Will you need to buy new shoes after a pregnancy?

July 11, 2012 4:31 PM by

For many women, shoes are the most exciting accessories in their closets. Plenty of ladies spend hundreds of dollars on footwear thinking that the investment will last forever, but will it? You may have heard that some women experience foot growth during a pregnancy, resulting in a new shoe size that puts all of their old stilettos, sandals and sneakers to rest. But why does this happen, and is the change permanent?

Basically, there are three reasons why your feet can experience growth during your pregnancy. The first has to do with fluid retention – feet tend to swell and expand, which could add bulk to your tootsies. You can help reduce this by keeping your feet elevated whenever you can and by drinking plenty of water each day.

The second reason could be the result of weight gain. As your body grows to accommodate your baby, your feet could develop another layer of fat that could increase your shoe size. The added weight of your body can also put extra pressure on your feet, flattening your arches and adding on to your foot's width and length.

Finally, the hormone relaxin might be to blame. Relaxin is responsible for loosening up joints and ligaments in the pelvis to prepare for delivery, but it's not solely limited to this area. It can relax the joints throughout your entire body, spreading your feet out and lowering your arches.

Whether or not your foot stays this new size depends. It could go back to what it once was if it was solely the result of weight gain or swelling, but sometimes relaxin can make the change permanent. While you might have to give away your prized shoe collection, at least it's an excuse to restock your closet!

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