How Being Pregnant Affects Your Feet

Are you expecting? Congratulations! Your body will go through many changes in the next nine months and some of them will affect your feet. At Texas Foot Specialists, we want to ensure that you’re feet stay healthy so they can carry you and your baby safely and comfortably throughout your pregnancy. Here are some aspects of pregnancy that can impact your feet:

Weight Gain

The weight gained during pregnancy—even if you don’t exceed the recommended number of pounds—will put extra strain on your feet. This can result in over pronation (the flattening of your arch). Flat feet causes arch pain and can also strain the plantar fascia which may inflame your heel as well. Choose shoes with good arch support to help counteract this tendency. Stretching your feet, particularly first thing in the morning, will also reduce pain. Try to walk or keep up an exercise plan that your obstetrician approves to keep from gaining extra weight.

Extra Fluid

The amount of blood and water in your body will naturally increase when you are pregnant. This can cause edema or swelling, particularly in your ankles and feet. The pressure from the excess water accumulating in your feet can be uncomfortable and even hurt. To minimize discomfort, try to not cross your legs when you are sitting and put your feet up periodically throughout the day if possible. Drinking plenty of water will also help flush excess fluid from your body.

Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy your body will release a hormone called relaxin that relaxes your ligaments. This occurs to help prepare the body for the passage of the baby through the birth canal. For your feet, however, this means an increase risk of ankle sprains as the ligaments are now looser and more easily stretched. Wear shoes with low, wide heels for increased stability. Ligament relaxing may also cause your foot to spread a bit which may mean your shoes will start to feel tight. If your toes are forced together you are more likely to end up with an ingrown toenail. If your shoes start to feel too tight, purchase a larger or wider size.

Sometimes changes from pregnancy can aggravate existing foot conditions. If you are experiencing increased pain or discomfort, contact our Houston (713-664-6677), Sugar Land (281-242-4448) or Pasadena (281-991-0600) office for an appointment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Magnum or Dr. Bruce Miller, will examine your feet and make any adjustments as necessary to ensure the health of your feet during your pregnancy.