Photo credit: iStockphoto

Photo credit: iStockphoto

If you’re pregnant, you probably expect changes to occur to your hips and waistline. But did you know that pregnancy can also change the size and shape of your feet? It’s true. According to a research study done at the University of Iowa, pregnancy can lead to permanent changes in the size of your feet.

When you’re pregnant, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone causes your cervix and the pubic symphysis (the location where your pubic bones meet) to lengthen and soften in order to make the birth process possible. But relaxin also causes the plantar fascia, the long ligament in the bottom of your feet, to relax and stretch, too.

Researchers collected arch measurements from 49 pregnant women at the beginning of their pregnancy and again at about five months after delivery. They found that the arch height and rigidity of the pregnant women’s feet fell considerably during that timeframe. In 60% to 70% of the pregnant women studied, their feet became wider as well as longer by between 2mm to 10mm.

The good news is investigators noted that the changes in foot length and width seem to happen only during a woman’s first pregnancy. So you don’t have to worry about your feet getting larger with each pregnancy you may have.

Additionally, during pregnancy, women tend to develop flat feet or overpronation, likely due to the flattening of the arches of the foot from the extra weight you’re carrying. But, this flattening of the feet during pregnancy can also be caused by the joints in your feet becoming looser, too.

Flat feet or overpronation can result in your feet rolling inward as you walk, which can lead to strain on the heels, arches and/or balls of your feet. This stress and strain on your feet can produce foot pain. You may experience inflammation and/or a burning sensation in the arch of your foot as your plantar fascia stretches excessively. You can also have pain in your knees, hips and lower back. If the strain on your aches is left untreated, you can develop a bone spur on your heel.

Researchers believe the loss in arch height experienced during pregnancy is permanent. So don’t expect your feet to return to normal after you have your baby. Which also means you’ll likely have to get rid of your pre-pregnancy shoes if they’re too small and no longer fit properly.

ezWalker® Custom Orthotics Relieve Foot Pain due to Overpronation

Unfortunately, while you’re pregnant, you can’t take most medications used to treat inflammation due to overpronation. But there are other things you can do, such not standing or walking for long time periods, taking frequent breaks to sit down and wearing comfortable shoes that provide extra support and shock absorption.

Additionally, ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics can provide your arches with the support they need. These custom orthotics are designed to biomechanically align your feet while correcting for overpronation. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics control each step you take during the gait cycle and help you maintain your balance and stability. These custom orthotics also can reduce any stress and strain you may have on your feet, knees, hips and lower back.

Pregnancy can cause enough discomfort as it is due to bodily changes, so don’t let foot pain become a problem. If you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, order your pair of ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics from today.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.® And the WalkEZStore wants your pregnancy to be a wonderful experience.

Note: If your foot problems persist during your pregnancy, please consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.