Best Ways to Take Care of Your Feet During Pregnancy
One of the things moms-to-be often overlook is their feet! With all the extra weight carried around, the feet bear the brunt of the strain. Because of this, caring for them during pregnancy is crucial.
Massaging Your Feet
During pregnancy, massaging your feet can help ease the pain and swelling that come with having swollen feet. Massage therapy’s safety for pregnant women is still debated, but research is showing possible benefits.
A general foot massage can be done with or without oil. Heavy oils can strain the feet, so use a light oil like coconut or sesame. Massages should start at the toes and move upwards towards the ankle in circular motions. Toes can also be massaged by lightly squeezing each one. Massage therapy supporters say that it can improve circulation, reduce inflammation, ease pain, and help people relax.
Those who are against massaging the feet during pregnancy point out that it can be dangerous if done improperly and suggest consulting with a doctor before beginning any type of massage routine.
How to Massage Your Feet During Pregnancy
The biggest benefit of massaging your feet during pregnancy is that it can help reduce swelling. Pregnancy increases progesterone production. This causes the body to hold onto water, which makes the blood volume bigger. This makes the lower extremities swell up more, which can be especially painful for pregnant women. Massage helps by increasing circulation and lymphatic flow, thus reducing and preventing swelling. Massage treatment can also aid pregnant women with stress, anxiety, muscular cramping, and joint pain.
Some doctors are still hesitant to offer pregnancy massages. Massage during pregnancy has not been extensively studied. It’s crucial to make sure the massage therapist is qualified and has experience working with expectant clients if you’re thinking about getting one while pregnant. In order to minimize any risks, it’s also advisable to avoid lying on your back while receiving a massage when pregnant so as to prevent cutting off circulation to the baby in your womb.
Keeping Your Toes Crisp and Hydrated
Hydration is key to making sure your skin remains healthy and prevents any painful cracks or splits on the feet. Aiming for a few minutes of foot soaking several times a week on top of a regular routine that includes daily moisturizing can help kickstart the cleansing process.
Choose a foot soak with natural, organic components like essential oils and calming herbs like chamomile, lavender, or peppermint. The antioxidants, anti-inflammation, muscle relaxation, and toxin removal from these components enhance the bath.
Choosing the right moisturizing products for your skincare routine and keeping your stress levels down can help you have happy feet while you’re pregnant. Yoga or reading in a nice chair will assist your body to retain essential oils to keep your skin nourished throughout pregnancy. Daily self-care can benefit you and your baby.
Utilizing Lotions and Oils
Many dermatologists recommend topically applying lotion or oil to the feet for added nourishment. Coconut oil moisturizes, while natural beeswax seals in moisture to prevent dryness. Petroleum jelly, while slightly more difficult to wash off, still has a place in foot care as it can act as a deep moisturizing agent.
When deciding between using a lotion or oil on your feet, the extent of your dryness should be taken into account. Lotions are great for everyday hydration, but if you are dealing with exceptionally dry skin, opt for oil instead, as it is more deeply penetrating than a lotion. Little differences such as this can make all the difference in preventing cracking and blistering.
Wearing Supportive Shoes
Making sure you have the right shoes is an important element of prenatal foot care. When pregnant, carrying extra weight can cause soreness, pain, and swelling. Wearing shoes that give you support and are comfortable can help ease these symptoms.
Pair of tennis shoes or another lightweight option with good arch and ankle support are ideal choices for pregnant women as they provide greater comfort while walking. The flexible sole also helps give more cushion to already sensitive feet due to pressure from the baby’s weight in the abdomen and other bodily changes.
Finding Shoes That Fit Properly
When it comes to finding shoes that fit properly, the stakes are even higher during pregnancy. Foot changes—such as edema, which causes swelling –add an extra challenge in finding that perfect pair of shoes.
Poor-fitting shoes can cause atrophied muscles, ligament and tendon damage, discomfort, and metatarsalgia or neuromas.
On the other hand, some argue that choosing a size larger than your current foot size is better than an overly snug, conforming fit, particularly while pregnant, when even one size larger may still be too tight due to swelling. Studies have demonstrated this as well; a 2019 study found that wearing shoes that were one full shoe size larger–including width–was found to significantly reduce the pressure exerted on the feet and toes, compared with those that fit snugly.
Pregnant women should assess their demands and comfort levels and pick appropriately, whether for more space or a better fit.
Achieving Optimal Air Circulation
After finding comfy shoes, let as much air in as possible to keep your feet supported and pleasant. Canvas or leather shoes with ventilation holes are best. With rising temperatures and perspiration, you also want a material that will wick away moisture rather than absorb it. Specialty shoes designed specifically for pregnant women can often provide the best kind of support with optimal ventilation for breathability since they are designed specifically with the user in mind.
In addition, it may be wise to opt for lightweight and roomy shoes that do not crowd your toes, as they can constrict air circulation while encouraging the growth of yeast and odor-causing bacteria. Keep your feet clean and dry them thoroughly throughout the day. Wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row can increase the risk of fungal infections, so choosing different styles or colors on alternate days can help prevent this problem and give your feet a chance to breathe between wearings.
When it comes to treating swollen feet during pregnancy, air circulation is key. By finding shoes that fit accurately and provide plenty of airflows, you can make sure your body is getting all the oxygen necessary for healthy circulation even when standing or walking for long periods of time. In order to adequately address any discomforts associated with foot swelling in pregnant women, additional steps such as wearing supportive insoles and changing out of uncomfortable shoes frequently can be taken, along with finding suitable footwear for optimal air circulation. Now that we know what good shoe choices look like, let us examine what kind of sandals or closed-toe shoes merit further consideration when actively seeking out pregnancy-friendly footwear options.
Choosing the Right Shoes or Sandals
Good health during pregnancy often starts from the ground up. Shoes and sandals are crucial to protecting pregnant feet. Most often, it’s best to avoid wearing high heels when pregnant because they restrict air circulation and increase the risk of developing problems like edema.
The key to choosing a comfortable pair of shoes or sandals for pregnancy is finding something that is breathable and provides both good cushioning and support. Breathable shoes and sandals that have an open design can help reduce foot swelling by allowing air circulation to reach the toes. Also, a sole with enough cushioning helps to absorb shock when you walk and puts less pressure on your arches. You should also opt for shoes and sandals that offer arch support, as this should help alleviate pain in the balls of your feet by providing extra stability.
Although comfort should be your main priority, there’s no reason why your footwear choice needs to be unattractive. Look for designs with extra padding and soft straps around the ankles or uppers. Additionally, if you feel like you need more support than even an arch-supporting shoe offers, you can use shoe inserts that can be placed inside your current footwear.
When it comes to finding shoes and sandals for pregnancy, picking ones made with leather or canvas is recommended, as these materials are less likely to cause blisters than man-made materials such as plastic and rubber. While slip-on styles do provide an easier way to take off your shoes or sandals, they don’t always offer as much support as other shoe types such as mules, slides, or dress shoes with eyelets.
Contact Us If Your Feet Hurt During Pregnancy
It’s hard to be pregnant. People can feel overwhelmed by the extra weight gain, constant headaches, nausea, mood swings, and other symptoms. Several things can go wrong with your feet and ankles.
At Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute, we’ve been helping pregnant women with foot and ankle problems that are often caused by pregnancy for years.
We are committed to helping pregnant women and are the leaders in foot care research and treatment. We will help our patients improve their quality of life while they are going through this wonderful time. Call us today at 801-756-4200 to make an appointment.
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