When you’re expecting a baby in a few months, there is a lot to prepare for. Finding the right crib, clothes, diapers, and toys can feel like a fun, but often-daunting task. To throw a wrench in there, your body goes through many hormonal and physical changes. Food cravings, morning sickness (that can happen in the evening), as well as shifting bones, back pain, and swelling throughout your body can cause more than discomfort.
As your body changes, your feet go through a lot to accommodate, especially with the increased weight from the growing baby. Feet work harder to support you and they can feel strained along the bottom and back of the feet. Plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis can begin to bother you or get worse if you already suffer from it. Additionally, decrease in circulatory function can cause fluids to remain in the lower part of your body, causing feet and ankles to swell. Furthermore, swelling can reduce sensitivity in the feet and cause you to be less stable and less sensitive to the ground. You may feel tingling and numbness when you have increased swelling.
So what should you do about it? The following are some tips to care for your feet during pregnancy:
- Along with the rest of your body, try to keep track of the changes you see or feel. This will help to see if there are any drastic changes that you should get care for. In particular, if you notice that one leg is way more swollen than the other, it may be a sign that you have a blood clot. See a doctor immediately.
- RICE method each day – Especially when it comes to swollen or sore feet, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are all helpful to relieve symptoms. If you have a job where you stand all day or do little activity, rest is necessary to prevent worsening symptoms. Try to stay active to prevent painful situations. While resting, try to elevate the feet so that the fluid in your swollen feet and ankles can circulate back up to the upper part of your body. For those who tend to have swollen feet or ankles, wearing compression socks or stockings can help prevent this issue.
- Do your feet hurt? Give them a warm Epsom salt foot soak and massage. A foot rub can relieve tension, especially for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. Get one from a partner, friend, or family member, or use a small ball and roll it around under the feet.
- If your feet are swollen, don’t try to squeeze them into your old shoes. Get shoes that fit you comfortably. Supportive shoes with adequate cushioning and stability will keep you pain and injury free. Use arch support or orthotic inserts if your arch has fallen due to the extra weight you are carrying.
Have questions about your changing pregnancy feet? Make an appointment at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group. We can assess your feet and find the right solutions for you. One of our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Douglas H. Richie, Dr. Jeremy L. Cook, and Dr. Faye E. Izadi, can answer any questions at either of our Seal Beach, CA or Los Alamitos, CA offices in Orange County.