OUT OF SIGHT BUT NOT OUT OF MIND – Pregnancy and your feet

jsOut of sight is not out of mind for a mom-to-be and her feet.  Even though you may not be able to see your feet anymore, you can’t ignore them. Pregnancy triggers many different changes and complaints in a woman’s body. Two of the most common foot problems are edema (swelling in the feet) and over-pronation. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or the ball-of-foot. Many women may also experience leg cramping and varicose veins due to weight gain.

Factors that cause foot pain and edema include changes in your center of gravity, weight gain and hormones. The pregnancy hormones relaxin and progesterone, relax ligaments for childbirth, and also loosen foot and hip ligaments.
Edema normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy. The enlarging uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs causing circulation to slow down and blood to pool in the legs.

Over-pronation) which is caused when a person’s arch flattens out upon weight bearing can cause the feet to turn in abnormally.  The dense band of tissue in the arch of the foot called the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to increased flattening of the feet.

Orthotics/ shoe inserts, support stockings and massage can help mild swelling in the feet, but heavy swelling can be a serious matter. In some cases, swollen feet can signal preeclampsia, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Call your OBGYN if you have severe swelling in your feet, face or hands, sudden weight gain, vision changes or headaches.

Follow these remedies to ease foot pain during pregnancy:

  • Take short breaks during the day and elevate your feet to heart level to relieve pressure and swelling. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them. Wiggle your ankles and feet as much as you can.
  • Drink plenty of water. Cutting back won’t diminish swelling. Your body — and your baby — needs at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day, as this helps rid your body of toxins. Avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention.
  • Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy. They will probably change sizes.
  • Wear shoes that are soft, comfortable and give your feet room to move. Pack away  the stiletto pumps and platform heels until after your baby comes. Get a nice pair of tie-on walking or cross-training shoes that provide extra support and shock absorption. . Avoid thin flip-flop or slip-on shoes because they don’t give enough support.
  • Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
  • Exercise or walk regularly to promote overall health.
  • Stretch legs frequently and avoid crossing your legs when sitting. Ask your loved one to rub your feet — it’s his baby, too! Try rolling your arches on a rolling pin, if nobody is around and you can’t reach your feet.
  • Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a joyful experience. If foot pain continues, your podiatrist will find the best treatments for you. Remember that babying your tootsiesnow will benefit your legs, back and whole body.

Congratulations on your little bundle of joy!

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located on US 27.  For further information call 314-9255 and visit www. Gentlefootcarecenter.com

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