Shoes for Pregnancy and Your Feet

Pregnancy Foot min

Why are shoes and foot care important during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can trigger other changes in a woman’s body, one of which is foot pain. Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is altered, leading to a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet.

Some common foot problems experienced by pregnant women are leg cramping and varicose veins, as well as overpronation and edema, both of which can lead to pain at the heel, arch, or ball of the foot.

What are the causes and symptoms of overpronation during pregnancy?

Overpronation, or flat feet, occurs when the foot arch flattens upon weight bearing and feet roll inward when walking. This can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot.

Overpronation can make walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves, and back. Many pregnant women suffer from overpronation due to the added pressure on the body from weight gain. Overpronation is very prominent in people with flexible, flat feet.

What are the causes and symptoms of edema during pregnancy?

Edema, also referred to as swelling in the feet, normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy. The enlarged uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis and legs, causing circulation to slow and blood to pool in the lower extremities. Swollen feet may become purplish in color, and water retention during pregnancy can add to the swelling. If there is swelling in the face or hands, contact your doctor immediately.

How do you treat and prevent overpronation during pregnancy?

Overpronation can be treated conservatively with orthotics for appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to correct the overpronation. Proper fitting footwear that provides extra support and shock absorption is also recommended.

Treat overpronation for pain relief as well as to prevent other foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia, post-tib tendonitis, and bunions.

How do you treat and prevent edema during pregnancy?

Edema in the feet can be minimized by:

• Elevating your feet often. If you must sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them.
• Wearing proper fitting footwear. Footwear that is too narrow or short will constrict circulation.
• Having your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy, as they may change sizes.
• Wearing seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
• Taking regular breaks on long drives to stretch your legs and promote circulation.
• Exercising regularly to promote overall health.
• Drinking plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid.
• Eating a well balanced diet and avoiding foods high in salt that can cause water retention.

Swelling is generally similar in both feet. If swelling is asymmetrical, it may be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.

If the problem persists, consult your doctor. Your Fit Specialist at Stan’s will advise you on appropriate footwear for your condition.

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