If you are pregnant, we at Cange Podiatry, DPM PA want to offer our congratulations! You’ve probably already begun to learn about the many changes your body will go through during this wondrous time. What you may not realize is that pregnancy will have an impact on your feet as well. Maintaining good podiatric health during pregnancy is essential for carrying you and your baby safely through this exciting time. Below are some areas to consider and suggestions for making pregnancy more comfortable.
Flat feet—gaining a significant amount of weight in a relatively short period of time is the norm for pregnant women. Unfortunately, it can put an undue strain on the arch of your foot, causing it to flatten. People with flat feet tend to experience heel pain as well. Be sure to choose shoes that have good arch support. If you are in pain, make an appointment at our Glen Burnie (410-684-5934) or Ellicott City (410-680-8357) office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Darlyne Cange, can examine your feet. In some cases, the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic device to help provide extra support and comfort during pregnancy.
Swelling—another common problem pregnant women experience is swelling or edema in their feet and ankles. The volume of fluids in your body naturally increases during pregnancy and, thanks to gravity, much of it ends up pooling in your lower extremities, creating painful swelling. Although it sounds like the opposite of what you’d need, drinking lots of water will actually help rid the body of excess fluid. Take breaks throughout the day to put your feet up and avoid socks or hose with tight elastic bands.
Dry, cracked heels—hormonal changes can affect the moisture levels in your skin. It’s not unusual to end up with very dry skin on your heels. If left untended, cracks can develop which could allow bacteria to enter and cause infection. Use an extra rich moisturizer and apply at night, then put on socks to help the lotion better absorb into your skin.
Tight shoes—it’s not your imagination—foot size can actually increase during pregnancy. This is due to muscle-relaxing hormones released in the body that allow even the ligaments in your feet to relax and spread out. Don’t fight it! Buy a few pairs of shoes that are the next size larger to avoid causing pain and possibly injury to your feet.
If you have additional questions about how to care for your feet during pregnancy, contact us.