Five Common Foot Pains During Pregnancy

Five Common Foot Pains During Pregnancy

We often have this dream of how wonderful pregnancy must be. Only to find out that the reality isn’t quite what we expected. Unfortunately, foot and leg pain is not uncommon during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, when the baby is getting ready to make their way into the world.

Five Common Foot Pains

Here are five of the most common foot conditions, as well as what causes them.

Swollen Feet And Ankles

Increased hormones race through your body, when pregnant; leading to extra water being retained. You may feel like your shoes are trying to choke your feet but the extra water is actually very important; helping to carry oxygen and other nutrients to your young one.

Gross Edema Of Leg And Foot

Foot & Leg Cramps

The reason why some women experience leg cramps more during pregnancy than others is unknown. Some people have suggested that it may be due to water retention in the legs or the extra weight being carried around.

Numb Legs

One of the least expected side-effects of pregnancy is feeling numbness in your legs. Surprisingly it has been estimated that as many as one-quarter of women will experience numbness in their legs during pregnancy.

While disconcerting there is usually nothing to worry about unless one leg is significantly more swollen or numb than the other. If you have any concerns you should discuss them with your midwife.

Sciatic Nerve Pain

The increased pressure on your spine when pregnant can result in a sciatic nerve pain. This is a pain going down your back to your legs. Some people find this to be a sharp, stabbing pain.

Illustration Of Sciatic Nerve Pain

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, the purple blue lines that form on the surface of the legs. As the baby gets bigger this will put pressure on your leg veins resulting in them having to work harder. This extra work results in your body having to push the extra blood around your body. On the bright side once you have given birth, they will generally get better.

Prevention Tips

  • Start doing exercises that increase your circulation as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Don’t forget to take breaks with your feet up
  • If you have muscle cramps or sciatic nerve; exercise and stretching may help. Use a warm hot water bottle to ease the muscle tension
  • One of the consequences of swollen feet and ankles is that you will likely find your shoe size has increased. Accept it and get larger shoes that offer good support to your legs and ankles
  • Some women have found that wearing compression socks helped with the swollen feet and ankles as well as the varicose veins, especially if they are on their feet all day
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
  • Take a warm bath before heading to bed for the night
  • Eat healthy nutritious meals that are rich in calcium and magnesium


The good news is that many of the pains that occur during pregnancy will subside once your baby is born. Sometimes the easiest way to take care of your baby is by looking after yourself.


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