Being pregnant is a joyous time but here at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we often find that patients who are expecting a baby weren’t expecting the foot woes that can go along with this condition. Knowing what to expect and taking a few precautions can increase comfort and decrease the risk of injury. Follow these 6 tips while pregnant and your feet will thank you!
- Change your shoes. As your pregnancy progresses and you gain more weight, the stress on your feet increases as well. You may need larger or wider shoes to accommodate these temporary changes (although some women do find that their feet are permanently a larger size, even after giving birth).
- Avoid tight socks and stockings. These, in conjunction with shoes that are already getting a little snug, can increase the risk of developing an ingrown toenail by constantly squeezing your toes together.
- Ditch the heels. Low, wide heels are the way to go now. Your center of balance will shift as your baby grows and this can throw you off balance, making a fall more likely. Wider heels will increase stability.
- Pay attention to where you are walking. Your body releases a hormone called relaxin when you are pregnant that does just what its name says: it relaxes the ligaments in your body. Not just the ones necessary for giving birth, however, but all the ligaments in your body get looser. For your feet, this means a greater likelihood of twisting your ankle. Watch for changes in pavement height and don’t carry a lot of packages at once so as not to obscure your view of where you are walking,
- Stay hydrated. Swelling and excess fluid are normal during pregnancy and when you’re vertical the fluid tends to pool in your ankles leaving them bloated and sore. Although it sounds counterintuitive, drinking more water will actually help you flush excess fluid from your body.
- Put your feet up! This is always good advice when you are pregnant, but for your feet, elevating them above the level of your heart several times a day will reduce swelling and give them the much-needed rest they need.
If you experience symptoms that you think are not normal in your feet (such as excessive swelling that doesn’t go down or pain in one specific part of your foot) contact our Long Beach office at (562) 420-9800 and allow one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas to examine your feet and make sure all is well and that your pregnancy proceeds smoothly.