While pregnancy is a joyful time, it can also be an uncomfortable and even painful experience. The body has to go through many changes in order to make room for the growing fetus, as well as to prepare for the birthing process.
Included in the list of body parts that are changing are the feet and ankles. Because of the increased weight to support, as well as the circulation challenges that come with pregnancy, you may become more aware of your feet. Your pregnancy feet and ankles may experience some of the following:
● Edema – As the body changes, circulation back up from the feet can be restricted, leading to edema. The feet can swell to the point where the feet cannot fit into your shoes and you may need to buy some larger and wider shoes to accommodate your feet. The ankles can swell to the point where there is not a distinct separation from the calves, down into the feet.
● Flat feet and/or Overpronation – The swelling and extra weight can cause the arches to flatten. As the arches fall, the ankles may begin to roll inward more and more, causing strain on the feet and ankles. Your arches may begin to hurt and your ankles may feel tight.
● Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis – The extra weight your feet have to support and flattening feet can cause the plantar fascia ligament to become strained. The inflammation caused by this is called plantar fasciitis. When the feet have to strain and work hard, it can also cause the Achilles to tighten as well, causing you pain in the back of the heel.
To combat painful symptoms, and to maintain comfortable pregnancy feet, try some of the following:
● Drink a lot of water and eat healthily. Dehydration can contribute to edema, so try to drink water whenever you can remember. Salty foods can also increase swelling.
● Be physically active. While that doesn’t always sound so enticing, it may be what makes you feel better throughout your pregnancy. Moving the feet and getting your heart pumping can help you with circulations. Do exercises involving the toes, feet, and ankles.
● Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. If your shoes still fit you, try adding some orthotic inserts to make them more supportive. Because your feet are adjusting to your body, you might need more support to prevent strained feet. Get measured at a shoe store if you are buying new shoes while pregnant.
● Report irregular changes in edema. If any part of your body has uneven swelling on one side of the body, you should contact your physician immediately for assessment.
If you need help with painful or uncomfortable pregnancy feet, make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our team of foot doctors can perform a thorough assessment of your feet at our Jonesboro, AR office and prescribe you custom orthotics if necessary.