During pregnancy, the feet experience changes, as does the rest of the pregnant female’s body. The weight gain during pregnancy puts more pressure and stress than usual on the feet, so expecting mothers should wear flats or shoes with a low heel and broad heel base for extra support. The extra weight in the abdominal area affects balance, which is why a low, supportive shoe is best. In addition, swelling in the feet and lower legs can worsen pre-existing foot issues, resulting in inflammation and discomfort. The body also secretes ligament-loosening hormones in order to prepare the body for birth. As a result, the ligaments in the feet and lower legs become looser, increasing the chances of sprains and strains in the ankles and feet.
It is important to care for the feet during pregnancy. Give the feet a chance to rest; raising the feet can help reduce swelling. When sitting for extended stretches, be sure to get up and walk around frequently to get the circulation going. Since the feet may change in size and shape during pregnancy, make sure shoes fit properly and offer plenty of support. A podiatrist should be seen for any issues with the feet or ankles during pregnancy.