Pregnancy and Your Feet
water retention during
pregnancy cause significant physical changes that often lead to foot
discomfort. Alteration in center of gravity due to weight gain can add pressure
to the knees and feet. Posture and alignment can shift, and everyday movements
like lifting, sitting, standing, and walking can be affected.
Common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are over-pronation or
flattening of the arch, and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel,
arch, or the ball of the foot. Many women may also experience
veins due to weight gain. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning
easy home treatments can help women step more comfortably throughout these
special nine months.
Over-pronation, also referred to as flat feet, is caused when a person's
arch flattens out, due to extra weight bearing, and their feet roll inward when
walking. This can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar
fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot.
If flat feet are left untreated, serious disorders such as Metatarsalgia
(ball of foot pain) and Plantar
Fasciitis, (intense heel pain) can result. The condition can be avoided or
treated, however, by wearing properly fitting footwear that provides extra arch
support. Use comfortable athletic shoes, as well as over-the-counter orthotics
that support the arches or cushion a painful heel or ball of the foot.
Another common foot condition brought on by pregnancy is edema, or swelling,
caused by pressure from the uterus that leads to hampered circulation. The total
water fluid in the body remains the same as before pregnancy, however it becomes
displaced. Edema generally occurs later in pregnancy and is considered normal
unless accompanied by swelling of the face or hands.
Prevention & treatment
Try to elevate your feet as often as you can
walk around barefoot: Wear a supportive shoe, one that has a rigid sole and
bends only where the foot bends (at the toes)
Wear shoes and socks that are spacious and do not constrict the feet
Dry your feet and between toes after showers: Increased moisture between
your toes can lead to
breakdown and eventual ulceration
Have your feet measured regularly throughout your pregnancy to account
for size alterations
sitting or driving for long periods, make sure you stand and walk about
occasionally to aid circulation
Exercise regularly to improve your circulation
Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, since cutting back on fluids won't
diminish swelling. Your body -- and your baby -- needs at least eight
8-ounce glasses a day, as this helps rid your body of toxins.
Avoid foods high in salt, which tend to promote water retention.
Swelling is usually the same in both feet. If one foot seems worse than the
other this may be a sign of a vascular problem and you should get medical advice
as soon as possible.
With all of the changes taking place during pregnancy, itís important to
remember that you are now walking for two.
Dated 06 June 2012