Pregnancy and Your Feet


Pregnancy comes with a myriad of changes, both physical and emotional – including some potential foot issues. Foot problems can occur due to the mom-to-be carrying extra weight, having a rapidly shifting center of gravity, and the added pressure on the blood vessels in the feet and legs.

Over-pronation can cause you pain

When you’re pregnant, the shift of your center of gravity can cause you to shift your weight-bearing stance. This can cause you to over-pronate, or put too much pressure on the heel area. Pronation is the word for walking where the foot’s arch flattens as it rolls inwards. This helps to absorb shock. When you over-pronate, the plantar fascia, calves, and back can become strained making walking very painful.

If over-pronation is left untreated, it could lead to further complications like plantar fasciitis, bunions, or back pain. As your pregnancy progresses, have a foot doctor check your gait to make sure you’re bearing your weight safely. During pregnancy, always wear comfy, well-fitting, supportive shoes that absorb shock well. Custom-fitted orthotics could give your arches extra support if needed.

Swelling is common in pregnancy

Circulation slows down during pregnancy due to the extra pressure on the legs’ blood vessels. This causes blood to pool in the feet and lower extremities, which can then lead to swelling – or edema. Water retention and hormonal changes can cause even more swelling in the body.

Lessen edema by ensuring you follow these steps:

  • Take breaks when you can – sit with your feet elevated if possible.

  • Avoid wearing high heels – choose only comfortable, supportive shoes.

  • Keep away from salty foods – these can increase fluid retention.

  • Continue aerobic exercise programs to keep blood flowing – make sure you have your doctor’s permission!

Swelling in the face or hands can be a sign of a serious condition called pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension. If you notice that type of edema, call your doctor ASAP.

We’re here for you!

Your feet don’t have to suffer during or after pregnancy! Here at Bay Podiatry Associates, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Argirios Mantzoukas has years of experience treating any and all foot and ankle-related issues at any stage of life. To schedule an appointment at our Brooklyn, NY office, give us a call today at (718) 266-1986.