Although your newly discovered pregnancy can be a time of great joy and excitement, as your happy arrival approaches, your feet can start to suffer. So, what problems might you experience and how can a podiatrist and orthotic footwear help you? Read on to find out.
What can happen to your feet during pregnancy?
A common problem as pregnancy progresses is swollen feet. This is caused by fluid retention and the effects of gravity as your weight increases.
You can also suffer from a condition called plantar fasciitis. As your weight increases and applies increased pressure to your feet, the band of soft tissue that supports the arches in your feet can be impacted, causing painful inflammation.
As a way of coping with the extra weight you are carrying, you may unconsciously begin to walk with your feet rolled inwards. This habit can cause flat feet, or over-pronation. You could also find that your feet begin to spread so that your usual shoes don't fit comfortably.
How can you solve your pregnancy-related foot problems?
The best way of keeping your feet comfortable and to avoid permanent damage in the future is to wear specially designed orthotic footwear while you're pregnant.
Shoes with cushioned, specially shaped soles can help to redistribute your weight over your whole foot, instead of unequally on the balls of your feet or on your heels, which can be very uncomfortable. In addition, wider shoes with flat heels will give you better balance and help to accommodate your spreading feet.
When shopping for shoes, always do so later in the day when your feet are fully swollen.
If you begin to experience problems with your feet, it's a good idea to consult a podiatrist. A good podiatrist will carry out a physical examination of your feet and will probably look at how you are walking. This will help identify problem areas, enabling the podiatrist to suggest solutions, such as
- Putting your feet up to help reduce swelling and encourage the healthy flow of blood around your body. This can be extremely effective in reducing the accumulation of fluid in your lower extremities.
- Avoiding spending long periods of inactivity, especially sitting down. Be sure to walk around at regular intervals during the day to keep your circulation moving, thus reducing swelling.
- Avoiding crossing your ankles or legs so that blood flow is not restricted.
If you're expecting a baby, consider following the tips given above to prevent foot problems as your pregnancy progresses. If you are experiencing severe foot pain, have a chat with a good podiatrist in your area.