Foot Problems After Pregnancy

by Piper Li

Many of your pregnancy discomforts disappear with the birth of your new baby. However, some conditions may remain, such as pain and soreness in your feet. While some foot problems related to pregnancy gradually get better on their own, other changes may be permanent. If you suffer from diabetes, notify your doctor about any problems affecting your feet.

Pregnancy

Your body goes through some rapid and obvious physical changes during your pregnancy. Your increased weight tends to place excessive pressure on your feet, especially if you spend much of your pregnancy walking or standing. As well as stretching the ligaments in your pelvis, hormones produced during pregnancy can stretch the ligaments in your feet, leading to permanent changes.

Symptoms

Many expectant mothers experience swelling in their ankles and feet, especially near the end of pregnancy. Common symptoms related to swelling and excess pressure on your feet include pain around the balls of your feet, your heels and your arches. Your arches may appear flatter than normal and your feet may look swollen. Numbness and tingling may occur as your circulation returns to normal.

Causes

During pregnancy, your body produces progesterone and relaxin, two substances that can cause the ligaments in your feet to stretch and relax, often resulting in the need for larger shoes after the birth of your baby. Wearing shoes that are too tight for comfort can increase foot pain and lead to further complications, such as blisters and calluses. Stretching in the ligaments that support your arches can result in fallen arches and pain in your heels and along your arches.

Self-Help

Wear comfortable shoes that fit. Keep your high heels and tight boots at the back of your closet and opt for flexible flats or low-heeled shoes that allow sufficient room for your toes and heels. Shoe inserts can help cushion your feet, support your arches and provide comfort. Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible.

Medical Treatment

Continual pain in a specific area of your foot may signal the presence of a stress fracture. While some stress fractures can resolve on their own, see your doctor if your pain lasts more than a few days. If you suffer from fallen arches, you may need a prescription for orthotics, special shoes or custom-fitted shoe inserts that help support your feet and ankles. A thorough exam by your doctor can help rule out serious causes of foot problems, such as diabetes.

About the Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.

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