Dedicated to all my friends and family members who are new moms or soon-to-be new moms! :)
Pregnancy is a wonderful phenomenon that brings about so many changes in a woman. Every major body system undergoes alterations in anticipation of the baby’s development and arrival into the world!
Pregnancy brings about certain foot changes such as edema, overpronation and increased foot size. Hormones cause almost all the changes that occur in a woman’s body due to pregnancy. Hormones are involved in almost every biological process including growth, immunity, metabolism, and reproduction. A hormone molecule acts like a little key that is secreted by a gland in the body into the blood. This key travels in the blood to link up with its matching lock elsewhere in the body to open up chemical processes like the manufacture of a certain protein, the multiplication of cell number or the stimulation of a chemical change.
One of the key players in pregnancy is the hormone, relaxin. The purpose of relaxin is to relax the tissues that bind the bones of pelvis together. By loosening up the pelvic connective tissue, the body will allow for the passage of the baby through the birth canal. However, relaxin does not just affect the pelvis.
Relaxin increases foot size because it loosens the hold of the ligaments in the foot. (Ligaments are tissues that connect bone to bone.) As a result, the arch of the foot starts to decrease in height and cause the foot to spread. Another reason that the foot grows in size is due to the increased pressure on it as a result of weight gain. The extra weight stems from the body hormones that amplify breast size and uterus size as well as the growing baby. The pressure also decrease the arch and flatten out the foot. Scores of women have reported that their foot grows by a half-size or more during pregnancy!
An array of foot problems can occur if you do not accommodate your increasing foot size! If you keep wearing tight footwear you can exhaust the muscles at the ball of your foot which play a role in keeping your toes straight! Also the jamming of your foot into tight shoes causes the development of corns, ingrown toenails, and bunions.
The effects of additional weight and slack ligaments on your foot requires well-fitting shoes with good support. Start with over-the-counter arch supports to maintain the arch and minimize problems. Furthermore, make an appointment with your podiatrist to keep your foot health in check! They may prescribe custom orthoses and advise you on other courses of treatment!
Having foot and ankle problems? Call Beverly Hills Foot and Ankle, PA today at 352-513-4867 and schedule your appointment! The doctor would love to see you!
About the Author
Dr. Nisha Krishnan is the President of Beverly Hills Foot and Ankle, P.A. She specializes in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and offers a full-range of foot, ankle and lower leg services.