Your body goes through a number of changes during pregnancy, and these changes can have an impact on the health of your feet. As your baby grows and your bump gets bigger, your centre of gravity changes, and you also have to get used to carrying additional weight. Podiatry can provide drug-free relief from a number of foot problems in pregnancy. Podiatry is considered safe during pregnancy, but it's best to consult with your doctor or midwife before seeing a podiatrist, and you should always make sure your podiatrist knows you are pregnant, as this will allow them to create a safe and effective treatment plan for you. Read on to learn how a podiatry can benefit you during pregnancy.
Your growing bump puts pressure on your feet, and your gait can change due to your centre of gravity shifting, both of which can lead to general foot pain and your foot arches collapsing. Collapsed foot arches can cause inflammation in the joints of your feet, which can lead to you experiencing pain when walking or standing for long periods. Your podiatrist can treat foot pain by showing you how to do gentle foot exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles and joints in your feet. They can also fit you for orthotic insoles, which are designed to lift your arches and relieve pressure on the joints of your feet. Orthotic insoles can also be used to correct your gait during pregnancy, which can improve your posture.
Oedema is characterised by swollen feet and occurs as a result of your circulation slowing down during pregnancy. Your blood vessels soften when you are pregnant, and this makes it difficult for excess fluid to be transported up and out of your legs. Instead, excess fluid can collect in your feet and ankles, and this can make it difficult to get your feet into your shoes or to spend much time on your feet without becoming uncomfortable. Your podiatrist can show you or another adult how to massage your feet and lower legs to encourage excess fluid to move up towards your heart. They can also show you some simple exercises to improve your circulation in your feet and legs.
The extra pressure on your feet during pregnancy can cause minor skin conditions to develop, such as cracked heels, corns and calluses. These skin conditions can be painful when you are on your feet, and some people also feel self-conscious about the appearance of their feet when these skin conditions are present. Your podiatrist can create a treatment plan to get the skin on your feet back to its best. Treatment may include filing away dry skin, moisturising your feet or cutting away a large corn or callus. Your podiatrist may also give you specially designed foot pads that you can wear to prevent delicate areas of skin from rubbing on your footwear, which can lead to an infection developing.
If you'd like more information about seeing a podiatrist during pregnancy, contact your local clinic.