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.
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.
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?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post