Pregnant women have to handle the many changes that happen to their bodies. One of the last things they want to think about is there feet. Unfortunately, feet are very affected by pregnancy and many uncomfortable issues can arise in the foot and ankle.
One of the most common problems found in the foot and ankle during pregnancy is edema. This is a swelling of the tissues in the foot and/or ankle. It is usually caused by an increase in blood volume that occurs to help you carry extra oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Pregnancy hormones can also cause changes in the blood vessels, which may lead to swelling. All of this extra fluid needs a place to go, and gravity usually pulls it down to your feet and ankles. Increases in foot size that are due to swelling are common and temporary. Thankfully, there are some ways to reduce edema and the pain associated with it:
1) Elevate the feet as often as possible, wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation (See Dr. Pelto's blog about compression stockings: http://drpelto.blogspot.com/search/label/Compression%20Stockings),
2) When driving for a long period, take regular breaks to stretch the legs and promote circulation,
3) Check with a doctor about an exercise program; walking is usually recommended,
4) Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause fluid retention, and, finally,
5) If any pain persists, see a doctor.