All sorts of amazing and incredible things happen to our bodies in pregnancy – not just growing a baby!
Feet growing bigger is a common occurrence but do they actually grow?
That common image of a pregnant woman with her tummy pushed forwards and leaning back is typical of a tucked pelvis and rib thrust which puts the centre of gravity over the front of the foot.
Caused by many things including sitting a lot in chairs that cause the pelvis to be tucked under and weight put on the sacrum, heeled shoes, tight hamstrings and calves, weak glutes and tension in the quads.
Having your weight forward causes your arches to flatten and for all your weight to be carried by the front of your foot and stopping them from functioning effectively.
The arch in your foot is actually a muscular structure so can flatten depending on how you put weight on your foot – if you have your weight forward over your toes the arch flattens and your foot lengthens.
Swollen feet can also cause your feet to be larger of course! (If your feet and legs are excessively swollen it is recommended you see your midwife immediately to rule out anything urgent)
So what can you do?
Keep your weight back is important – not only to protect your arches but also the small bones in your feet – these are designed to be flexible to help you move across different terrains – they aren’t designed to carry the weight of your body.
Ways to help keep your weight back
1) untuck your pelvis, think about sticking your bum out – a natural consequence of this is that it will ease any back pain you may be suffering from
2) reduce the height of the heels of your shoes – do this mindfully – if you are used to very high heels going suddenly down to flat shoes could cause injury
3) strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.
4) do the calf stretch several times a day
5) bolster when you sit so your pelvis maintains a neutral position
If you would like to come along to a pregnancy movement and birth preparation class that works on strengthening your glutes and hamstrings, balances your pelvis and helps your baby into the best position for birth while training you effectively for labour then Birth Fundamentals is for you. Suitable for any stage of pregnancy. Click here to find out more.
If you would like to know more about the exercises listed here as well as other essential daily exercises for pregnancy check out this online taster course here
Rosie Dhoopun is a Movement Teacher, Antenatal Teacher and Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist. She runs Movement classes, workshops and 1-2-1 classes in and around Ipswich in Suffolk