Pregnancy can be such an exciting time for all, waiting patiently for that little bundle of joy to arrive but with pregnancy of course comes many changes to a woman’s body including the feet. One of the most common complaints from pregnant woman that we hear is foot pain.
Naturally with added weight gain this consequently changes a woman’s stance and gait and contributes to increased load on the knees and feet. Also with pregnancy comes an increase and release in several hormones to prepare the body for childbirth. This increase in particular hormones contribute to laxity or loosening of the ligaments. Therefore what we very often hear and see is pregnant women coming to us concerned that their feet have got bigger and they can no longer fit into their particular shoe size.
This perception that the feet have grown, is consequently due to flattening of the arches and odema (swelling), which are both common issues, experienced by pregnant woman.
Odema in the feet generally happens in the later stages of pregnancy and is caused by excess fluid and blood in the body and the positioning of the growing baby, causing compression of the blood vessels. Resulting in returning circulation to slow down. This in turn all results in a pooling of fluid to the extremities known as swelling or odema of the feet.
Flattening of the arches is generally as a result of increased pressure on the feet due to natural weight gain during pregnancy and contributing laxity/loosening of ligaments due to particular increase and release of hormones. This flattening of the arches can make walking painful due to the increased strain and stress placed on the feet, ankles, knees and lower back.
It is important to take good care of your feet during this exciting time to aid in the reduction of foot pain that can be experienced by several women during pregnancy. It is vital to ensure appropriate, supportive footwear with the correct fit. If necessary added support can be added to footwear through the means of an orthotic device that can help to distribute the weight more evenly and reduce overstrain or stress to particular areas of the body. Maintaining exercise during this time is important, along with sufficient fluid intake of water. Elevating feet regularly will help to decrease swelling to the feet and wearing compression socks if necessary or seamless socks that do not restrict blood flow.
If you require any further information or need an assessment of your feet during pregnancy please do not hesitate to contact our Podiatrists for further information.
The Foot & Ankle Clinic
11 Gray Street
(07) 3281 3186