Pregnancy is a life changing experience that can bring hope, light, and (for the most part) sunshine into your life. But pregnancy won't just change your life — it will change your body, too. Not only will your belly grow, and your skin stretch, there will be changes to other parts of your body as well, especially your feet. If you are pregnant, you may wonder, what'll happen to your feet during pregnancy? The answer is not pretty, but at least it's temporary.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), during pregnancy your body can produce almost 50 percent more blood and body fluid so that it can support your developing baby. But that additional fluid and blood can also cause swelling in your body, especially your feet.
Why is the swelling most noticeable in your feet? Your uterus, which is growing every day, puts pressure on certain veins, explained Parents. That can block some of the blood flow, making fluid stay in your feet. Parents further noted that because your feet and ankles have the smallest veins, it's harder for your body to maintain the extra fluid that is flowing in there.
When will your feet start to change? I remember that by the time the third trimester rolled around during my pregnancy, my feet had gone up a whole shoe size. This is normal, according to What To Expect, and most pregnant women will start noticing swelling between week 22 and week 27 of their pregnancy, all the way until delivery.
There are a few things that can make the swelling in your feet worse, explained the APA, like standing for long periods of time, high intakes of sodium or caffeine, long hours of activity, summer heat, or a diet low in potassium. So putting your feet up once in while can help ease the pain and swelling.
If swelling comes on too fast or with other symptoms, that may warrant a trip to the doctor. The APA suggested that while mild swelling is normal during pregnancy, sudden swelling in your face or hands could be a sign of preeclampsia, in which case you should call your physician right away.
Dealing with painful and swollen feet can be hard, but on the upside, it will give you an excuse to buy new shoes, which is always fun. (Even if they're two sizes bigger than what you normally wear.) While the physical changes of pregnancy may not always be pretty, the emotional and spiritual change it can bring to your life is invaluable.