"Plantar fasciitis is a very common problem in the general population and usually affects women over the age of forty," says Dr. Albreski. This painful condition occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot, which acts as a shock absorber for your body, becomes weakened or irritated. In most cases, the condition can be treated with adjustments in a pregnant woman's lifestyle.
What can I do to ease foot pain and swelling?
"Wear good shoes," touts Buxton. "I can't overemphasize the importance of supportive shoes that protect the arches from strain and cushion the foot during standing and walking." Athletic shoes provide the most shock absorption, while laces allow the foot to widen as your pregnancy progresses.
Although they may seem like the cheapest, easiest solution for housing your expanding toes, don't wear sandals or flip-flops, cautions Buxton. "These are the worst choices for [pregnant] footwear; some of these shoes have no arch support at all." Take care with your shoe choices during pregnancy—if something is too tight, don't put your foot through the stress; and avoid high heels.
Choose the right size socks, too. "Tight socks will encourage swelling," says Niki Pearce, a certified midwife at the Cleveland Clinic. Wear sock fabrics that allow the foot to breathe, such as cotton instead of nylon.
It's important that you take extra care of your feet as well. "Make sure your toenails are cut evenly and that they are not digging into the skin around the nail," suggests Pearce. "Remove calluses with a pumice stone and use pads designed to take the pressure off of bunions and calluses, if you have them." Use a moisturizer on your feet if they appear dry or cracked.