Your body goes through tremendous changes during pregnancy to accommodate the development of your baby. From conception to delivery, your hormones will take you on an emotional ride and a physical transformation. Your musculoskeletal system will change in many ways, and some of them might be permanent.
Although most people don’t think about the impact pregnancy has on feet, we do. Our team at Kazmer Foot & Ankle Centers understands the challenges mothers-to-be face, and we’re here to help. Led by Dr. Gary Kazmer, we are here to help pregnant women who find that the structure and functionality of their feet are much different during the nine months they’re carrying a child. Here’s what you can expect.
The same hormones that allow your pelvis and hips to widen and make room for a growing baby also loosen the ligaments in your feet. As this happens, your arch falls and your feet flatten and get longer. You may even go up a size. Some women remain at this new shoe size permanently.
But length isn’t the only factor. As you retain fluids more during pregnancy, your feet may widen, making your favorite shoes a bit too snug until after delivery.
All your joints become a little more flexible during pregnancy, including your ankles. Increased laxity and increased weight can lead to unstable ankle joints. Many women naturally adjust to these changes by altering their gait to maintain their balance.
The problem is that changing the way you walk puts your feet at risk for bunions and your ankles at risk for sprains and strains.
The hormone relaxin produced by your ovaries not only allows your body to accommodate your baby, but it also modulates your blood flow and prevents premature contractions. Increased blood flow translates to swollen legs and ankles during pregnancy. The growing girth of your uterus can slow down the blood flow on its way back to your heart and cause fluid to build up in your lower extremities — your legs, ankles, and feet.
Exercising, wearing compression socks, staying hydrated, and stretching are all ways to keep swelling and cramping at bay.
We can’t stop nature from taking its course, but we can help you when your feet start bothering you. We mentioned bunions and ankle pain, but you may also experience heel spurs, flat feet, or ingrown toenails during your pregnancy. Dr. Kazmer can diagnose your foot problem quickly and accurately and stop the pain.
The last thing you need to worry about when you’re expecting is foot pain, so don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment at either our Elgin or Barrington, Illinois, offices, or book one online. We even offer virtual visits so you can consult with Dr. Kazmer from the comfort of your home. We’re here to help you step through pregnancy.