You Might Have To Buy New Shoes!

So your shoes just don't seem to fit right anymore, huh? Well there's a good reason. Family Physician Jane Forester tells us why our feet seem to grow during pregnancy.
Jane Forester

Your question
Why does your shoe size change during pregnancy? Is this permanent?

The expert answers
There are three reasons why your feet can get larger during pregnancy, so don't buy any new shoes until you finish reading this article.

The first reason our feet expand is from the edema(swelling) of pregnancy caused by the retention of fluid. This can be somewhat relieved by elevating your legs whenever possible and by wearing support hose. Do not cut down on your fluid intake. By drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day the edema is actually reduced.

Secondly, if you've put on an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy, it's actually possible to add a layer of fat to your feet. So get a handle on your food intake and talk to your physician about how you can safely cut back.

The last of the three pregnancy-related events is the hormone called relaxin. This prepares our bodies for delivery by loosening up the ligaments in our pelvis to help accommodate the passage of the baby. Unfortunately, relaxin is not "pelvic" specific and loosens our joints throughout our body, including our feet, causing them to slightly lose their arch and to spread. There are many styles of orthotic shoe inserts which may be purchased to help support your falling arch and relieve some of the lower back and leg tension caused by this. Again, ask your physician for a recommendation.

To answer your question as to "is this permanent?", I can give you a researched-backed "it depends." Sometimes, even after the edema and weight gain are gone, the relaxin has done its job so well that we are stuck with those bigger feet forever. Of course, there are worse problems, unless you just bought the most expensive shoes you've ever sprung for and now they don't fit!

Jane Forester
Family Physician

Tags: feet growing shoes

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