Expecting mothers often experience swollen legs, feet, and ankles during and immediately after their pregnancies. This is due to the extra weight and stress on the feet, which causes pain after long periods of walking or standing.
For some mothers the extra weight on their feet may even cause their arches to fall, causing extreme pain. When the arches of your feet fall, you may begin to over-pronate, or turn in abnormally when walking. Over-pronation can stretch the plantar fascia, which is the tissue lining the bottom of the feet, causing a painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis.
Edema, or swollen feet, is another common issue that expecting mothers face.
Both of these foot issues, especially when experienced together, make it extremely difficult to walk or stand for a long time. Therefore, it is vital for expecting mothers with pre-existing foot issues to discuss how their pregnancy will affect their feet with a podiatrist.
Below are a few tips for mothers to treat swollen and aching feet:
Always wear comfortable and supportive footwear
For added comfort and support, try using gel insoles.
The more you move, the more blood moves out of your legs into the rest of your body. If you find most exercise painful, try using a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer.
Drink plenty of water; avoid salt and caffeine
Staying properly hydrated helps your body flush its system of extra fluids. Therefore, drinking lots of water will help you relieve your swollen feet and ankles. Avoid consuming salt and caffeine because they cause your body to retain fluids.
Elevate and ice your feet
Elevating and icing your feet helps relieve the pain and tension associated with swollen feet and ankles.
Soak feet in warm water
Soaking your feet can relieve their pain and tension. In addition, the warm water can stimulate blood flow and reduce your swelling.
Get a foot massage
A massage is an excellent way to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Massages stimulate blood flow and improve circulation, providing the muscles and tissues with the nourishment they need to heal. Improved circulation also reduces swelling.
Apply pain relief ointments
There are many over-the-counter pain relief ointments specially formulated for expecting mothers. These ointments help relieve pain and tension, especially from the bottoms of your feet. While these ointments are designed for pregnant women, it is best to speak to a healthcare professional before you begin using them.
Know your limits
If you find that your feet are becoming extraordinarily swollen after you walk, it is best to take breaks and to elevate your feet whenever possible.
Motherhood is beautiful, and your foot pain shouldn’t ruin the experience. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Vikki today for personalized foot care and relief.