No that is not a misspelling…. We are recognizing that a mother carrying a child for 9 months is quite a feat! Any woman who has gone through pregnancy can tell you of a litany of changes that occurred to their body during this time. For any woman who is pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, it is important to recognize these changes to prevent them from becoming problematic. Your lower extremities, legs, ankles, and feet, often take the brunt of these changes.
The baby growing inside may only add a total of 7 or 8 pounds of weight near the end of pregnancy, but the increase in body tissues that support growth and development can add twenty or more pounds! The body may also retain more water. This increased water in the body is still under the control of gravity and may settle in the legs and feet so be sure to put them up when sitting or resting. This added weight can put more pressure on your feet as you walk about your day. Many of the shoes you love to wear must be set aside as your feet can no longer stand the added pressures that occur when wearing fashionable, but not necessarily functional, footwear. Since there are some discomforts you cannot fix during pregnancy, it is important to address the ones you can and to put your feet into comfortable supportive shoes.
Later in pregnancy, the fluctuation of the hormone progesterone can also alter your feet. One thing this hormone does is to prepare your body for the birthing process by allowing the ligaments between your bones to become more flexible. Unfortunately, this hormone doesn’t just act on the hips where it is most needed. It affects all the ligaments of the body. In the feet, this causes them to widened and become bigger; so be sure to check your shoe size regularly. Trying to put your foot into a size that is too small, can results in a lot of pain and discomfort. Many foot problems, such as neuromas and plantar fasciitis, are caused by ill-fitting shoes and can be easily avoided by wearing the right size.
Until next time, keep those pregnant feet happy and healthy Austin!