Pregnancy is often accompanied by changes in the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine and lower extremities. This is often due to multiple factors including weight gain and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Changes that occur within feet can include the following:
Changes in foot length, width and arch height
During pregnancy, women may note that the size of the feet will increase. This is due to an accumulation of fluid and tissue within the lower extremities. The overall effect of this is an increase in volume. Hormonal changes also occur that lead to laxity or looseness of the ligaments within the foot. This loosening results in increase in foot length and width with a decrease in arch height, meaning the arch becomes flatter. Many feel these changes are most pronounced with the first pregnancy and less evident with subsequent pregnancies. While these changes tend to reverse themselves in the post-partum period, some women may notice a permanent change.
Changes in joint mobility
Women can expect laxity within the joints of the foot and ankle. This can cause instability. Weight gain can worsen the instability. This can also lead to alterations in gait as a woman progresses through pregnancy.
Calf swelling, cramping and pain
Calf swelling and cramping are frequent during pregnancy. Blood flow returning from your legs back to your heart is slowed due to the increased size of the uterus and fetus. This leads to a buildup of fluid within the legs.
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on the following site as an educational service. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/post-pregnancy-body-changes – 1
Extra tip for arch height changes
Thanks to pregnancy hormones, the foot arch height will decrease during pregnancy. In fact, the lowered arch could be permanent. Researchers at the University of Iowa found that during a woman’s first pregnancy, her arch lowers in height more than during any following pregnancy.
As your arch height decreases, this can lead to flat feet, a condition in which the arch of your foot basically touches the ground instead of being moderately elevated. Flat feet/low arch is a known cause of the following issues:
- Foot pain in your heel (plantar fasciitis) or arch
- Swelling along the inside of your ankle
- Increased knee and hip problems
How orthotic insoles help
During pregnancy, weight increases, and this will shift the sense of balance as well as increase pressure on hips, knees, ankles, and feet while walking With the help of orthotic insoles, you can give your arches the support they deserve.
Orthotic insoles will give your growing, expanding, and potentially flatter feet the support they need. This will prevent overpronation while giving you firm, comfortable support.
When a woman is pregnant, comfort is a top priority! Stride on in comfort with the use of orthotic insoles that are right for your feet. For a perfect orthotic or fashionable shoes for any lifestyle or body type visit http://www.aetrex.com/aetrex-orthotics-new for plenty of options.
Source credit|Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: https://treadlabs.com/blogs/insoles-reach-your-stride/27545796-your-feet-while-pregnant-3-ways-they-change
Source credit|Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/overview/Pages/Foot-Changes-During-Pregnancy.aspx