If you have a new baby on the horizon – congratulations! This is a time to take care of yourself and do everything you can to stay healthy. Get plenty of rest and take your iron and vitamins.
But don’t neglect your feet! As the baby grows, you’ll be putting more stress on your feet. Your feet, knees and ankles will experience more pressure because your body’s center of gravity is changing too.
Don’t neglect any foot pain or discomfort you may feel because of your pregnancy. Here are the 2 most common problems that can arise:
Over-Pronation Caused by Weight Gain
You’re naturally gaining weight and this extra weight can cause your arches to flatten when standing or during any weight-bearing activity. This can cause your feet to turn in, or over-pronate, abnormally. Also the plantar fascia may become inflamed. This thick band of tissue begins at your heel and runs along the bottom of your foot and inflammation can make it painful to walk.
You can reduce the risk of over-pronation by wearing good, sturdy footwear. Don’t go barefoot or wear flip-flops or other shoes with very little support. Maintain flexibility by stretching your feet, ankles and calves regularly.
If you experience the persistent pain of plantar fasciitis, come see us at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle. Custom-fitted orthotics can provide needed arch support and help absorb shock.
Excess Swelling or Edema Can Be a Problem
75% of pregnant women experience swelling of the feet, called edema, by the third trimester. Edema is worse in warm weather and at the end of every day.
Your body retains water during pregnancy and some swelling is normal. As your blood chemistry changes, more fluid is transferred into your tissues. You’ll also experience more pressure in the vein that takes blood from your legs to the heart, causing your blood flow to slow. This will also push fluid from your veins into your ankles and feet.
Generally edema is harmless. But watch for any excessive or sudden swelling in the face, hands or feet. This may signal preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, a life-threatening condition. Call your doctor immediately if you observe these symptoms.
Follow these tips to minimize edema in pregnancy:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to flush out excess sodium.
- Put your feet up often.
- Limit salt intake.
- Continue your exercise program with your doctor’s permission.
- Avoid sitting for long periods.
- Wear seamless socks with loose tops to keep blood circulating.
- Select comfortable, roomy shoes with lower heels and lots of toe
Let Us Help with Pregnancy-Related Foot Problems
Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to help relieve painful foot symptoms associated with pregnancy. If you have any foot or ankle pain, please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at our Hudson office at 727 868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at 352 683-5799. We can help relieve the discomfort of pregnancy-related foot problems.