Effects of Pregnancy on Your Feet
Pregnancy is a time of change. Not only are you preparing to welcome a little one into the world, your body is growing and changing with your new baby. All of these things are natural, but that doesn’t mean everything is comfortable. Side effects of pregnancy can be pretty uncomfortable in general, but your feet are particularly vulnerable to changes.
How Baby Changes Your Feet
Feet can change quite a bit during pregnancy. As your belly expands and you gain weight, the extra pressure can strain your lower limbs. Often your arches can tilt in and overpronate as a result. At the same time, your body releases a hormone that relaxes ligaments and joints to prepare your hips for labor. The hormone doesn’t just impact your hips, however—other connectors, including those in your feet, relax as well. Your added body weight and relaxed ligaments allow your feet to flatten, exacerbating overpronation. This flattening can lengthen and widen your feet as well, which may change your shoe size.
Edema is another common side effect. Your body produces more blood and fluid than normal. Gravity and added baby weight mean that fluid often collects in your lower limbs. This leads to swelling in the legs, feet, and ankles, which can be uncomfortable and make wearing some shoes difficult.
Why Your Feet Hurt
So as your growing belly presses down on your feet, your lower limbs flatten, and your ankles swell, you can be left with some pretty unpleasant side effects. Added pressure on your lower limbs can aggravate and inflame them. Metatarsalgia, heel pain, arch issues, and muscle cramping are common results of the strain. Excessive overpronation and a flattening arch only make this worse. Relaxed ligaments might mean your ankles become unstable and more prone to weakness. Swelling in your feet and ankles doesn’t help, either. Not only does it make standing and walking uncomfortable, it can make it difficult to fit into some of your shoes.
How to Ease That Foot Pain
The good news is that, even though these are normal side effects of pregnancy, you don’t have to suffer through them. You can take care of your lower limbs and relieve the discomfort, so you can spend your energy preparing for your new bundle of joy. Our team at Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper will examine your lower limbs to see what will best help them while you’re expecting.
Most likely you’ll need to make some shoe changes. This may mean slightly larger shoes, yes, but you’ll also need to invest in styles with plenty of cushioning and support. This helps your limbs better handle added pressure and strain. Orthotics may help with this, too, as well as correct issues like overpronation, and heel or arch pain. Compression socks, limiting time on your feet, and icing can all help with edema issues. Massages are great for pain relief and sore, cramping muscles. You may need to stretch your feet regularly as well to reduce cramping.
Pregnancy is a busy time—you don’t want to spend those months struggling with foot pain. The right foot care can help you stay on your feet, mobile, and independent as you prepare for your bundle of joy. Don’t accept foot pain as an inevitable part of your pregnancy. Instead, let Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper help you. Contact our office in Jasper, IN, for more information or to schedule a consultation. You can reach us online, or simply by calling (812) 481-7200.