How Pregnancy Affects Your Feet

Pregnancy causes many changes in your body, and your feet are no exception. As hormones change and swelling increases, you feel the effects from your head to your toes. The journey of pregnancy can be overwhelming and confusing but there are answers available. Always consult your OB-Gyn or other medical support staff to help you through this season. At Best Foot Doctor NY we want to help you travel through this time empowered with the knowledge and support you need.  This article takes a look at how pregnancy affects your feet.


As you go through pregnancy, your hormones change. These hormones can affect the ligaments in your foot, causing your foot size to increase. You may need to go up a shoe size. Typically after you give birth your ligaments will go back to their pre-pregnancy positions.

Flat Feet

Loosened ligaments also lead to flattened arches and the pain and instability of a flatter foot requiring orthotics for support and comfort. You may also experience plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue across the sole of your foot. Normal weight gain increases the pressure on your feet, aggravating these conditions. Talk to your doctor about orthotics or more supportive shoes. The providers at Best Foot Doctor NY can evaluate your feet and suggest custom orthotics if needed. 


Swelling is common on your feet when you are carrying a child. Swelling causes pain, decreased circulation, and increased risk for skin breakdown. Sudden pain or changes in swelling should be reported to your doctor immediately. Elevation and ice can help to reduce swelling. 

Skin Breakdown

Be sure to examine your feet regularly for cracks, cuts, blisters, and ingrown toenails. As time goes on, have your partner or another support person check your skin and continue good foot hygiene throughout your pregnancy. 

Diet Changes

A diet with high caffeine and sodium intake, along with too little potassium can increase swelling and also put you at increased risk for high blood pressure and heart rate. These items cause your body to retain fluids. Consult your doctor to discuss changes in your diet and how to add more potassium safely. 

Lifestyle Changes

As your body adjusts to being pregnant, you can make some lifestyle changes to support what is happening. 


Engage in gentle low-impact exercises such as walking and light yoga. If you have questions about what exercise is appropriate for you, ask your doctor. You will also need frequent breaks from being on your feet. You may notice at the end of the day that your feet hurt more than they usually do. This is normal in pregnancy. Be patient with yourself and give your feet (and your whole body) the rest that you need. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep. 


Wear shoes that fit you well and support your foot and ankle. Avoid high-heeled shoes. 

Changes throughout pregnancy are normal. It’s helpful to know the ways in which pregnancy affects your feet. Our team at Best Foot Doctor NY is here to support you through this time and help you to have a safe pregnancy. Contact us if you have any questions.  We are here to help.

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