What happens to my feet during Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the body undergoes dramatic changes. These changes can happen at a fast rate, leaving the body without time to be able to adapt, which can put a lot of excess strain and stress on areas that are not used to it. One of those (often overlooked) areas is your lower limb region – especially the feet and legs.

What happens to the feet and legs you may ask? Well, let’s take a look.

 

Weight gain

An apparent experience that comes with the territory of being pregnant. Growing an extra person inside of you makes you have to deal with the weight of 2. This puts sudden excess pressure on the body, mainly the lower limbs and back. Due to the baby growing out in front of you it also changes your centre of gravity, which will change the way you stand and the areas you put pressure on. The sudden change of weight and stress can lead to excess pain and injury in the feet, legs, and back.

 

Flat feet

The body naturally releases increased amounts of hormones during pregnancy. These hormones start to change the flexibility within your body and cause your muscles to relax more to prepare you for childbirth. The increase in flexibility can often cause your feet to flatten which in return increases the chance of injuries.

 

Swelling & circulation

The swelling of the legs and feet is a pretty much a given, and the increase in weight and change in the body can cause you to retain excess fluid. The fluid will build up against gravity in your legs and feet, which can change the circulation in your legs. Poor circulation can lead to varicose veins, cramps, and iron deposits in the skin and can further cause dry skin and cracks. These cracks can become very sore and in some circumstances, infected.

 

Feeling sick and lacking energy

The lack of energy often prevents mums-to-be to exercise and as a result can affect mood, circulation, strength and more.

 

So what can you do to help?

 

Weight gain

You cannot stop it, but you can help yourself and prepare your body to deal with it by wearing adequate shoes. Having the correct shoes for your feet can play an essential part in pressure redistribution, reducing fatigue and preventing your feet from drying out due to decreased circulation. Wearing shoes with laces will allow you to loosen off the laces when your feet become more swollen. Ask your podiatrist if you aren’t sure what footwear is best suited for you.

 

 Flat feet
Again, good shoes, in conjunction with orthotics play a vital part. With the increase in weight and relaxation of muscles, you are at you peak for injury. Wearing supportive shoes and an orthotic can help with fatigue and can address injury such as plantar fasciitis, neuromas, achillies issues, knee pain, back pain, and redistribute pressure.

Swelling & circulation

Here a few easy tips to help you take a load off.

– Sit down and put your feet up.

– Try compression socks as you would wear on a plane

– Stay hydrated. The more dehydrated you are, the more water the body will try and hold on to.

– Wear enclosed shoes and socks to help prevent your feet from drying out too much.

– Apply a foot cream in the mornings and at nights to make sure they get a good massage and remain smooth.

 

Feeling sick and lacking energy

Make sure you keep yourself healthy and fit. Eat a good diet and if you do not have the energy to exercise then go for a walk instead. Get some fresh air. We would also recommend seeing a Physio and preparing your pelvic floor for birth. Pilates is a popular choice to help with this.

 

So if your pregnant and don’t want to get into trouble then take the correct precautions and check in with your Doctor, Physio, and Podiatrist.

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