Your belly isn’t the only thing that changes when you’re pregnant. Hormonal changes affect your whole body, including your feet. The board-certified podiatrists at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center in Monmouth County, New Jersey want to help pregnant women through it all with minimal foot discomfort.
Here’s what can happen to your feet during pregnancy:
Fluid retention in the lower limbs is a normal side effect. It can cause painful, swollen feet. To minimize swelling (edema), rest your legs and put your feet up as often as possible. Sleep on your side. Wear compression stockings. If you find the edema doesn’t go away when you use these methods, tell your doctor, as this could indicate a serious problem.
Flattened arches. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that a woman who’s at a healthy pre-pregnancy weight should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. This extra weight can cause your foot arches to flatten. You may be more comfortable in larger or more supportive shoes. Custom orthotics can also help.
Looseness in the joints. The pregnant human body produces relaxin, a hormone that loosens the joints of the pelvis in order for them to open up for birth. You can expect relaxin to have the same effect on the joints of your feet. The result? Foot instability and a shift in your sense of balance. Wear sensible shoes and use caution to prevent falls.
Some changes will endure
Swelling and weight gain during pregnancy may permanently change the size and shape of your feet. So it makes sense to have your foot measured the next time you purchase a pair of shoes. A bigger or wider foot may be your new post-pregnancy reality.
Nine months of gestation is hard enough, so we hope you’re successful in keeping foot pain out of the mix. For more information about proper care of the feet in all stages of life, contact Dr. Samantha Boyd, Dr. Hal Ornstein, Dr. Dan Phan, and Dr. Joseph Saka at (732) 905-1110 or online. We’re happy to examine your feet and treat any pain or discomfort at our offices in Howell and Jackson, New Jersey.