If you're pregnant, you probably know that just about every part of your body, including your feet, will be affected by the changes taking place. In fact, about 70 percent of women who are pregnant experience problems and pain with their feet.

The following are some common foot problems that pregnant women face, along with advice on how to treat and prevent them:


Pregnancy can often cause excessive fluid to build up in your feet, resulting in pain and swelling. Make sure to tell your health care provider about these symptoms, because edema can sometimes be serious.

  • To reduce the swelling, avoiding getting overheated. 
  • Prop your feet up on a footstool when possible, especially if you'll be sitting for long periods of time.
  • If your job requires you to be on your feet, take frequent breaks during the day to sit down and elevate your feet. 
  • Stretch your legs often, and don't cross them when you're sitting. 
  • When you lie down, lie on your side to help relieve the pressure on the veins in your lower body. Elevate your legs slightly with pillows. 
  • Wear wide, comfortable shoes so your feet will have plenty of room.


Pregnancy weight gain puts added pressure on your feet. You're also more likely to alter the way you walk due to a change in your center of gravity. The ligaments in your feet may even be weakened as a result of pregnancy hormones. As a result of all these changes, your arch can flatten, which causes your foot to roll inward as you walk. This can cause pain and a condition called overpronation.

  • To prevent overpronation, try to keep your weight gain within the limits that your doctor recommends. 
  • Stretch every day when you first wake up. Add extra stretching before and after you exercise.
  • Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes with extra support can help prevent or ease pain. Avoid shoes with high heels and those that offer little support, like ballet flats or flip flops.
  • Orthotics can also help. These devices fit inside your shoe to help support your arch and correct the way your foot rolls inward. They can be bought ready-made, or your podiatrist can have one custom-made for your feet.

Pregnant women frequently suffer through foot pain, but make sure to mention any concerns to your doctor. Foot issues can become worse over time without proper treatment, and they can even stay with you after you've given birth. For more information, contact Dr. Lee D. Billing, Podiatrist Foot Surgeon or a similar medical professional.