If you're reading this, chances are you've entered your last trimester and have begun to experience foot pain. While most pregnant women experience aching feet during their last trimester, serious foot pain is not the most common pregnancy ailment.
It happens for a variety of reasons. The most obvious cause is your rapidly expanding tummy. The combination of extra weight and the shift in balance your tummy creates influences your posture and stance. What follows is increased strain on your legs and feet that can result in foot pain.
So, what can you do about foot pain? Read on to find out more.
Stretching helps strengthen muscles, both inside and outside of pregnancy. Consider taking a prenatal yoga class; it will not only help with a range of aches and pains, but it can also help improve sleep quality, reduce stress and lower your chances of hypertension and premature labour. Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise during pregnancy.
Rethink Your Footwear
If you're still wearing heels when you go out, now's the time to change. At this stage in your pregnancy, your arches need maximum support, which they will not gain from high heels.
It is also not unusual to experience a change in foot size during pregnancy, which can be temporary or permanent. Pop along to your local shoe store and have your feet measured. While you're there, treat yourself to a comfortable pair of flat shoes. You may also want to consider orthotic inserts. They'll help distribute your weight evenly while keeping your feet aligned.
Wear Support Socks
Wearing support socks during your last trimester will have several benefits. The consistent pressure of the socks will keep blood circulating and will be great for treating oedema — a common complaint in later pregnancy. Oedema, or swelling, is normal in the last trimester and is caused by the extra blood and fluids (as much as 50% more) that the body creates to meet your baby's needs. Support socks can also reduce the likelihood of varicose veins.
Relax and Put Your Feet Up
If you are finding oedema particularly problematic, make sure you take regular breaks from being on your feet. When you do take a break, use a pillow to elevate your feet to improve circulation. Ice can also help with swelling. Wrap some ice in a towel and rest it on your feet for up to twenty minutes.
Seek Help From a Specialist
If you find that none of the above is helping, it's time to consult a specialist. A podiatrist will be able to tell you whether you're suffering from something more concerning such as overpronation — a condition frequently experienced in pregnancy that's caused by the feet rolling inwards whilst walking. This condition can lead to plantar fasciitis, which, if left untreated, can be serious.