up of fluid in the tissues. This can occur due to a variety of factors, such as hormonal changes, reduced activity, increased blood volume, and birth-related factors. It’s often associated with other postpartum symptoms, such as fatigue, discomfort, and difficulty sleeping.

What can help reduce postpartum swelling?

Postpartum swelling usually resolves on its own within a few days to a week after giving birth. In the meantime, some things that may help reduce the swelling include rest, staying hydrated, elevating the legs, compression socks, and in some cases, medication.  

How long does postpartum swelling last?

Postpartum swelling usually goes away within the first week or so after giving birth. However, in some cases, it may persist for several weeks, and in rare cases, it may indicate an underlying medical condition. If you feel that something isn’t right and the swelling isn’t going away, speak with your midwife so they can assess you and advise specific treatment.

What are compression socks and will I need them?

Compression socks are often recommended after birth to reduce postpartum swelling. The socks help to prevent blood clots and improve circulation in the legs and feet.

If you have a planned or unplanned C-Section, the NHS advises that you wear compression socks afterwards.  This is because there is an increased risk of developing blood clots in the legs after surgery. It is usually recommended that the sexy socks be worn for at least seven days after surgery.

If you experience a tear after a vaginal birth and require surgery to repair the wound, you will also be advised to wear compression socks afterwards. If you have other risk factors, such as a history of blood clots or a family history of clotting disorders, you may also be advised to wear compression socks after birth to reduce the risk of clotting.

What are the right shoes to wear after giving birth?

There are a few things to bear in mind when picking the right shoes to wear after birth. Here are a few pointers:

  • Wide fit: Look for a shoe with a wide, comfortable fit so you don’t risk squishing your already swollen toes or feet.
  • Slip ons: Your body will be feeling quite tender after giving birth, regardless of whether you’ve have a C-Section or vaginal delivery. Aim for a shoe that is super easy to slip on and off (without having to bend down).
  • Velcro: Your time is going to be fairly limited so always opt for velcro rather than laces.
  • Avoid flip flops: If you do need to wear compression socks then flip flops are going to be a big no no.
  • Comfy socks: Even if you don’t need to wear compression socks, you might find you want to wear some snuggly, comfortable socks to help ease any aches and pains. So be sure to look for a shoe that’s big enough to also wear with thicker socks.

And, if in doubt, always choose comfort over style.

Our top 5 birth recovery shoes

With all those above factors in mind, we’ve scoured the internet to find you the top five birth recovery shoes that tick all the comfort and style boxes.

1. Sliders

Sliders really are the gift that keep on giving. They’re super easy to slip on and off, they can be worn with compression socks and there is an option out there to suit any colour preference and budget. They’re also super easy to pack and can be worn again and again when you’re dashing around with baby in tow.

They’re celeb and doctor backed too as they were spotted on Dr Emily Andre right before she gave birth to her baby girl.

Here’s a cheap and cheerful option from Amazon….

2. Clogs

The clog is having a moment and we are here for it. Not only do they look super cool but they’re perfect for providing your feet with extra support during those early postpartum days. Clogs are super easy to slip on and off, they are great for wearing if you need compression socks and there are so many choices out there.

Check out this gorgeous pink pair from Next that won’t break the bank.

3. Sandals

The weather is finally beginning to warm up and so it’s time to consider de-socking and letting your feet see sunlight again. Whilst you may not be able to see your toes beneath your ever-growing bump, we think they still ought to be treated to some stylish footwear., such as these Celine dupe sandals. Add in a well-deserved pedicure and you’re good to go…

4. Crocs

What do Winona Ryder and Crocs have in common? Victorious comebacks. It’s true, the once derided and scorned Croc is now a firm favourite on the feet of fashionistas everywhere. And not only has it come back, it’s come back with extras too.

The Croc is an excellent choice for swollen feet during pregnancy and just as useful for birth recovery too. The cushioned design means that the iconic shoe delivers on comfort and support for aching feet and ankles. They’re also super lightweight (making them great for packing in the hospital bag) and very easy to slip on and off without having to bend down. The iconic holes are also ideal for swollen feet as the shoe is breathable, promotes circulation, and doesn’t compress the toes.

With an array of colours to choose from and priced under £35, what’s not to love really? Just don’t blame us if you never wear another shoe again.

5. Boots

When you’ve got a long day ahead of you of looking after baby, there is nothing more comforting than slipping your feet into a fluffy pair of boots.

This option from UGG is ideal for giving you that extra comfort when you need it most. They also come with a little loop at the back to help you get the boots on. If you’re looking for a cheaper dupe option, check out these and these.

When should I be worried about postpartum swelling?

Postpartum swelling is usually mild and goes away on its own. However, if you experience any swelling, redness or pain in the calf muscle of one leg, you should seek medical attention immediately. It could be a sign of a blood clot (known as deep vein thrombosis) and requires urgent treatment. Other things to look out for include shortness of breath, pain in your chest or heavy bleeding.


Birthbabe does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The resources on our website are provided for informational purposes only. You should always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any medical diagnoses or treatment options.

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