Take Care of Your Feet During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings about many types of changes to a woman's body. Swollen feet, ankles, and legs are all common issues experienced during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, having trouble getting your shoes on, and your ankles or lower legs appear swollen, you are not alone. The additional fluid and blood your body creates to support the health and growth of your baby slows down blood circulation. This can cause blood to accumulate in your lower extremities, hence the swelling.
Hormonal changes also have an impact. During pregnancy, your body produces more of the hormone relaxin. This hormone helps your tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscles relax. Relaxin also helps your body prepare for delivery by loosening the muscles and ligaments in your pelvis. But it also loosens the tendons and ligaments in the feet.
With pregnancy, weight gain is inevitable. But did you know the combination of weight gain and hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your feet widen, flatten, and lengthen? The leg and foot swelling typically subsides several weeks after the baby is born. However, your feet will most likely remain different.
Managing your swollen legs and feet during pregnancy.
Here are a few ways you can improve your blood circulation and feel better:
Elevate your feet above your heart in 15 to 20-minute intervals. This can take pressure off the veins, boost venous blood flow, and reduce swelling.
Sleep on your left side to avoid putting pressure on the inferior vena cava. This large vein carries the deoxygenated blood from the lower and middle body into the heart's right atrium.
Perform foot exercises while sitting or standing. Bend and stretch your foot up and down, and rotate each foot in circles in both directions.
Maintain a well-balanced diet, and avoid caffeine, carbonated drinks, and foods high in sodium as they tend to cause water retention.
Shop for new shoes. Purchase good-fitting, oversized shoes that provide extra comfort and support. As you gain weight during your pregnancy, your center of balance changes. Wearing ill-fitting and unsupportive shoes can negatively impact your joints and affect your body's balance when you stand.
During pregnancy, foot massages can do wonders for tired and aching feet, so make the most of pregnancy and visit a local masseuse regularly. Just make sure they are pre and post-natally certified.
If, during your pregnancy, you feel you need help with your foot and ankle care, remember that our team at Curalta Foot & Ankle is here to help you. We offer comprehensive treatment for a wide range of common (and not-so-common) ailments. Call (973) 365-2208 or request an appointment at our office today!