Changes in your body are a normal part of pregnancy. While most women expect these changes in their abdomen, they aren't quite as expectant of the changes that occur in their feet. Between discomfort and swelling, pregnancy can have a significant effect on your feet. Make certain you are aware of these changes as well as helpful tips to help you care for your feet, for the best experience.
One of the most common issues that affect your feet during pregnancy is edema, or swelling of the feet. This condition is the result of an excessive amount of blood accumulation. As your uterus expands, this increases pressure on your blood vessels in not just your pelvis, but also your legs.
As the blood vessels increase in your legs, this decreases the amount of circulation, causing blood to collect in your lower extremities, such as your feet. One of the best ways to avoid this is to avoid tight fitting shoes or socks that may further prevent proper circulation. Taking breaks to elevate your feet throughout the day can also help.
Hormonal Foot Growth
If it seems like your shoes are getting too small during pregnancy, you're not losing your mind. In the simplest of terms, during pregnancy, your hormones go haywire. Increased amounts of hormones like estrogen cause your ligaments and joints to relax. As the ligaments and joints in your feet relax, this can cause elongation.
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to avoid hormonal foot growth. The best thing to do is go with the flow. Don't try to squeeze into shoes that are too small, go up a size if necessary. It's also important to understand that your feet may never return to their pre-pregnancy size, so keep this in mind.
Your legs bear the brunt of the pressure when it comes to the excess weight that you're carrying. In some cases, this excess weight can cause the natural arch in your feet to flatten out. As your arch flattens, this can cause your feet to turn inward.
Walking with your feet in this position puts strain on your plantar fascia, the band of tissues that goes from your forefoot to the heel. During the duration of your pregnancy, excess strain in this area can lead to severe foot pain. Similar to hormonal growth, there isn't much you can do to avoid this. However, you can help minimize symptoms by wearing shoes that offer proper arch support.
If you have any major concerns, your obstetrician, like those found at http://www.whallc.com, should be your primary point of contact. Ensuring proper care will keep you and your growing baby healthier and more comfortable.