A woman’s body undergoes significant changes during pregnancy. From hormonal fluctuations to the development of a new life inside, several changes occur. A common concern is why do feet get swollen and wider during pregnancy. Although it may seem to be an unusual problem, pregnant women often report changes in the size and form of their feet. This article will discuss why do feet grow during pregnancy, the symptoms of these changes, and how to reduce any pain.
Why Do Feet Grow During Pregnancy?
The body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy. This hormone, as its name indicates, helps to relax the body’s ligaments and joints, enabling them to become more flexible. It permits the pelvis to expand to facilitate the baby’s passage down the birth canal, which is essential for the delivery process. Nevertheless, this hormone may also affect the foot.
The foot ligaments are meant to support the foot’s arch and structure. As relaxin is released, these ligaments loosen and become more flexible. This might reduce the height of the arch, causing the foot to grow longer and wider. Moreover, the additional weight carried during pregnancy may put strain on the feet, causing them to widen and spread out.
Swelling in the feet and ankles: This is a common symptom of pregnancy, as the body retains more fluid than usual. This can cause the feet and ankles to become swollen and uncomfortable.
Pain or discomfort in the feet: The changes in ligament and joint flexibility can cause pain and discomfort in the feet, particularly if you are standing or walking for long periods of time.
Numbness or tingling in the feet: The pressure on the nerves in the feet can cause numbness or tingling sensations.
Difficulty fitting into your shoes: If your feet have become longer and wider, you may find that your shoes no longer fit properly.
Reducing Pain and Discomfort
There are numerous ways to ease pain caused by foot changes during pregnancy. Some ideas to consider:
Wearing supportive, comfortable footwear: Choose shoes with a supporting arch and a roomy toe box. Avoid high heels, since they place additional stress on the feet.
Elevating your feet whenever possible: This may assist to minimize swelling and give comfort for tired, achy feet.
Using compression socks or stockings: These might assist to improve circulation and decrease swelling in the feet and ankles.
Foot stretches and exercises: Regular stretching and strengthening activities may assist to maintain flexibility and strength in the feet.
It is also important to speak with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing significant discomfort, as they may be able to recommend additional treatments or refer you to a specialist.
What to Expect After Pregnancy
You may notice that your feet revert to their pre-pregnancy size and form after giving birth. This, however, is not always the case. Some women, especially those who have had numerous pregnancies, may develop lasting changes in their feet. It is also possible for the arches to stay fallen, which may result in persistent pain and foot issues.
It is essential to see the Houston podiatrist of DeNiel Foot and Ankle Centerif you are suffering persistent foot issues due to foot changes during pregnancy. She may analyze your feet and provide treatment recommendations, such as custom orthotics or physical therapy.
If you are in pain, there are various things you may do to reduce your symptoms. By caring for your feet throughout pregnancy, you can ensure that you remain healthy and comfortable during this wonderful time.