"Between The Toes" - Advanced Nursing Foot Care
Effects of Pregnancy on your feet
Affects Of Pregnancy
On Your Feet
3 Important Body Changes that can affect your feet 
1.   Hormonal Changes
In preparation for giving birth, hormones can cause ligaments in your feet to become loose.  This can cause the joints to stretch and widen.  The arches of the feet can also lower.
2.   Pressure
As your tummy gets larger and heavier, more pressure is placed on your iliac vein in the pelvis.  This can cause swelling in the feet and ankles.  This same pressure can cause leg cramps especially at night.
3.   Size Matters
As you gain weight this can cause your feet to grow.  Your shoes may no longer fit.  Most women will need ½ to 1 full size larger in shoe size by the end of the second trimester.  16% of mothers will permanently need larger shoes.
As baby grows, it forces the spine into increased curvature and a tilt forward of the pelvis.   This creates stress to the structure of the foot, changing the pattern of standing and walking.  Swelling and pain are 2 most common foot complaints during pregnancy. It is not uncommon for pregnant women to develop heel pain (plantar fasciitis) because of the extra weight and stress on the arches.
Health Tips For Your Feet During Pregnancy
♥ Elevate your feet as much as possible to improve blood flow and relieve pressure in the legs.   Feet/legs should be elevated so that they are above the heart to promote circulation.  Laying down with your feet elevated on pillows is ideal.
♥ Avoid standing for more than one hour at a time without taking a break.
♥ Drink plenty of water.  This will help flush away the swelling.
♥ Avoid foods high in salt which will retain water.
♥ Foot exercises are great for circulation.  Draw the alphabet in the air
with your feet and toes.  Flex your toes up and down, make a circle with your toes, rotating your whole foot and ankle.
♥ Ask for a foot massage, this also promotes circulation and comfort.
♥ Toenails will grow faster than usual or become brittle/soft.  Keep them trimmed and apply tissue oil to help with brittleness.
♥ Soak swollen, painful feet at the end of the day in cool water.  Swelling should be equal in both feet and both legs.  If one side is more swollen than the other, contact your doctor as you may have a vascular problem.
♥ Allow your feet to breathe by using cotton socks.
Shoes During Pregnancy
Finding the right shoe during your pregnancy can become very frustrating.  Feet may increase in size especially during the second and third trimester.   Here are some helpful hints when looking for shoes that fit.
♥ Choose shoes with wide, low heels or low wedges. 
♥ Shoes should provide extra support and shock absorption.
♥ Make sure shoes fit well.  Too small or narrow will restrict circulation and cause increased swelling.
♥ Choose a style that supports your foot at the back of the heel, either a closed heel back or a heel strap.  This will increase stability.
♥ Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen.
♥ Be prepared for shoe size changes.  One half to a full size larger may be needed.
♥ Try a softer leather shoe, preferably without buckles or laces, as later on in your pregnancy you may not be able to bend over to tie them up.
Although mild swelling is normal during pregnancy, severe or sudden swelling may by a symptom of preeclampsia, a serious condition that increases blood pressure and protein in the urine. Consult your physician if you experience sudden or extreme swelling, blurred vision, rapid weight gain or severe headaches. Left untreated, preeclampsia can cause serious complications for you and your unborn baby.
preeclampsia hypertension
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