Taking Care of Your Feet and Legs During Pregnancy
Being pregnant can bring on a lot of changes in your body and life in general. The body experiences adjustments in hormone levels, fluid retention and bone hardness. Pregnant women need to alter how much and how often they sleep and eat, in addition to adapting to an increase in weight gain. These changes are the bodies way of getting ready to accommodate the birthing process as well as preparing you for life with a new baby. Most pregnant women do not realize that these physical changes can also put stress on your feet and ankles. Here are a few tips on relieving discomfort from foot pain while being pregnant.
This is commonly known as swelling of the feet and typically occurs in the final trimester of pregnancy. During pregnancy, an increased accumulation of blood and pressure is placed on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs. This pressure decreases your circulation which then results in blood gathering in the lower extremities. To avoid and treat the swelling:
- Elevate your feet as often as possible
- Wear socks that assist in circulation
- When at a desk, driving or on long plane flights, ensure you take breaks from sitting to stretch your legs and encourage circulation
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a well-balanced diet, avoiding foods with higher sodium content
Hormones and Foot Pain
When pregnant, your body requires extra fluid/water which enables nutrients and oxygen to get to your baby. However, increased levels of hormones lead to retention of this water when pregnant and this lead to bloating and swelling. Here are some ideas for relieving this:
- Elevate feet as often as possible
- Sleep on your side, and not on your back. This relieves pressure on the vena cava, the largest vein that leads to your heart.
- Consume fluids regularly since dehydration worsens state of swelling. Consuming more fluids will flush out your system.
- Improve circulation in ankles with rotation exercises
- Ice your ankles
Some women can’t escape leg cramps during pregnancy. These painful muscle contractions usually occur in the calf. You can try to ease the pain by:
- Resting calf on a hot-water bottle
- Flexing your foot to stretch the calf
- Walking it out
- Massaging the cramp and also your calf on a regular basis
Buying the Right Shoes
Swelling during pregnancy makes buying shoes difficult. So not only should you look to buy larger shoes but also ensure they provide extra comfort and support. Your center of gravity will shift constantly as you gain weight so make sure to wear shoes that balance your body weight effectively.
During pregnancy, foot massages can do wonders for tired and aching feet, so make the most of being pregnant and visit with a local masseuse on a regular basis.
If during your pregnancy, you feel you need help with your foot and ankle care, remember that our team at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Specialists of Clifton is here to help you. We offer comprehensive treatment for a wide range of common (and not-so-common) ailments. For more information on injuries or any other facet of foot care, call (973) 365-2208. While on the line, request your appointment at our office today!