When you become pregnant, your body begins to go through several changes. One of the areas that you may not think about until you notice pain or discomfort is your feet. However, during pregnancy, your feet and ankles will have to hold up more weight than usual. At the same time, your body will release relaxin, which will cause your cartilage and tendons to relax throughout your body. This can result in wider feet, changes in your gait, and pain or tenderness in your feet. Because of the extra stress on your feet during pregnancy, there are a few preventative measures you should consider taking.
Regularly Trim and Clean the Toenails
It is common for pregnant women to retain fluids, and if you are on your feet all day, you will likely notice swelling in your feet. This can often lead to ingrown toenails, especially if your shoes are too small to accommodate your swollen feet or if you were prone to ingrown toenails before your pregnancy. To help prevent ingrown toenails, you should make sure to regularly trim your toenails in a straight line as opposed to a curve. You should also make certain your toenails are cleaned regularly to prevent infection in case you do get an ingrown toenail.
As your belly gets larger, you may find it difficult to reach your feet. You may want to ask your significant other to help you manage your toenails. Alternatively, some podiatrists offer nail trimming services. Although a pedicure at the local spa may sound inviting, only go to a spa if you are certain their tools are sterilized between each client.
Regularly Elevate the Feet
To help reduce swelling and inflammation, you should regularly raise your feet throughout your day. If you sit at a desk for work, you may consider requesting a foot stool to prop your feet up on. Otherwise, take regular breaks in a position where you can raise your feet above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling and will also give your tired joints a chance to rest.
Purchase Supportive Shoes in the Correct Size
It is common for pregnant women's feet to get both wider and longer while they are pregnant due to additional weight and the presence of relaxin. You may want to be measured for new shoes several times throughout your pregnancy to ensure you are getting a supportive but roomy fit. When shopping for new shoes, you should have your feet measured by a professional or by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist can then make specific recommendations for brands and styles that will fit the shape of your foot. You should make sure to schedule your fitting appointment later in the afternoon, as your feet will swell throughout the day, and you will need shoes that can accommodate your feet at their largest.
Get Fitted for Orthopedic Support
As your feet change, it is natural for your gait to change. Many women begin to turn their feet in while they walk. This is known as overpronation. If you tend to overpronate, you may experience planter fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, and other issues. To prevent these issues from developing, you should have your gait checked by a podiatrist and be fitted for an orthopedic support if necessary.
Have Callouses Removed
Due to the changes in your foot shape and the extra stress your feet are experiencing, you may notice that you have more callouses than usual. You should have these callouses removed by a podiatrist to prevent blisters and infections. At the same time, the podiatrist, such as one at Camden County Foot & Ankle Associates, can check your shoe fit and recommend shoes that will prevent callouses and blisters.