Are my Feet Getting Bigger?!

If you have a funny feeling that your feet are getting larger and heavier (kind of like your abdomen), you are probably not imagining it. Toward the middle of your pregnancy, you may notice some swelling (or edema), which is caused by the fluid collecting in your ankles and feet, especially after a day of standing.

In addition to this fine feeling, your feet may be subject to normal ligament looseness that develops throughout your body, causing your weight-bearing tootsies to stretch and widen, and arches to fall. Try stuffing that, together with the extra body fat you’re accumulating, into a shoe, and it’s no wonder you prefer your fuzzy bedroom slippers.

But you are not alone. Most women find themselves wearing at least a half-size larger shoe in the second half of their pregnancy, and for about fifteen percent of moms, this change is permanent (ouch!).

Be kind to your feet! Dr. Sears suggests some ways you can help alleviate their burden (which would be you):
  • Elevate them as much as possible.
  • Avoid standing for long times without a break.
  • Do foot exercises: flex your toes and then pull them toward you as you point the heel away from you. Extend your leg, point your toes up, and make a circle with your toes, rotating your whole foot and ankle. This also exercises the calf muscles after standing or sitting for a long time.
  • Solicit a foot massage: the masseur holds the aching foot in both hands, places his thumb just under the ball of the foot, and moves along the arch, massaging in slow, circular strokes.
  • Nurse swollen, painful, day’s-end feet in cool water.
  • Allow your feet to breathe by using cotton socks.
  • Choose shoes with wide, low heels (no higher than two inches) or wedges. Non-skid soles make you more sure-footed. Try soft leather or canvas shoes, preferably without laces, since sooner or later you won’t be able to bend over to tie them.
  • Shop for new shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen.
  • Try orthotics – plastic arch supports that fit into your shoes. These are available at most shoe stores, pharmacies, or molded custom by a podiatrist.

feature image (or should I say feet-ure image) from VillageMama

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