To decrease your chances of foot problems during and after pregnancy
follow these steps:
1. Check your feet everyday: This
is an absolute necessity if you are a type I diabetic or if you
have diagnosed neuropathy. It is a good habit to practice. Look
for cuts, sores, bruises, openings or areas of irritation. Remember,
if your nerves are not functioning properly, then you may not
feel everything in your feet. If you cannot reach your feet, have
a family member check your feet or place a mirror on the floor
and put your feet over it.
2. Check your shoes before you put
your foot in them.
3. Don't walk around barefoot: Wear
a supportive shoe, one that has a rigid sole and bends only where
the foot bends (at the toes). If a shoe seems too confined, find
a slipper which has a semi-rigid sole, or try a clog or slip-in
shoe with a more rigid sole. The remaining aspect of the shoe
can be soft and flexible and allow for swelling, but the sole
should be rigid from the heel to the ball of the foot.
4. Buy shoes that fit your feet:
Be aware of the changes your feet are going through. The feet
are most likely widening and lengthening. Make sure the shoes
don't cramp the toes. Your feet will not shrink after the birth.
5. Watch out for folds in your socks:
A simple fold can cause rub or irritation on your feet. Swelling
will be greater by the end of the day and the small crease that
didn't bother you in the morning can rub an open sore or blister
on the toes. Serious consequences in diabetics can include ulceration
6. Dry your feet and between toes
after showers: Increased moisture between your toes can lead to
skin breakdown and eventual ulceration.
7. Don't be a victim of fashion:
Most moms will avoid high fashion during pregnancy, but many try
squeezing into that strappy heel after. Wearing high heeled shoes
puts excess stress on the ball of the foot, cramps the toes and
increases the chances of ankle sprains. Tight shoes will increase
the chance of ulceration for those with neuropathy.
8. Test the bath water before stepping
in: If you have neuropathy, you will not recognize when the temperature
is too hot. Check the water by inserting your hand into the water
to wrist depth.
9. Don't use a heating pad on your
feet: Although the idea of heat on your feet may sound soothing
after a long day, the heat will increase swelling and inflammation.
Sore feet respond better to ice. Roll your foot over a frozen
sports water bottle to help ease the achiness in the arch. Wear
a sock while doing this and don't put ice directly on your feet.
The heating pad can cause burns in those who have neuropathy.
10. Don't use any medication on the
skin: Be careful of topical medications during pregnancy and during
breast-feeding. Consult your doctor before use. Don't use medicated
corn pads from the local drug stores if you have neuropathy.
11. Visit your podiatrist: At the
first sign of a problem, make an appointment with your podiatrist.
Prevention is much easier than treatment.
Christine Dobrowolski is a podiatrist
and the author of Those Aching Feet: Your Guide to Diagnosis and
Treatment of Common Foot Problems. To learn more about Dr. Dobrowolski
and her book visit http://www.northcoastfootcare.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christine_Dobrowolski,_DPM
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