Pregnancy and Your Feet

While the joy of motherhood may be one of life’s most previous gifts, expectant mothers have to endure the rigors of pregnancy before they can experience baby bliss. As a woman’s waistline expands, healthy weight gain during pregnancy can alter one’s center of gravity causing sway-backed posture called lordosis. This new posture, coupled with weight gain, can create pressure on the knees, legs, and feet, overpronation (commonly called flat feet), and cramps in the legs and feet. Here are some common symptoms, causes, and solutions to several pregnancy-related foot and leg problems, below.

Come see a podiatrist, you’re going to be on your feet with rapidly increased weight for the next 9 months!



Podiatrist Recommended Treatments


Swollen Feet


Increased Foot Size

Color Changes

  • Excess fluid, called edema, collects in the foot tissue.
  • Extra blood accumulates in the lower extremities (due to weight and position of baby in the womb), usually during third trimester.
  • Hormones released to increase the flexibility of the birth canal can also influence the feet.
  • Foot size increase can be permanent after pregnancy.

Try waist-high maternity support stockings. Use these stockings before you get out of bed in the morning so blood doesn’t have a chance to pool around your ankle from standing.

  • Put your feet up whenever possible.
  • Uncross your legs or ankles while sitting.
  • Stretch your legs frequently while sitting.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Measure feet periodically to be aware of foot changes.




Flat Feet

  • The arch of the foot can flatten out due to body weight and the feet can roll inward when walking.
  • Extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissue that runs from the feel to the forefoot.

Use insoles designed with appropriate arch support to correct the overpronation inside of a supportive shoe.

  • Choose comfortable footwear that provides extra support and shock absorption.
  • Avoid high heels.
  • If you’re looking for walking or athletic shoes, buy a running shoe which also offers more shock absorption.

Plantar Fasciitis

  • The arch flattens out due to increased body weight and the feet roll inward when walking.

Use appropriate, secure shoe inserts.

Visit a podiatrist before purchasing over the counter or online orthotic devices.

  • Warm and stretch properly before exercising.
  • Exercise and stretch daily and see a podiatrist for treatment.
  • Do not walk barefoot or in backless shoes when getting around.
  • Wear shoes that have a strong, supportive arch and firm heel.
  • Wear lower heels and avoid high heels.

Cramps in the feet and legs

  • Increased blood volume during pregnancy and high progesterone levels relax your blood vessels to prevent high blood pressure.
  • Relaxed and slack vessels can slow down your circulation.
  • Increased weight in your pelvic area can compress the veins, thus reducing circulation to feet.

Stretch calves often.

Wear supportive shoes.

Maintain a healthy diet to ensure there are no vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

  • Walk the cramp out.
  • Increase circulation by rotating your ankles ten times to the right, then to the left; switch legs; repeat ten times.