When you first learn of your pregnancy, you know you are in for a life-changing experience. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. You change on physical, mental, and emotional levels, and your body starts responding to these changes more prominently.
Giving birth is the most natural thing in the world. It’s exciting, but can be really daunting at the same time. During pregnancy, you gain weight, experience hormonal changes, and endure many sleepless nights.
How Your Body Changes
The most noticeable change in your body as the pregnancy progresses is the weight gain, more significantly in the torso region. This weight gain causes the pelvis to tip forward and increase the lower back curve.
Now as the distribution of weight has changed in the torso region, it increases stress on the hips, legs, ankles, and feet. This causes pain and swelling in the lower back, hips, legs, ankles, and the feet, and alters the posture as well as the gait.
As a pregnant woman will progressively gain weight throughout the three trimesters, she also experiences various hormonal changes. For example, the hormone relaxin is released during pregnancy, and in greater amounts during the last (third) trimester.
What relaxin does is make the ligaments more flexible, which allows the pelvis to relax and helps in delivery. However, relaxin also causes the ligaments all over the body to relax, including the feet. Combine that with carrying additional weight, and the chances of getting soft tissue injury increase.
Because of the added weight, the arch in your feet may flatten, which rolls your foot inwards while you stand or walk. This causes a domino effect as the alignment in the lower body and back get disturbed, which commonly leads to foot problems, hip pain and back pain.
In the latter stages, the effects of pregnancy on the feet are more prominent. In some cases, the swelling and pain in the feet may get worse with flatfoot posture and increasing body weight.
It takes real courage and heart to balance life at work and home while you are expecting. If you’re having persistent foot problems, a clinician may prescribe insoles to support the feet in the corrected posture and help in pain management.
What Happens After Pregnancy
Weight loss and decreased inflammation are the most prominent differences in your body following pregnancy. For instance, if you had a 7-8 pound baby, then you are going to feel around 12 pounds lighter after pregnancy.
The swelling in your feet will gradually subdue, but your shoe size may larger than it was before pregnancy.
Ideally, you should avoid wearing shoes with heels until your body has fully recovered. Go for flat shoes with wider heels at work, and opt for loafers at home. Wide and low footwear options will help in weight distribution and accommodate inflammation in your feet.
One of the most understated health factors after pregnancy is the long lasting impact of postural changes caused by flat feet. Our feet serve as the foundation for our whole body, so naturally, if the foot health gets affected, it will reflect on the body as well.
It is quite possible to retain the flatfoot posture from pregnancy. Because of this, the structural imbalance in your lower body may lead to foot conditions and/or chronic back pain.
A good treatment for structure imbalance is getting foot orthotics that are able to support your feet throughout your pregnancy.
Foot insoles support your feet in their optimal posture while you stand, walk, and exercise. Over time, such insoles will play an important role in improving your lower body and spinal posture. As they help in distributing weight evenly, you can experience greater relief in pain management.
You Can Get Better
Pregnancy doesn’t mean that your body can’t return to its former glory. In fact, you can get in the best shape of your life with good exercise, nutrition, rest, and proper foot support. MASS4D® helps mothers just like you get on their feet and move around in comfort.
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Pilates refers to a series of exercises that target the core – the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, and so on. The movements involved in pilates also help to improve flexibility and posture while promoting core stability.