Pregnancy Q&A

Shoe Size During Pregnancy – Do Your Feet Really Get Bigger?

Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

You may find your shoes are no longer that comfortable during the second and third trimesters and one of the culprits may be swelling of your feet.

Pregnancy triggers many changes in your body and lots of things tend to get bigger, including your feet!

During pregnancy, the extra fluid in the body and the pressure from the growing uterus can cause swelling (or “edema”) in the ankles and feet.

feet during pregnancyThe swelling of your hands, feet and ankles can cause discomfort, especially towards the end of the day. This is especially common after standing for a long time, walking a lot, in hot weather and in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Normally it is not a health concern, just darn uncomfortable. Any swelling will make heels, especially strappy ones, very uncomfortable.

However, if the swelling is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, headaches, changes in vision, vomiting or difficulty in breathing, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Is there any way of relieving the swelling of your feet? Yes, you can try

• Taking a break and elevating your feet as often as possible (great excuse for a nap),
• Drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather,
• Stand up and take a short walk if you have been sitting for a long time,
• Sleep/lie on your left side as this takes the pressure off the inferior vena cava, the large vein that returns the blood from the lower half of your body to your heart,
• Doing foot exercises such as rotating your foot in circles and bending and stretching your feet up and down and
• Wearing comfortable flat shoes, avoiding any tight straps.

The good news is that the swelling should subside within a month after your baby is born.

My Shoe Size Has Increased – Why Are My Feet Getting Bigger?

According to a study done by the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, approximately 60% to 70% of pregnant women’s feet become wider and longer.
“The women’s arch height and arch rigidity fell considerably from the first trimester to five months after their child was born. This resulted in the length of their feet increasing by between 2mm and 10mm.”

The aptly named pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens the joints around your pelvis in preparation for the birth of your baby, also loosens the ligaments in your feet, causing the foot bones to spread.

Unfortunately this is a permanent change!

The good news: The changes in foot length and width seem to occur only during the first pregnancy! Thankfully! So if you already have big feet (such as mine!) it is comforting to know that subsequent pregnancies will NOT require another permanent change in shoe size!

The bright side, if there is one, is that you get to buy new shoes!

What Are The Best Shoes To Wear During Pregnancy?

You’ve probably already picked out where you’re going to shop for all of your maternity clothes, but you may not have given a lot of thought to which shoes you’ll wear during your pregnancy.
When it comes to dressing, there’s one thing that’s just as important as your clothes, it’s your SHOES.

Ideally you want
• Flats, or low, wide heels – around 2″  (5 cm) or lower.
• Good arch support.
• Breathable uppers (canvas or leather) that won’t trap moisture.
• Shoes that slip-on, as laces may become more difficult to tie, especially in the third trimester.
• Larger and/or wider shoes – remember to check your shoe size before buying.

You need your feet to be sturdy, comfortable and supported. So you will have to give up your stilettos for a while, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still look pregnancy chic. Look for low-heeled, stylish shoes that offer plenty of support.

Best Shoes to Wear While Pregnant

TOMS Women’s Canvas Slip-On

Its cool, casual upper has an elastic inset at the vamp and darts at the toe to add wearing ease to its padded footbed and cushioning rubber outsole. It’ll be your new favorite.

Crocs Women’s Kadee Ballet Flats

Crafted from the same soft, lightweight material, the Kadee ballet flat features an airy and foot-flattering low-cut vamp with cut-out detail and a bumpy footbed designed to cushion and massage your feet.

Skechers Women’s Go Walk Slip-Ons

Get the ultimate in comfort and performance with the Skechers Go Walk – they are so lightweight and comfortable.

Teva Women’s Tirra Sandals

With multiple adjustment options, these stylish comfortable women’s sandals provides a secure fit with good arch support.

Crocs Women’s Canvas Loafer

Stylish and comfortable with Canvas upper with suede accents and side ports for enhanced breathability.

UGG Australia Women’s Mini Bailey Bow Crystal Boot

Featuring a leather bow in glittering fashion, adorned with genuine Swarovski® crystals. Boasting lustrous leather, sumptuous sheepskin lining and added foam for all-day comfort, this diminutive darling is packed with sass and comfort to boot.

There are lots of great options out there that will have you feeling stylish and comfortable throughout your pregnancy.

Unfortunately there is not much you can do about the increase in shoe size during your first pregnancy!

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