Oh, baby: foot care during your pregnancy
An upcoming addition to the family is the most exciting time, but also one that means a lot of changes for the new mom — both emotionally and physically.
During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes changes that often lead to pain in the feet and lower extremities. Weight changes alter the center of gravity and place increased strain on the feet. Swelling during the third trimester can also cause serious foot pain and difficulty walking. Hormonal changes can cause ligament laxity, which can put additional pressure on the feet and lower legs. Many pregnant women suffer from extreme foot and lower body pain, particularly during the later stages of pregnancy
Have your doctor help you plan an exercise program
During the first trimester, it’s important that you are still physically active. Working out the joints, muscles, and ligaments that are most likely to cause issues in the later stages of pregnancy will reduce pain.
Talk with your doctor about putting together a simple exercise plan that helps you to stay active and specifically targets the feet and lower legs. Many doctors recommend daily walking, stretches and muscle building exercises during pregnancy. Stay in touch with your foot care specialist to tailor your workout regiment to your needs.
How to reduce ankle swelling during pregnancy
Ankle and foot swelling is very common during pregnancy. For some, there isn’t a lot that can be done to completely prevent it. The body retains more fluid during pregnancy and changes in the circulatory system can increase the likelihood of swelling altogether. However, there are some basic changes that any woman can make to reduce ankle swelling.
- Rest your feet. Try to avoid walking long distances or standing for long periods. Take time to sit and relax your feet whenever possible, or lie down with your feet elevated. Wear compression stockings. Supportive tights and compression stockings have been shown to help reduce swelling in the feet during pregnancy. Your foot care specialist may recommend wearing them throughout the day.
- Apply cold water compresses to the swollen areas. Using cold water compresses can help you to reduce swelling and pain. Apply cold water compresses in the evening.
- Continue daily physical activity. Although it might seem logical to cease all activity when your feet are swollen, it can actually make the problem much worse. Speak with your doctor about daily exercise that is beneficial for your feet. Many recommend taking daily walks, swimming in a pool or using a stationary bike.
- Improve your posture. During pregnancy, the body undergoes changes that can alter your posture greatly. Work with your foot care specialist to establish the best possible posture during your pregnancy to reduce lower body issues.
- Regular foot massages. Massage your feet nightly to help loosen up and reduce pain.
The average person takes more than 5,000 steps per day. For many months, pregnant women are still on their feet and taking thousands of steps per day. When combined with the physical changes that occur during pregnancy, it can lead to some severe ankle swelling, foot pain, and other lower body issues.
By getting ahead of the problem and working with Kansas City Foot Specialists, we can help you put together a plan that reduces swelling and eases pain during pregnancy. If you are experiencing foot pain due to pregnancy, give us a call at (913) 338-4440 or contact us online.