Do You Suffer From Foot or Ankle Pain During Pregnancy?

My wife and I recently hosted a baby shower for the daughter of dear friends. In addition to our friends daughter, there were three other pregnant women there. When they found out I was a foot doctor, the questions came flying! One of the most common complaints during pregnancy is foot pain and swelling of the feet and ankles. During the nine months of pregnancy, your baby grows and your feet grow along with the baby. Its very common to see an increase in shoe size from 1/2 to 1 full size. Wearing shoes that fit is the first rule.

Your feet swell due to the weight and position of the baby. They also swell due to the added weight gain of a normal pregnancy. All of these things contribute to the ligaments and tendons in the feet stretching. Many women following delivery will be able to get back into their normal size shoe; however, thats not the case for all women. To reduce swelling there are a few things you can do. Wear compression hose, rest, elevate your feet, and massage your feet.

The natural weight gain during pregnancy is the major reason for change in the feet. Often, your weight gain will cause you to walk differently or compensate by tilting inward, decreasing the height of the arch. The decrease in arch height can cause arch pain, heel pain, and, most commonly, plantar fasciitis – an inflammatory response to the stress on the ligament holding up your arch. The good news is that for many women, your feet will return to normal after the delivery, but what to do in the mean time? A custom device called an orthotics will help hold that arch in its proper position and alleviate the pain you feel.

When pregnant, it is normal for an increase in your blood volume, and some pregnant women will have a mild increase in their blood pressure. Blood vessels dilate to decrease the flow and pressure, which can lead to a decrease in oxygen to the muscles and often cause foot and leg cramps. To relive the cramps, it is best to get more blood to the area by simply walking around, and its a great way to keep your muscles toned as well.

I wish I had the big secret to keep pregnant women comfortable throughout pregnancy. All women will experience the ups and downs; however, we can keep your feet comfortable! Now that your feet and ankles are comfortable, all you need is the answers to the terrible twos and the teenage years.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Jeffrey Bowman for more details or any questions by calling 713-467-8886 or at our website:

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Tags: ankle pain, foot pain, heel Pain, Orthotics, Plantar Fasciits, Pregnancy, Swollen Feet