You’ve probably anticipated that nine months of pregnancy would be physically taxing. However, there is so much going on, from planning for your little one’s arrival, to the various doctor appointments (ultrasounds, exams, etc.) you may not be thinking about your feet.
Let’s take a look at how your feet will be affected by your pregnancy – or explain what you might already be experiencing. There are several common issues that may affect your feet while you are expecting.
Your Shoes Don’t Fit Like They Used To
A common problem for pregnant women is that shoes that once slid on without effort may now be too tight to wear. The additional weight gained during pregnancy may cause your feet to widen. Secondly, it’s common to experience swelling in your legs and feet – and if that isn’t enough, your body releases a hormone that is designed to make the birthing process easier which relaxes connective tissue (including the connective tissue in your feet).
Proper fitting shoes are extremely important to the health of your feet, and if your footwear is fitting tighter than usual, it’s time to buy new shoes. Have your feet measured, just as you would normally, and buy a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes.
Your Feet and Ankles are Swollen
During your pregnancy, your feet and ankles are likely to swell and may become painful. This is due to extra fluid accumulating in your lower extremities, as your body naturally retains fluid during pregnancy, and hot weather, a high-salt diet, and spending too much time on your feet can make it worse. Additionally, as the baby grows, the uterus can put pressure on the major veins that return blood to your heart and lungs, causing blood to pool in your feet and ankles.
To help alleviate this swelling, take frequent breaks, and keep your feet elevated as much as possible. Avoid tight footwear, eat healthy, low-salt foods and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Although it may seem counterintuitive, wearing compression stockings can help (just make sure they fit properly and don’t cut off your circulation). Sleep on your left side if at all possible, as this keeps the pressure off of the major vein responsible for returning blood to your heart.
You May Be Overpronating
Pronating is a biochemical process that causes the feet to roll inwards during the process of walking. When this rolling motion exceeds fifteen degrees, it is called overpronation. Because of natural weight gain during pregnancy, your arches can flatten, resulting in overpronation. This can lead to bunions and stress fractures, but you likely won’t be aware of it unless it causes pain. Orthotic therapy can solve this issue, and additionally, custom orthotic inserts can help align your body to help relieve knee, hip, and back pain.
You May Find It Difficult to Clip Your Toenails
As your baby grows, it’s tough to see your toes let alone care for your toenails. However, keeping your toenails trimmed is essential to avoiding ingrown toenails. If it becomes too difficult to trim your own nails, ask a loved one to help – or treat yourself to a professional pedicure every couple of weeks.
When you Need Professional Foot Care – We’re Here for You!
It’s easy to ignore your feet when so much else is on your mind. After all, having a baby is a life altering event. However, if your feet begin to complain so loudly you can’t ignore them, give us a call and let us provide the relief you need! Contact us today.