If you are pregnant, your feet and ankles will change. These changes are normal and often temporary. Sometimes, though, the changes are permanent. However, you can reduce foot pain and problems during pregnancy. If you want to know more about pregnancy and changes in the foot, keep reading.
Do Feet Grow During Pregnancy?
Many women swear their feet grow during pregnancy. Feet don't grow in the traditional sense. However, they do get bigger. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone that relaxes your ligaments. This relaxation helps during childbirth but also affects the ligaments in your feet.
Increased weight and a change in the center of gravity also affect your ligaments. You may experience arch problems as well. As a result, these changes can cause your feet to widen or lengthen.
Why Do Feet Swell During Pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, your overall blood volume and pressure increase. Your pregnancy hormones also affect the rigidness of your blood vessels. All of these add up to increase edema in your lower legs, ankles, and feet. If your lifestyle requires you to stand often, you may notice you have less tolerance as your pregnancy progresses.
What Causes the Feet to Begin Pronating Differently During Pregnancy?
When you are pregnant, your weight and center of gravity shift. When you combine these changes with a flattening arch, your feet will pronate differently. Unfortunately, pronation problems can lead to further foot problems if not corrected.
What Other Foot Problems Are Common During Pregnancy?
Some related foot and ankle problems you may have during pregnancy also include:
- Increased chance of bunions
- Ingrown toenails
- Burning feeling or numbness
- Skin problems such as cracked heels
How Can One Minimize Foot Problems During Pregnancy?
Sometimes pregnancy-related foot problems are inevitable. However, you can reduce foot problems. Resting your feet frequently and staying hydrated can help. You may need to change to more comfortable footwear. New footwear may accommodate your changes. If you have pronation or gait issues, orthotics and arch support might help.
Do Feet Return to Normal After Pregnancy?
Some pregnancy-related changes may reduce or reverse after you give birth. However, size and arch changes may be permanent for some women. If you've taken good care of your feet, those changes shouldn't be much. But, they may be enough to require a new set of shoes.
You could have foot problems during pregnancy even if you have been fine before. Foot problems are a result of changes in your body due to your condition. You may want to make a trip or two to the podiatrist during your pregnancy. They can help you keep foot problems to a minimum.
For more information, contact a foot and ankle doctor near you.