Stop what you’re doing for just a second and make a mental note of the effects of pregnancy on most women. Close your eyes aaaand….go!

Okay – you probably came up with fatigue and morning sickness, maybe general nausea for the first three months. Growing belly. Good appetite. Moodiness. What else? How about foot pain? It may not be one of the first things you think of, but pregnancy affects your feet in many ways. Here’s a list of what you can expect, with some suggestions from all of us at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center for alleviating the discomfort.

Swollen feet may have made it to your quick list since the vast majority of pregnant women suffer from it. Swollen feet (your doc might refer to it as edema) is most common in the 3rd trimester. There are a lot of ways to deal with edema in your feet:

  • Elevate your feet whenever possible
  • Drink lots of fluids. Dehydration can make swelling worse
  • Prevent water retention by avoiding foods high in sodium
  • Have your foot measured. Feet can grow as much as one size larger, so make sure your usual size is still working for you.

Many women experience increased itching of their skin, especially on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet. These things can help:

  • Rub your feet with lotion
  • Change the kind of soap or lotion that you’re using
  • Soak your feet in a warm oatmeal bath

A very small percentage of pregnant women experience itching that’s truly unbearable, especially on the soles of their feet. This may be a sign of a serious liver disorder, so be sure to alert your obstetrician.

That baby is growing and putting pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvis and in your legs, impairing the circulation in your feet. The solution?

  • Move around to encourage circulation
  • Wear compression socks or stockings

Heel pain

The weight you’ve gained can put extra pressure on the bottom of your feet, stretching the plantar fascia and causing plantar fasciitis. To prevent or treat this heel pain:

  • Rest your feet as much as you can
  • Perform a routine of exercises to keep the plantar fascia healthy
  • Wear supportive shoes
  • Ask Kenneth R. Wilhlelm, DPM about wearing custom shoe inserts, especially if you already had an issue such as flat feet before you got pregnant.

Enjoy your pregnancy and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help with your feet during these 9 months. Our number in Centreville, VA is (703) 996-3000.

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