Your little one is on its way, growing and developing inside you and already causing lots of joy—and a few problems, too! We want to help you deal with some common issues in feet during pregnancy, and help you realize why foot care while pregnant is so important.
Common Foot Issues during Pregnancy
Because of all the changes in your body, your feet are changing, too. For one thing, the fluids in your body can be displaced when standing for long periods, or from increased pressure by the uterus on veins and arteries. Fluids will then collect at the lowest points—your feet and ankles. This can lead to swelling (edema) and puffiness around your ankles.
For another, the growing fetus and extra fluids add weight to your frame, and the pressure of those extra pounds lands directly on your feet. Add to that hormonal changes that relax your ligaments, and you can end up with flatfoot problems like overpronation. As the foot structure “spreads out,” the strong ligament under your foot becomes stressed and you could develop the painful condition called plantar fasciitis. Also, because the extra weight is largely in front, balance becomes an issue, as well as related issues of calf and back pain.
When your feet change shape because of hormonal action, extra weight, and relaxation of connecting tissues, your shoes may not fit anymore. Pinched toes are more susceptible to ingrown toenails, and also to deformities like bunions and hammertoes. Tight shoes can also make your entire foot seem hot, cramped, and sore.
Foot Care While Pregnant
There are many self-care remedies for some of these issues. You can:
- Wear roomier shoes, to lessen the pain of swollen feet and reduce your chances of developing ingrown nails and toe deformities. As your pregnancy progresses, it’s time to give stilettos a break, since they throw off your balance and risk falls, as well as increase arch pain.
- Elevate your feet whenever possible and don’t cross your legs as you sit. You can use massage to increase circulation and help to reduce swelling and fluid retention in your feet and ankles.
- Stretch your feet, Achilles tendons, and calf muscles every day to lessen the tension on your plantar fascia.
- Drink lots of water to flush out toxins and watch salt intake to reduce fluid retention.
How We Can Help Your Feet Stay Safe
One thing that often helps pregnant patients with foot pain is the use of custom orthotics. We design these medical supports that go inside your shoes to help rebalance your feet and reduce pronation and arch pain. As you go through the day, they can help your feet feel less tired and achy.
We also encourage regular walking to keep circulation strong, plus a healthy diet and plenty of water to provide needed nutrients for you and your baby and keep you hydrated.
Care for your feet to minimize the effects of pregnancy, and they will repay you by maintaining a strong, stable base to carry you through the whole nine months and beyond. That will leave you free to totally enjoy the waiting and wonder of this time.
Let us be an important part of your pre-baby health care routine. Call us at the first sign of any concerning foot symptoms, and we’ll get you right in for an examination. We have many more self-care tips to share with you, too, so call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona in Chandler, AZ at (480) 963-9000, or reach us in Gilbert at (480) 981-1800.