Pregnancy Foot Care Tips to Beat the Pain
Pregnancy is a beautiful, joyous experience, but the aches and pains—not so much. One of the most common complaints from pregnant women is the swelling and pain in their feet, especially as they near their delivery dates.
Between getting the nursery ready and multiple doctors’ appointments, it’s hard for expecting moms to stay off their feet.
Two common conditions pregnant women suffer from are Edema (swelling) and over-pronation (flat feet).
Edema of the feet, otherwise known as swelling, affects around 75% of pregnant women by the time they enter their third trimester. Edema can also bring on pain as their skin stretches to accommodate the extra fluid being retained in their lower extremities, and as a result, lead to pain while wearing shoes.
While swelling is normal during pregnancy, if you experience excess or sudden swelling in your feet and other areas of your body, call your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of preeclampsia. If one of your legs is more swollen then the other, or if you experience pain in your calf, you may also be experiencing a blood clot and you should contact your doctor immediately.
Once the baby is born the swelling should stop and your feet will return to their normal size.
To help prevent Edema, here are a few tips:
- Drink plenty of fluid. It may sound counterintuitive, but taking in more fluids will help push the fluid through your body and reduce swelling.
- Elevate your feet and limit your salt intake.
- Don’t cross your legs or sit for long periods of time.
- Always choose comfortable shoes that have extra room to accommodate any swelling.
- Ask your partner to give you a foot massage to help alleviate pain and pressure.
Over-pronation, also known as flat feet, is also a very common condition in pregnant women. Flat feet typically occur in pregnant women because of the added weight gain. This causes women’s feet to flatten out and turn out while walking or during other weight-bearing movements. Over time, the plantar fascia, or band of tissue that runs from the heel bone to the forefoot, can become inflamed from straining. As a result, women may experience pain while walking and pain in the calves and back.
Exercises like the straight-knee calf stretch, the bent-knee calf stretches, standing and reverse calf raises, as well as ankle circles can minimize the effects of flat feet.
Custom orthotics should also be considered, as they can help support the arch and alleviate strain while walking.
For more information about foot health, or to make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, please call 336-375-6990 or click here to request an appointment.
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