What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Foot Edition

If you are pregnant you can expect to undergo significant body changes throughout the course of your pregnancy.  Unfortunately, your feet are not immune to change during pregnancy.   A common occurrence you may already be aware of includes swelling of the feet. However, other foot problems should not be overlooked and can arise during pregnancy due to weight gain because of increased pressure on the feet. 

Dr. Harvey Danciger shares other foot problems that can arise throughout your pregnancy along with the causes, treatments and prevention options.

  • Swollen feet, increased foot size, and color changes
    • Causes: An excess of fluid, called edema, collects in the foot tissue causing your feet to swell. Extra blood accumulation occurs in the lower extremities, usually during the third trimester, which cause a possible change of skin color on your feet. An increase in foot size is due to hormones used for flexibility of the birth canal.  Also, an increase in foot size may be permanent post pregnancy.
    • Treatments: Use waist-high maternity support stockings to prevent blood from pooling around your ankles.
    • Prevention: Wear comfortable shoes, put your feet up whenever you can, and be sure to uncross and stretch your legs and ankles while you are sitting.
  • Flat Feet
    • Causes: Foot arches fall flat due to weight gain or added stress on heel tissues in the foot.
    • Treatments: Orthotic inserts can be helpful to provide needed arch support.
    • Prevention: Choose footwear that is supportive and have extra shock absorption.
  • Plantar Fasciitis
    • Causes: Increased body weight and feet that roll inward while walking cause arches to flatten, creating inflammation on the plantar fascia, resulting in pain.
    • Treatment: Use shoe inserts to provide extra padding, or be fitted for orthotic inserts.
    • Prevention: Stretch and exercise daily while wearing strongly supportive shoes for your foot arches.
  • Foot or leg cramps
    • Causes: Increased levels of blood volume and hormones cause blood vessels to relax, resulting in decreased circulation that can create cramping in your feet or legs.
    • Treatment: Maintain a healthy diet and stretch your calves often.
    • Prevention: Increase your circulation by rotating your ankles a couple times to the right and to the left.

Don’t let foot problems damper your pregnancy experience. If you’re experiencing foot problems during your pregnancy, please contact the office to set up an appointment with Dr. Danciger. 

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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