Women go through many common complaints throughout their pregnancy, and foot pain is one of the major complaints, and unfortunately are often overlooked. 

Due to natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s centre of gravity will alter, which places increased pressure on the joints in the lower back, legs, ankles and feet. 

The body also naturally releases hormones that relax ligaments, which means the ligaments that support the joints in your feet and legs become more mobile, leading to excessive strain on the joints, ligaments, and tendons.  

Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant woman are Over-Pronation (flat feet) and (Oedema) swelling of the feet. These problems can lead to pain in many areas, especially the heels, and can be made worse with increased standing and walking. 

Treatment & Advice

Over-Pronation (flat feet) can be treated conservatively by wearing supportive footwear; however, some women will require custom-made arch supports (orthotics), so the bones of the feet are supported and aligned correctly.   

Oedema (swelling) in the feet occurs typically in the latter stages of pregnancy. When feet are swollen, they will become painful and also challenging to fit in your usual footwear. Swelling occurs in both feet, so if there is only swelling in one foot, you should immediately contact your doctor.

Below are some helpful tips to reduce swelling:   

  • Elevate your feet as often as possible to help reduce swelling.
  • Have your feet measured several times throughout your pregnancy, as the size of your foot will probably change. Therefore, you’ll need to change your footwear. 
  • Avoid poor-fitting socks and hosiery that could constrict circulation.
  • If you’re driving for long periods, take regular breaks to stretch your legs. Stretching is a great way to promote circulation.
  • Exercise regularly to promote overall health; walking is one of the best exercises. If your feet become painful, you may need arch supports fitted.  
  • Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet low in salt to reduce water retention. It may be advisable to see a Dietician.
  • Make sure you stay in close contact with your health team throughout your pregnancy because they are there to help and offer advice wherever possible. 

At Heal Focus Podiatry we have the team and the equipment required to perform a thorough foot and lower limb assessment. If you have any questions or currently have foot pain and would like to make an appointment for an assessment, please telephone our clinic on 0401 828 001, and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you.