Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, but it also causes strain on many parts of your body, which can lead to aches and pains throughout your body. Foot pain is a common problem for most pregnant women. This is because you gain weight throughout your pregnancy, which impacts how you bear your weight when you’re standing.
The extra pressure that is applied to your feet and your legs due to weight gain causes leg cramping, varicose veins, and pain in your arch, heel, and the ball of your foot. Often, you’ll also experience problems with blood circulation, which can cause your feet to swell.
For many women, this pain can be unbearable whenever they have to walk. If you’re struggling with foot pain, here are some ways you can improve the health of your feet to make your pregnancy slightly more comfortable.
Elevate your feet
Several times throughout the day, make sure to elevate your feet. Sit or lay comfortably in a position that allows you to put your feet above your heart. Regularly elevating your feet can help prevent inflammation and improves circulation, which helps prevent swelling and pressure. And the less swelling and pressure you experience, the less likely you’re going to feel pain when walking. Elevating your feet also helps other muscles and joints get a much-needed rest.
If laying on your back becomes uncomfortable during the later months of pregnancy, consider laying on your side. And no matter if you’re lying on your back or on your side, use pillows or a memory foam leg rest to help elevate your feet.
Some swelling during pregnancy is completely normal because your body is producing extra fluids to help meet the needs of your baby. But if swelling is getting to the point where it is causing you pain, you need to increase your water intake. Drinking more water can help flush your body, reduce water retention, and prevent you from experiencing the complications that come with dehydration.
Drinking more water can also help your joints and tissues soften and expand, which can help when it comes time to deliver your baby. Another bonus of drinking more water is that you’re less likely to consume caffeinated beverages, which are also likely to contribute to excessive swelling.
Wear comfortable shoes
You’re going to need to switch up your footwear throughout your pregnancy if you want to lessen your pain. Remember, the way you bear your weight during pregnancy will change, which can cause you to walk differently and less steadily. Avoid wearing heels, because they lack support.
Instead, look for a supportive sneaker or flat that has plenty of soft cushioning. You’ll also want to buy shoes that are half a size up, so that you can easily get swollen feet in and out of your shoes. You’ll only want to buy 1 or 2 pairs of really comfortable shoes to wear while pregnant, since these shoes likely will not fit you properly after you’ve given birth. Save your urge to buy high heels and fancy sandals for a postpartum shopping trip!
Ice your feet
Icing your feet is a good way to soothe and pamper swollen feet. This not only helps provide some temporary relief, but it can also lessen the swelling. If you’re unable to stand the idea of putting your feet in an ice-cold foot bath, try pressing ice cubes against the insides of your ankles for about 10 minutes throughout the day.
Some women prefer using a massaging foot bath over icing their feet. Massaging footbaths can help increase circulation, which is another good way to lessen pain and swelling. Click here for a complete review of some of the best massaging footbaths on the market.
While it is best not to take ibuprofen early on in your pregnancy, some women can safely use it after 30 weeks to help with pain and swelling. Ibuprofen is a universal non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can be purchased over the counter.
You should only resort to ibuprofen if the above methods aren’t generating results. You should also check with your doctor before starting to rely on ibuprofen, since regularly using ibuprofen early on in your pregnancy can result in complications.
Swollen and aching feet are a normal part of pregnancy, but the above tips can help keep the pain in your feet from becoming unbearable and can allow you to remain active. Remember to listen to your body. If you’re concerned that the swelling or pain in your feet isn’t normal, consult your doctor to figure out the best remedy.