Why have my feet got bigger post pregnancy?

As a podiatrist, I've seen a lot of women whose feet change size during and after pregnancy. But why does this happen? Let's take a closer look at some of the reasons.

First off, weight gain is a big factor. As your body changes, your feet have to handle the extra load. This can cause your arches to change shape and your feet to widen, especially as you get closer to your due date. And if you're not careful, it can also lead to foot pain or plantar fasciitis.

Hormones also play a role. During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which helps to loosen up the ligaments in your pelvis so you can give birth. But this hormone can also affect the ligaments in your feet, making them more flexible and causing your arches to flatten even more. This can lead to a permanent increase in foot size after you give birth.

Another annoying symptom of pregnancy is swelling, particularly in the later stages. This can cause your feet and ankles to puff up, making your shoes feel too tight. To combat this, it's important to keep your feet elevated and wear comfy shoes that won't rub you the wrong way.

On top of all that, pregnancy can also throw off your balance and posture. As your baby grows, your centre of gravity shifts forward, which makes you lean back to compensate. This can put more pressure on your feet and make them feel sore or achy.

After you give birth, you might notice that your feet are permanently bigger or wider than they were before. That's because of all the weight you gained during your pregnancy, the hormonal changes, and the fact that you were carrying a baby for nine months. So make sure you take care of your feet during this time, especially if you're carrying your little one around all day.

Changes in foot size during and after pregnancy are totally normal. But that doesn't mean you have to suffer! Wear comfy shoes, put your feet up when you can, and don't hesitate to see a podiatrist if you're experiencing any persistent pain or discomfort.