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Pregnancy Foot Care: 5 Common Questions Answered

Swollen feet are a common, and often harmless side effect of pregnancy. Around 75 per cent of women experience swelling of their feet, especially in the third trimester. Making sure you look after your feet is important in pregnancy.

Here are 5 common questions raised about foot care during pregnancy:

Will my feet get bigger?

It isn’t a guarantee, but some women do experience swollen feet and a bigger shoe size during pregnancy. One reason for this is that the hormone relaxin is produced during pregnancy. This hormone causes the ligaments in the foot to become lax, giving the impression that your foot is growing.

Water retention is a major cause of the swelling of feet during pregnancy, as the body requires more fluid to regulate blood flow and to provide liquid for the baby. This causes the foot to spread, making it appear wider.

Weight gain during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on your feet in two different ways. Firstly, your feet may stretch to absorb added weight. The second, is that your feet may swell from the added pressure. Whichever reason, it is completely natural and it is more than likely that they will return to their normal size after pregnancy.

Are swollen feet a sign of a more serious problem?

For the most part, swollen feet are a natural part of pregnancy. Pressure from your growing uterus on the veins that return blood from your feet and legs can leave you with swollen feet and ankles.

More common factors such as temperature and the weather can contribute to swollen feet, especially if you are very physically active. Your feet can change in size by as much as 5% depending on what you are doing.

However, it can also be a symptom of a serious condition called pre-eclampsia. This condition is characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine as well as swollen, feet, hands or face. If you feel like the swelling is excessive, then don’t hesitate to contact your OB-GYN who can do some simple tests to rule out pre-eclampsia.

If you do have pre-eclampsia, the doctor will provide several solutions to prevent further health problems for both mother and baby.

Will my feet go back to normal?

Luckily for most women, your feet will return to normal after pregnancy, and there will be no longer lasting effects. However, for some women, they find that they are a shoe size bigger than pre-pregnancy. So other than going on a shoe shopping spree, your feet should be fine.

How can I ease the pain and swelling?

Making sure that you wear comfortable and arch-supporting shoes can help control the pain and swelling during pregnancy. The best shoes to wear are athletic shoes, not only do they provide the most shock absorption and provide much needed support for the arch of your foot, the laces allow for more space as your feet swell. Also, consider not wearing tight socks, as this can encourage swelling.

Make sure that you look after your feet, make sure that your toenails aren’t too long, or are digging into the nail beds.

Drinking plenty of water, and avoiding salty or spice foods is a sure fire way to prevent fluid retention and swollen feet. If you are usually on your feet all day, make an effort to take more rest breaks and elevate your feet when sitting down.

How can I pamper my feet whilst pregnant?

Make sure to take some time out of your day to have a relaxing foot bath. Relaxation is important when caring for yourself during pregnancy. Ask you partner to rub lotion on your feet if they are particularly dry and sore. Sometimes just putting up your feet and doing nothing is a brilliant cure for swollen and sore feet, and lets me honest you deserve it!

*This article is for informational purposes only. Please seek medical advice if you have genuine concerns over the health of your feet.



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