Foot Health and Pregnancy

Feet can often become very uncomfortable during pregnancy and after the birth due to the major changes that a woman’s body goes through. Common foot problems can include cramps, itchiness, swelling and aching.

Pregnant women have an increase in the ovarian hormone relaxin which can cause muscles and ligaments to soften and stretch. This can make the feet more likely to ankle and ligament strains.

Footwear is very important throughout pregnancy to ensure pain or discomfort is at a minimum. As feet can swell throughout the duration of the day, it is recommended to shop in the afternoon if possible. You should ensure that the shoes fit well before you purchase and leave the shop.

Square or round toe shoes are recommended for comfort and support. Heels with approximately 1.2 inches (3cm) should be considered to help with this as should wide fitting shoes with substantial support as this can assist with escaping any long-term damage. High heels worn throughout pregnancy are not recommended by Podiatrist’s and should only be worn infrequently. Shoe’s with straps can be helpful to ensure the shoe stays in place but fiddly straps should be avoided especially in the later stages of pregnancy. As calves often swell throughout pregnancy, there should be room in the calf area when wearing boots.

Before starting any exercise programs, you should consult your GP or midwife. Keeping active can be very helpful with reducing the risk of swelling and cramps.

An appointment with a podiatrist can be very beneficial when experiencing foot pain whilst pregnant. If required, your podiatrist can provide you with orthotics to ensure your feet feel comfortable.