Pregnancy relaxes all ligaments, your feet and ankles included. You will experience feet changes especially from the middle of the second trimester onwards. Pregnancy causes overall changes in body size and structure which will cause swollen feet in the bargain. As your pregnant belly expands so will your feet. You may not fit into your pre-pregnancy shoes so you may have to buy new pairs.
The reasons for foot changes are mentioned below -
- fluid accumulates in your ankles and feet which is aggravated from standing all day
- the expected loosening of ligaments that occurs throughout your body which causes weight bearing joints to stretch and widen and arches to fall
- extra body fat that you carry now
Comfort vs. Style
- Most feet grow by half a size larger in the second half of pregnancy.
- For some 15% of moms-to-be this change is permanent.
- Heel pain and foot discomforts become common during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy is not the right time to sprain an ankle. You have to make sure you take good care of your feet with sheer good sense and by making the right choices. Always bear the following in mind:
Avoid shoes with high heels. They are uncomfortable, affect your posture and possibly give you backaches.
Wear comfortable, low-heeled footwear. Choose styles which are made in material that allows your skin to breathe viz soft leather or canvas. Avoid completely flat styles as these too can affect your balance; instead go for wide low heels of 2 inches high or wedges. Nonskid soles make for a confident wear.
Avoid laces and buckle styles. As your pregnancy progresses it will become cumbersome for you to bend down to do your shoes up. Many women find trainers most comfortable and appropriate form of footwear especially those with good foot and ankle support.
Alternate your shoes. It is best not to wear the same pair two days in a row but to alternate in between with another pair. Invest in two pairs at least to allow each pair time to breathe and dry out.
Choose cotton socks and tights Cotton material is preferable to synthetic as they allow skin to breathe. Make sure they are not too tight. Ideally go barefoot as much as you can to exercise feet muscle and improve circulation.
Shop for new pairs at the end of the day. Feet tend to swell after the day wears out so makes sense to shop then. Double check on size: too tight and your feet will hurt; too loose and your safety is in question. Choose shoes with a wider front so your toes can fan out.
My aching Feet
Try these kind acts on your feet:
- Sock your feet in a bowl of water in the evening.
- Keep your toenails short but not too short to cause ingrown nails later on.
- Elevate your feet often enough
- Avoid standing for long periods without breaks in between.
- Do foot exercises such as flexing your toes, extending your legs and then pointing your toes in circles - rotate your whole foot and ankle.
- Treat yourself to foot massages
- Focus on comfort rather than looks when you go for shoe shopping - you may have to sacrifice looks for support
- Buy plastic arch supports that fit inside your shoes if your ankles really hurt and take that as a cue to stay off your feet
- Flat feet are likely to feel even flatter during the coming months - a proper time to invest in proper-fitting orthotic inserts.