If you or a family member is expecting a child soon, you know that it’s a time to really focus on your health. Take your vitamins and iron, keep a fitness routine – with your doctor’s permission – and rest as much as possible to prepare for your new arrival.
But are you taking enough care of your feet? Remember, your body is growing and therefore putting extra stress on your feet. And because your center of gravity is changing, you’ll experience more pressure on your feet, ankles and knees.
Here are 2 common foot problems that can arise during pregnancy:
Edema Can Be a Problem
Are your feet swelling? This condition is called edema and 75% of pregnant women experience this by the third trimester. Edema generally gets worse at the end of the day and in warmer weather.
Some swelling is normal during pregnancy as you retain water. Your blood chemistry changes too which can shift more fluid into your tissues. Also, you’ll experience increased pressure in the pelvic veins and the large vein on your right side that takes blood to the heart from your legs. When this blood flow slows down, fluid is pushed from your veins into feet and ankle tissues. Hormone release can cause your feet to appear larger as well as swollen because the ligaments are stretched.
Although edema is normal and generally harmless, be alert to sudden or excessive swelling to the hands, face or feet or puffy eyes. This could be a sign of a life-threatening condition called preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension. Call your doctor immediately if you notice these symptoms.
Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM suggest minimizing edema during pregnancy by:
- Keeping hydrated with water to flush excess sodium away.
- Limiting your salt intake.
- Elevating your feet often and relax.
- Don’t sit for long periods.
- Wearing comfortable, cushioned shoes with lots of toe room and lower heels.
- Choosing seamless socks with loose tops to maintain circulation.
Weight Gain Can Cause Over-Pronation
The weight gain during pregnancy can cause your arches to flatten with weight-bearing activity. The result is that your feet can turn in abnormally. Your plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your feet from your heel bones toward your toes, can be inflamed which can make walking painful.
Lower your risk of over-pronation by wearing proper footwear and continuing your doctor-approved exercise program. Stretch your calves, feet and ankles regularly to maintain flexibility.
Avoid going barefoot or wearing shoes with little or no support like flip flops. Custom orthotics can help with shock absorption and provide arch support.
Let Us Know if You Have any Pregnancy-Related Foot Pain
Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to help with pregnancy-related foot problems as well as any other foot or ankle pain. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. We have the expertise to solve your foot problems.