Expectant moms experience a lot of unique emotions and symptoms as they await the pitter-patter of little feet. However, mom’s feet can also go through a lot, including pain and discomfort. If you’re pregnant, your feet and legs will probably become achy and painful – it is one of the most common complaints of pregnant women. However, most pregnant women suffer these symptoms in silence because they believe it is normal and unavoidable.
If you are suffering from pregnancy foot pain, you don’t have to endure it. You can reduce the pain or even eliminate it to more fully enjoy your pregnancy.
Causes of Pregnancy Foot Pain
There are four major causes of pregnancy foot pain. They are:
Edema, also known as swollen feet, is the most common foot problem during pregnancy. It creates an unbearable swelling in the feet or ankles. It is caused by the accumulation of excess fluids and blood in your tissues. It occurs in the third trimester when pregnancy hormones are high in the blood and fluids that pass nutrients to the baby.
Edema can also occur as a result of the weight of the growing baby in the uterus. This puts pressure on the veins that carry the blood through the pelvis and back to the heart, disrupting normal circulation. This leads to the accumulation of fluids in the foot area, making the feet swell.
- Varicose veins
Varicose veins are dark blue swollen veins that may become more noticeable through the surface of the skin during pregnancy. You can find around the lower legs, thighs and around the buttocks. Varicose veins are caused by weak valves that cannot stop the blood from flowing into the veins.
- Leg cramps
Leg cramps are also frequently cited as a cause of leg and foot pain during pregnancy. Cramps are distinguished by sharp and painful muscular contraction in the legs. They take place mostly at night. They are usually caused by tired legs and feet, dehydration and/or mineral deficiency. Cramps typically occur during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
- Flat feet
Flat feet, also referred to as fallen arches, is the flattening of the arch of the foot. During pregnancy, it flatfoot can be caused by estrogen and relaxin hormones. They cause ligament laxity between the heel and foot bones. This condition produces pain and soreness at the arches and heels. Because of the elongation, it can also increases foot and shoe size.
Treatments for Pregnancy Foot Pain
- Drink lots of water throughout the day to flush out excess sodium or fluids in your body. This will help to reduce the swelling in your feet and ankles.
- Do not stand, sit or walk for long periods of time. Being in a single platoon can make your feet swollen and painful. Instead, try to alternate between activities to break up chunks of time.
- Use high maternity or compression stockings in the morning when you wake up. This enhances blood flow to your legs.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Improving your nutritional intake with plant-based foods will help reduce swelling in the feet.
- Engage in regular exercise, such as walking. It will help the blood to circulate, maintain efficient muscle function, and reduce the chance of getting leg cramps.
- Elevate your legs at night and flex your feet 10 times before going to bed.
- Do not cross your legs when you sit down. This position stresses the blood vessels, veins, and nerves.
- Use foot orthotics that offer good arch support to provide balance and comfort.
- Do not go around the house barefoot. Doing so can increase foot pain and discomfort. Use a pair of slippers to serve as a cushion between your feet and the ground.
- If you feel pain in the arch of your foot, roll a frozen water bottle underneath the arch twice a day. It will help to relieve the pain and swelling in that area.
Pregnancy can bring its fair share of unavoidable discomfort, but you can be proactive in preventing foot and ankle pain. If you’re starting to experience any of the conditions listed above, please try the recommended pregnancy foot pain treatments. Your feet will thank you for it!
At Houston Foot and Ankle Care, we know that sometimes you need a board certified podiatrist to help diagnose and manage stubborn foot problems. If you’re struggling to recover from pain or injury, call us at (713) 541-3199 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gabriel Maislos. We offer treatment for common foot conditions, including bunions, heel pain, hammertoe, and more. Dr. Maislos is also a member of the Fellowship of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, making him the right choice if you require corrective surgery of the foot or ankle.