"Oh, my aching feet" is a phrase you hear often from pregnant women, but sore feet need not be a side effect of pregnancy. If you are expecting, follow these guidelines to help alleviate three of the most common foot problems that can occur during pregnancy.
1. Painful, Swollen Feet - Pregnant women often experience throbbing, swollen feet due to excess fluid buildup (edema) in the feet from the weight and position of the baby. To reduce swelling:
- Put feet up whenever possible
- Stretch legs frequently
- Wear wide, comfortable shoes and compression socks or stockings
- Do not cross legs when sitting
2. Arch Pain - Pain in the arch can be due to both arch fatigue or overpronation (flattening of the arch). Overpronation causes extreme stress to the ligament (the plantar fascia) that holds up the arch of the foot. The best way to prevent arch pain is to:
- Stretch daily in the morning and before and after any exercise
- Avoid going barefoot
- Wear supportive low-heeled shoes
- Wear rigid inserts or custom orthotics made by a foot and ankle surgeon
3. Ingrown Toenails - Excessive stress from tightly fitting shoes can cause painful
ingrown toenails. To help prevent ingrown toenails from forming,
wear wider shoes during the last trimester of pregnancy. If you
experience an ingrown toenail, do not perform “bathroom surgery.”
Repeated cutting of the nail can cause the condition to worsen
over time. Come to our office for treatment instead.
It is also not uncommon for women to experience a change in their foot size during pregnancy. A permanent growth in a woman’s foot, up to half a size, can occur from the release of the hormone relaxin, which allows the pelvis to open to deliver the baby. This hormone makes the ligaments in feet more flexible, causing feet to spread wider and longer.
If you experience foot pain during pregnancy, schedule an appointment with our office.