Pregnancy & Your Feet

Weight gain and water retention during pregnancy cause significant physical changes that often lead to foot discomfort. Alteration in center of gravity due to weight gain can add pressure to the knees and feet. Posture and alignment can shift, and everyday movements like lifting, sitting, standing, and walking can be affected.

Another common foot condition brought on by pregnancy is edema, or swelling, caused by pressure from the uterus that leads to hampered circulation. The total water fluid in the body remains the same as before pregnancy, however it becomes displaced. Edema generally occurs later in pregnancy and is considered normal unless accompanied by swelling of the face or hands.

Edema in the feet can be minimized by the following methods:

1. Elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them.Wear proper fitting footwear. Footwear that is too narrow or short will constrict circulation.
2. Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy. They will probably change sizes.
3. Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
4. If you are driving for a long period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs to promote circulation.
5. Exercise regularly to promote overall health; walking is the best exercise.
6. Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. This helps the body retain less fluid.
7. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention.

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