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When a woman is pregnant, the excessive weight gain combined with hormonal release relaxes certain ligaments in the body. As the fetus grows larger, the centre of gravity changes from the lower back to the front of the body. In the later stages of pregnancy, the woman tends to turn out her feet for stability. This puts undue stress on the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the foot, which may cause pain or mechanical problems such as bunions, tendonitis, ingrown toenails and other inflammatory conditions. A pregnant woman's foot can also swell or enlarge anywhere from one to two sizes, causing discomfort. Other common complications include swelling of the legs, varicose veins, leg fatigue and cramps. 

What can you do?

  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes
  • Use over-the-counter arch supports
  • Stretch
  • Begin a supervised exercise program.

What might a podiatrist do?

  • Perform a physical exam of your feet
  • Prescribe support hose
  • Prescribe orthotics
  • Evaluate and treat associated foot problems.