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How Pregnancy affects Your Feet and Ankles

While the joy of motherhood may be one of life’s most precious gifts, expectant mothers have to endure the rigors of pregnancy before they can experience baby bliss. As a woman’s waistline expands, healthy weight gain during pregnancy can alter one’s center of gravity causing a sway-backed posture called lordosis. This new posture, coupled with weight gain, can create pressure on the knees, legs and feet. Some of the most common lower-extremity ailments mothers-to-be may face are swollen feet, overpronation (commonly called flatfeet) and cramps in the legs and feet. An obstetrician or gynecologist should make a referral to an APMA member podiatrist for specialized treatment of these conditions.

Pregnancy and Your Feet

Swollen Feet/Increased Foot Size/Color Changes

  • Cause:
    • Excess fluid, called edema, collects in the foot tissue.
    • Extra blood accumulates in the lower extremities (due to weight and position of baby in the womb), usually during third trimester of pregnancy.
    • Hormones released to increase the flexibility of the birth canal can also have an effect on the feet. This increase in foot size could be permanent after
  • Recommended Treatments
    • Try waist-high maternity support stockings. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning so blood doesn’t have a chance to pool around your ankles.
    • Bauerfeind’s Venotrain Soft, Crescent, Gold Toe and Elastic Therapy are suggested.
  • Prevention
    • Put your feet up whenever possible.
    • Uncross your legs or ankles while sitting.
    • Stretch your legs frequently while sitting.
    • Wear comfortable shoes.

Cramps in the Feet & Legs

  • Cause:
    • Increased blood volume during pregnancy and high progesterone levels relax your blood vessels to prevent high blood pressure.
    • Relaxed and slack vessels can slow down your circulation.
    • Increased weight in your pelvic area can compress the veins, reducing circulation to your feet.
  • Recommended Treatments
    • Stretch calves often.
    • Wear supportive shoes
    • Check out www.apma.org/seal for Seal of Acceptance footwear.
    • Eat a healthy balanced diet to make sure there are no vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
  • Prevention
    • Walk the cramp out.
    • Increase circulation by rotating your ankles 10 times to the right, then to the left. Switch legs. Repeat 10 times.

Plantar Fasciitis

  • Cause:
    • Arch flattens out due to increased body weight and feet roll inward when walking.
  • Recommended Treatments
    • Pad and tape and use proper shoe inserts.
    • Visit an APMA member podiatrist for orthotic devices and appropriate medications.
  • Prevention
    • Warm up and stretch properly before exercising.
    • Exercise and stretch daily, and see a podiatrist for treatment.
    • Do not walk barefoot or in backless shoes.
    • Wear shoes that have a strong, supportive arch and firm heel.
    • Wear lower heels and avoid high heels.

Over Pronation/ Flat Feet

  • Cause:
    • Arch flattens out due to body weight and feet roll inward when walking.
    • Extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the forefoot.
  • Recommended Treatments
    • Purchase APMA Seal approved, over-the-counter inserts. These should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to correct the overpronation.
    • Try Spenco For Her or Foot Petals inserts.
  • Prevention
    • Choose comfortable footwear that provides extra support and shock absorption such as *Dansko Professional or Crocs RX Cloud.
    • Avoid high heels.
    • If you’re looking for a walking or athletic shoe, buy a running shoe, which also offers more shock absorption.
Come Visit One Of Our Two Convenient Podiatry Offices

Podiatry Office In Sugar Land, TX
15200 Southwest Freeway Suite 130
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Podiatry Office In Southwest Houston, TX
7737 Southwest Fwy., Suite 500
Houston, TX 77074
request appointment with houston podiatrist


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Foot & Ankle Associates located in Sugar Land, Texas (TX) and Houston, Texas (TX) treats all medical and surgical foot and ankle conditions. Over 25,000 happy patients have found relief for their foot and ankle pain with the help of licensed podiatrist, Dr. Marco Vargas. can help bring you foot and ankle pain relief.

Our Sugar Land & Houston podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care with a smile to patients in our local community. Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love! Call 281.313.0090 today!


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