When pregnant, a woman’s body goes through a myriad of changes, some more uncomfortable than others. One of the most overlooked ailments that women endure during pregnancy is foot pain.

Causes of Foot Pain During Pregnancy

Two of the most common causes of foot pain during pregnancy are edema and over-pronation. Edema is defined as swelling or enlargement of the tissues in the feet as a result of fluids pooling in the lower extremities. As the baby grows, added pressure is put upon the blood vessels in the pelvic area as well as the legs. This, in turn, slows down circulation, causing fluids to pool in the lower legs and feet, and often producing a purplish discoloration in the ankles and feet as well.

Over-pronation is a result of the altered center of gravity that women experience during pregnancy. The additional baby weight that the legs and feet have to bear can cause the feet to tilt inward (over-pronate) and the arches of the feet to flatten out when walking. This can cause excessive strain on the tissues of the feet, often producing a ripple effect of leg and lower back pain as well.

Solutions for Pregnancy-Related Foot Pain

Over-pronation is commonly treated with remedial orthotics (shoe inserts) that help to support the arches and heels. Properly-fitted footwear is very important as well; be sure to choose shoes that provide firm support and adequate shock absorption. To help alleviate edema, elevate your feet as much as you possibly can, and wear shoes that do not constrict your circulation. In addition, try to maintain a low-sodium diet in order to help prevent fluid retention, which is essentially what edema is.