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What I Learned From 11 Babies Being Born

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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A new infant was born into my family, baby #11, and that means I have participated (in the periphery, as my wife did all the work) in 11 full-term pregnancies.  Pregnancy can often cause multiple problems with the feet and may be overlooked as you evaluate the infants new feet.  You can check the babies feet for ten toes, good form and lack of problems, but don't forget to remember the mother's feet can also be affected.

Pregnancy can lead to the following problems (or changes) with the feet:
1. Swelling is very common during pregnancy and can be accompanied with painfree or painful varicose veins.  Although the swelling resolves after pregnancy, the feet may never be the same and some of the associated vascular problems from varicose veins may be a long-term problem that needs to be followed.

2. Foot size can change during pregnancy.  Hormones are an important part of pregnancy and lead to loosening of the ligaments of the body.  Since the foot is supported similarly by these ligaments, often the foot size will change usally as much as a full size.  If you can't fit your shoes after pregnancy, this may be caused by the anatomic changes that occur from these hormones.  Sorry but you shoe size has changed.

3. Increased weight on the feet can also lead to new areas of pain or pressure.  As you return to normal activities after pregnancy these pain may resolve, but additional care may be required to help you overcome swelling, injury or other causes of postpartum pain.  Of the foot changes, these pains can be treated and usually completely resolved.

One thing you should know is that many people have survived pregnancy (including my wife 11 times) and you can get back to your normal activities without pain.  If you have pain don't get discouraged, just get it treated and get back to enjoying your life (and back to that pre-pregnancy figure).

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