Pregnancy and Changing Foot Size

pregnant feet photoThere’s a little-acknowledged fact about pregnancy: all other considerations aside, your feet are in for a wild ride!

It’s a topic that isn’t discussed much during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons why, with the topic of foot-size and pregnancy-related health issues being a particularly sensitive area of discussion. But the truth of the matter is, no matter what your feelings on the subject are, pregnancy ushers in a whole set of physical and physiological changes in our bodies that we need to properly address.

Foot size is always a touchy subject

Though we may not want to admit it, pregnancy affects our feet. Whether it’s the simple fact that you’re walking around for two, or the more complex physiological and hormonal issues at hand, your feet change to adapt to the necessities of pregnancy. This means, more often than not, that your feet get bigger as your newborn does!

Medically speaking, there are two reasons for this. First, there’s the simple physicality of pregnancy– you’re carrying a second person around, and therefore your body reacts to the change. This means the structure of your foot will change and adapt, with your arch lowering and your feet widening.

The second reason is a little more complex. Pregnancy involves a number of hormonal changes your body makes to adjust and accommodate the newborn child. This helps facilitate birth and keep you and your child safe and healthy during pregnancy. An unintended side-effect of some of these hormones, though, are physical changes in your body– hormones responsible for relaxing the pelvic muscles, for example, also relax the ligaments in your feet!

How do we address the foot-size issue?

If you’re looking to address the issue of your changing foot-size, that’s okay! It’s important to remember that our bodies change and adjust to each new circumstance. Our bodies are very good at what they do! To cope with a change in foot-size, we here at the Foot & Ankle Center of Northern Colorado recommend a new, comfortable, and appropriately-sized pair of shoes.

Well-fitting shoes are important. First, comfortable shoes can be a great way to improve your day! Second, however, is that ill-fitting shoes can cause a whole range of foot health issues, from bunions to ingrown nails, to permanent structural damage. In order to avoid the health issues associated with wrong-sized shoes, make sure to leave around a finger’s worth of wriggle-room between the end of your big toe and the toe of your new shoes. Check to see that there is no discomfort or rubbing before committing to a new pair– most shoes won’t adjust enough to avoid pain!

If you have any questions about your feet during pregnancy–or at any other time in your life–please feel free to contact the Foot & Ankle Center of Northern Colorado. We’re here to help your feet feel their best!

Photo by Daquella manera

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