Pregnancy and Feet
1) Increased weight gain
This pushes the arches down, elongating the foot thereby causing small bones and joints over mid foot area to collapse in on each other and cause rubbing. Avoid walking around barefeet especially after the first trimester, and more so second trimester. Wear flip-flops and sandals with a an orthotic bed to support the mid foot or better still,
wear good arch supports and orthotics in lace-up shoes or trainers for maximum comfort. You can also get finer arch supports for dressy shoes for the occasional nights out.
2) Bigger feet
During pregnancy, the hormone ‘relaxin’ is released to enable the pelvis to expand to allow the baby to push through the pelvis during delivery. Relaxin causes ligaments in the feet to soften and stretch. In 70-80% of pregnancies, this results in a permanent enlargement, resulting in a longer and wider foot.
Swelling of ankles and legs with fluid retention. Wear grade one compression stockings (lightest grade-available over the counter). It would also help to sit and sleep with feet about heart level. Get a good body massage with particular focus on legs and feet, from a professional with experience in working with pregnant mums.
Walk at least 20-30 mins daily. Or swim and do aqua aerobics. When the weather prevents this or time limits, just stay at home, pump some music and have a dance around on your own. Keeping the calf activated helps pump the blood and fluid up back to the heart.
5) Hot and Sweaty feet
As the internal temperature increases of the expecting mama, feet can become hot and sweaty. Even thought it may seem a long way down to reach but do change socks frequently, Preferably to cotton and natural fibres, or those that wick moisture away from the skin. After a shower or washing your feet, always dry in-between your toes with a tissue. The last thing you want is fungal infections in the skin or nails because of hot sweaty feet. If you do pick up an infection it is always advisable to treat it after delivery and lactation is over.
6) In-growing toenails
As your feet swell your shoes will not! Avoid wearing pointed shoes, which squeeze all your toes tightly together. This in turn can cause ingrown toenails. Over the years, I have seen so many in-grown toenails which have started off during pregnancy as a result of swelling feet squeezed into pointy shoes. Where local anaesthetic is required to remove the in-growing piece, we have to wait until after the pregnancy is over.
I often get asked what do I think of reflexology. I like it! I do think it has a positive and holistic effect on the whole body and health, and it is a very pleasant experience having certain areas of your feet stimulated. Just make sure you have a certified practitioner who knows which areas not to work on during pregnancy. There are certain pressure points that need to be steered clear of to avoid uterine contractions. I undertook a qualification on reflexology few
years ago, and it just so happened I was pregnant at the time. We would all practice our newly acquired skills on each other. All I remember is the first five minutes of the treatment and then being woken up at the end feeling super refreshed. Never slept better.
We can help!
Treat yourself to a ‘medical pedicure’, or get yourself a pair of 3D scanned custom made flip-flops or sandals, which will support your arch and re-align any imbalances of the biomechanics of your foot. Better still, buy a gift voucher for a loved one. Unique gift for baby showers and for post-delivery mama!