When you became pregnant, there were certain physical changes you likely expected. It’s no big surprise when your belly starts to become big, for example, but there are probably some other things you didn’t expect as well, like how pregnancy affects your feet!
Whether you were aware of the fact or not, there are several ways your feet can be affected when you are expecting, including:
- Swollen feet and ankles – This is technically known as edema and is a common issue for pregnant women. There are several reasons for the swelling, such as an increase in fluids due to the pregnancy and greater difficulty for blood to circulate back up (when the womb starts to press against blood vessels).
- Foot growth – As part of the pregnancy process, the body begins to create and circulate a hormone known as relaxin. This particular hormone helps to relax ligaments in preparation for childbirth, but it also loosens the ligaments in the feet, which contributes to them widening. Additionally, the extra weight gained during pregnancy can also cause the feet to become wider. If your shoes start to become tight, you should pick up some bigger ones to prevent foot issues from developing.
- Fallen arches – Over the course of the pregnancy, it is entirely possible that your arches will fall and your feet become flat. This can lead to a biomechanical abnormality known as overpronation (feet rotate excessively with every step). To help with this, you can benefit from arch supports or orthotic devices.
- Heel pain – The extra weight from your growing baby can lead to excessive stress and strain on the plantar fascia. This increases the likelihood of plantar fascia, which is already a common source of heel pain for adults. If you start having sharp, intense pain in the bottom of the heel, we can help!
- Muscle cramps – These are caused by tired muscles, pressure on nerves and blood vessels from the growing womb, or calcium concentration. Foot and leg cramping is most commonly experienced during the second trimester, and most often happens at night.
If you are experiencing any of these conditions and need advice or information on what to do, we are here to help. Simply contact Richardson Podiatry Associates by calling (972) 690-5374 or schedule an appointment with us online today.