When you are pregnant, your feet are carrying the weight of your world. Many women experience pain and swelling in their feet during pregnancy. There are some key things you can do to help you prevent injury and keep your feet in good health for the duration of your pregnancy.
Wear good shoes. Many pregnant women have trouble wearing their old shoes as pregnancy progresses, simple because the feet naturally begin to widen due to the extra weight of baby, fluid, and normal weight gain. They then opt for "easy" footwear options like flip-flops or ballet flats. However, these choices lead to even greater foot pain and can exacerbate other common problems like heel cracks and swelling. It's best to purchase a new pair of shoes that provide arch support and good stability through the heel. Never wear high heels when pregnant -- the change in your center or gravity and the added stress to your feet can result in severe injury.
Monitor swelling. Because pregnant women have increased blood volume and more fluid in the body in general, foot swelling in not uncommon, especially during the third trimester. However, foot swelling is also a symptom of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that must be monitored closely be medical professionals. If you notice that your feet and other parts of body are swelling more and more, contact your primary care doctor immediately.
Take time to care for your feet. The added weight of pregnancy can stress the feet. Heel cracks are more common, and many women are simply sore by the end of the day. Take some time to keep the weight off your feet by elevating them or by lying on your left side. Soak your feet in warm water and carefully buff away calluses before they develop into cracks. Moisturize your feet before you go to bed, and wear socks to help your skin absorb the moisture.
Wear loose-fitting socks. Tight socks can make foot swelling worse when they are removed.
Eat a healthful diet. While you might not expect your diet to directly affect your feet during pregnancy, keeping your diet healthy and full of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains prevents unnecessary weight gain. Extra weight on the feet increases the chances of injury. Particularly, the added stress can lead to a painful condition called plantar fasciitis. The band of tissue that stretches across the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed and tight, making walking extraordinarily painful.
Stay hydrated. Foot swelling can actually go down if you are properly hydrated -- your body will retain less water if you are continually drinking more. Keeping yourself well hydrated will also reduce joint pain in the ankles and feet.
Keep salt intake to a minimum. Salt aids in fluid retention. Reducing your sodium intake will help with swelling.
Go swimming. Swimming is such a beneficial exercise for pregnant women. It takes the weight completely off the foot, providing a needed break. It keep you active, which can control pregnancy weight gain. Also, the external pressure of the water can decrease swelling in the feet -- it pushes the fluid out of the feet and back into other areas of the body.
Keep your nails trimmed. During the later half of pregnancy, you might need a hand with this. Because foot swelling increases the pressure around the toenails, your risk for ingrown nails increases. You can reduce the risk by keeping your nails trimmed short and straight across.
Keeping your feet healthy during pregnancy should be one of your top priorities. For more questions about injury prevention and foot care, contact a local foot and ankle specialist at a clinic like Elmhurst Podiatry Center Ltd.
When you have an ingrown toenail, it can be tempting to take care of the problem on your own. Armed with a set of tweezers and some nail clippers, you might be ready to get in there and take care of business. Unfortunately, a few missteps could lead to a serious infection. I have made this mistake myself, and it almost cost me my toe. I hope that as you evaluate your own foot problems that you will remember how valuable a podiatrist can be. Your foot doctor can inspect your problem and recommend the proper course of action. Read through my website to learn more.