Carrying a baby in your womb means a lot of changes to your body. It’s common for your feet to become swollen, especially in the last few months of your pregnancy. Your feet swell due to edema – the fluid that builds up from hormonal changes in the body.
You may lose some arch height as you gain weight, meaning your feet will flatten and get wider. Other changes take place as well: hormones cause ligaments to loosen up. So, for starters, you may have to get some new shoes. Leave your high heels and flat sandals in the back of the closet for now. For the most comfort, choose firm, supportive shoes with heels no more than about 1.5 inches high.
Other tips to keep your feet comfortable:
- Avoid long periods of standing. When you sit, elevate your feet.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Limit the amount of salt you eat.
- Apply an ice pack to tired feet or treat them to a soothing bath with Epsom salts.
- Wear compression socks to help your circulation and prevent the buildup of fluid.
- Exercise your feet with light walking. Swimming is a great exercise as well. Finally, do some targeted foot and toe-stretching exercises.
In general, having tired, swollen feet during pregnancy is expected and isn’t a cause for concern. However, if you’re pregnant and have swollen feet accompanied by a severe headache, blurry vision, or vomiting, see a doctor immediately. These are all signs of a serious pregnancy complication called preeclampsia. Mention your swollen feet when you visit your obstetrician; they can determine if the swelling is expected.
Corns, calluses, warts, and ingrown toenails can also contribute to foot discomfort during pregnancy. For maximum comfort during these nine months and beyond, fix these kinds of problems. We encourage pregnant women in Fairfax County and northern Virginia to make an appointment with board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center. Contact us online or call our Centerville office at (703) 996-3000.