The importance of foot care during pregnancy

Expert tips for foot care during pregnancy

With all of the changes that happen to our bodies when we’re pregnant we’d be forgiven for not giving much thought to our feet. I know that throughout my pregnancy I lived in my flip-flops during the summer and my Ugg boots in the winter. My outfit every day consisted of a pair of leggings and a baggy shirt, and I admit that I didn’t really think much about my foot care during pregnancy.

Expert tips for foot care during pregnancyImage source

But I have noticed since I had Taylor that the extra weight during my pregnancy did take it’s toll on my feet. For the first time in my life I now suffer with cracked heel, which can become painful if I don’t give my feet regular TLC in the form of long soaks in the bath (which don’t happen all too often in our house!) and lots of moisturising.

I was recently contacted by Feet First Chiropody Clinic in Birmingham who kindly offered me the opportunity to review one of their treatments. I would’ve jumped at the chance, but Taylor doesn’t leave my side at the moment so it wasn’t going to be practical.

Instead, I asked the chiropodist, Alan Hind, to provide some of his top tips for my pregnant readers around what they should be doing to help ensure good foot care during pregnancy – I wish I’d taken more notice of this advice back when I was pregnant.

1. Avoid HIGH heels

No prizes for figuring out that heels are a big no no during pregnancy. High heels alter your posture, shorten your calf muscles and place increased pressure on your knees and back. You’re also more prone to ankle and ligament strain during pregnancy as your body releases the hormone relaxin. Heels are okay for a special occasion, but definitely don’t make a habit of it.

2. And ALL other non-supportive shoes (that includes flip-flops and Ugg boots!)

I’m a bit like bambi in heels even when I’m not carrying a 7lb baby, so my footwear of choice when pregnant was flipflops, ballet pumps or Ugg boots. But apparently these are equally as bad! “Feet need to be supported during pregnancy to avoid prolonged damage,” explains Alan. “You should ideally choose a shoe with a supportive arch and a heel around 3cm as this will shift your foot further forward which can help alleviate discomfort.”  Shoes with a strap or laces are also the better option, but make sure they’re easy to fasten as you won’t want to be bending down for long!

3. Keep your lower limbs moving when at your desk

When working within an office at a desk all day it can be difficult to keep moving. Especially when I went off tea in the early months – I didn’t even get up to do the rounds! I’d make a conscious effort to leave the office on my lunch break for a walk, but in between work, commuting in the car and sitting on the sofa on an evening, I didn’t have much chance to keep active. If you have a similar lifestyle, it’s so important that you remember to do gentle ankle and foot exercises when sitting at your desk to keep cramps from occurring and boost circulation. Alan recommends rotating your ankles ten times to the left and ten times to the right and repeating.

Tips for foot care during pregnancy and after labour

Image source

4. exercise when watching TV

Within the last trimester of my pregnancy I got particularly irritable and couldn’t sit still! On the evenings I used to get restless legs which constantly twitched and leg cramps would wake me up in a nightly basis. My feet and legs were swollen and let’s be honest, every conversation I had about the pregnancy ended with “I’m just ready to get her out now!” Apparently one of the best things you can do is some gentle stretches each evening – I used to do these on our rug in front of the TV. “Try lying on your back whilst stimulating riding a bike with your legs”, advises Alan, “This will help reduce swelling and alleviate leg cramps.”

5. Invest in your feet after labour

Bearing all of that extra weight can really take it’s toll on our feet and, let’s be honest, it’s some time after giving birth that we start to think about looking after ourselves again. I’m not sure I’m even there yet – 15 months on and I can’t remember the last time I painted by toenails or invested in some new make-up. But when that time does come, make sure that you don’t forget your feet! A chiropodist will be able to diagnose the condition of your feet and treat any general conditions, as well as provide nail clipping, removal of hard skin and treatment of calluses. It’s easy for us to forget our feet, but with summer coming up there’s no better time to get your feet looking and feeling tip top!

Feet First Chiropody Clinic in Birmingham offers a range of foot treatments starting from £22.50 and can also visit you at home.

Did you consider your foot care during pregnancy? Have you found that pregnancy affected your feet?

Expert tips for foot care during pregnancy

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

 

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11 Comment

  1. Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos
    March 16, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I have to be honest, I don’t think I gave my feet a glimpse, if I could in fact see them! I like the idea of a little foot pampering though pregnant or not. #SharewithMe
    Coombe Mill – Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Padstow Tide Times for 16th March 2016My Profile

  2. Lindsey
    March 16, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I definitely never thought of it this way. All of a sudden I woke up one day and my feet were huge. I had gone up a whole size. Tweeting, and stumbling this post.

  3. Elizabeth
    March 16, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Great tips! I’m sure it’s really easy to forget about taking care of your feet with so many others things happening in your life and with your body!

  4. Silly Mummy
    March 18, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Good tips, though I have to be honest that I have always neglected my feet! They’re always awful & pregnancy did not therefore make them worse! In my defense, I absolutely hate flip flops and anything similar, so they are never on display! #sharewithme
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Off With My Head: The Ten Funniest Things The Toddler Said Last WeekMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      March 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      I’m exactly the same – I’ve always neglected my feet! I do love flip-flops though…

  5. Debbie
    March 18, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Natalie, I am lucky that my feet aren’t too bad even though I don’t really go out of my way to look after them. I’m not a big fan of flipflops and prefer to either go barefoot of wear trainers.

    I can’t really remember what I wore on my feet when I was pregnant as it seems like a different lifetime now, but I think the foot and leg exercises you shared are perfect for everyone, pregnant or not.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…NicenessMy Profile

    1. Mum in Brum
      March 20, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      You’re lucky that you live in a hot country and can go bare foot – I hate having my feet wrapped up all winter! xx

  6. Helena
    March 18, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I love pampering my feet. Mint products are particularly lovable.

    1. Mum in Brum
      March 20, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      I agree – I love the smell of mint!

  7. Nikki
    March 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Natalie, where were you and this post 23 years ago? LOL when I was pregnant with my son I gained a lot of weight, and although I worked on my feet, at the time, I never thought about taking care of them while pregnant.

    I also was in a bad car accident during the first several months of my pregnancy and it changed my skeletal stature enough that, combined with the pregnancy weight, it really changed my feet and what they can handle.

    My second pregnancy was in my 30s, and so I think my feet were even more affected than the first time. I have flat feet and so I now have to wear shoes with a great crepe wedge heel to cushion the blows from walking. I knew that my body would change during pregnancy but never realized how much it would affect my feet. This is a great post making women aware that things change during pregnancy, and you really need to take care of your feet!
    Nikki recently posted…Social Media Blast-Instagram week!My Profile

  8. Jenny
    March 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I never thought about my feet while I was pregnant but because i was as big as a house and couldn’t’ reach I did get pedicures a lot. hehehe I was naughty and wore heels though. Eeek Great info. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me and the continual support. #sharewithme
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