Being pregnant means many changes for the body, but we often find that patients are not fully aware of how it can affect the feet and ankles. Weight gain, additional fluid retention, hormonal changes, and fatigue can all take a toll on your lower extremities. This can result in foot pain, swelling and even injury. There are, however, ways you can minimize the discomfort and risk. Try these tips below for a more comfortable pregnancy (at least for your feet!):

  1. Carry a water bottle. While it may sound like it should be just the opposite, drinking lots of water reduces swelling and edema that can cause pain and stiffness in your ankles and feet by helping to eliminate excess fluids from your body.
  2. Buy new shoes. At the beginning of your pregnancy, you should switch to lower and wider heels to increase stability as your size changes and you gain weight. If your shoes start to feel tight during the second or third trimester you may need to purchase a larger size. The hormones that relax your pelvic area also cause your feet to spread and may necessitate a change in shoes to accommodate this.
  3. Avoid tight socks and hosiery. These can impede circulation and be uncomfortable if you are experiencing swelling in your lower legs and feet.
  4. Watch where you’re going. As your body changes shape and your belly grows your entire center of gravity shifts causing you to have to adjust how you walk and move to maintain your balance. It’s also harder to see what’s directly in front of you which means paying extra attention to changes in pavement height and obstacles in your path. For the same reasons, you should avoid carrying too many packages at one time.
  5. Put your feet up. Elevating your feet can help relieve foot pain and ease swelling by allowing fluid to flow back into your body and be reabsorbed.
  6. Rest! This is good advice period for pregnant women, but it will benefit your feet by taking the pressure off them and also help you be more alert and less injury prone.

If you are still experiencing pain and discomfort in your feet and ankles during pregnancy, make an appointment at our Wayne, New Jersey office to discuss your symptoms and options for relief with our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein. Contact us at: (973) 595-1555.