What to Expect in Your Feet When You’re Expecting

96148536_S_swollen_ankles_feet_barefoot_pregnant_prenancy_woman_couch_sitting_holding.jpg

Your entire body changes drastically during pregnancy – all the way down to your feet! The weight gain, change in the center of gravity, and sometimes the new waddling gait you take on during pregnancy can have a real effect on your feet and ankles.

What to expect during pregnancy:

Varicose veins:

During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by 50%. This places the blood vessels in your lower half under more stress than usual. The increased weight puts even more pressure on top of that! This can lead to large, swollen blood vessels that seem to be purple leg lumps – called varicose veins – during your third trimester. They are typically a cosmetic issue and will likely shrink or vanish after giving birth.

Cramps:

During pregnancy, your muscles change and shift in new ways. This can often cause painful cramps. Avoid these by stretching regularly and staying hydrated throughout the day. Treat yourself to a nice massage at different points throughout your pregnancy to also help ease and prevent cramps in your feet.

Edema:

Swelling is referred to as edema. Some pregnant women experience edema in their feet in the later stages of pregnancy due to the extra blood and water retained in the body. To minimize this swelling, doctors suggest doing the following:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine and sugary beverages.

  • Keep exercising throughout your pregnancy. Chat with your doctor about what exercises are safe.

  • Eat right. Avoid salty and processed foods. A well-balanced diet includes lots of colorful fruits and veggies.

  • Wear socks that will not restrict the circulation in your feet.

  • Get shoes that fit well and are comfortable. Have your feet measured as your body changes.

  • Rest and take the weight off your feet whenever you’re able.

  • While sitting, use a small stool to elevate your feet.

  • Stretch often to promote circulation, especially if you’re flying or in a car for long distances.

Dr. David R. Sullivan here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, is experienced in the needs of feet throughout every stage of life. If you notice any foot or ankle pain during your pregnancy, call us. Our office utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques and cutting-edge technologies to treat any foot or ankle woes. You can reach our conveniently located Westfield, IN office at 317-896-6655.