We had such a great time chatting with all the new and expecting moms (and dads!) at the Total Mom Show last month. We had so many questions about pregnancy-related foot pain, that we thought we would share some useful foot care tips for new moms (and moms-to-be).
But first, a quick recap about why HealthCasa is a great solution for busy moms (and dads!)…
What is HealthCasa?
HealthCasa is an online platform that allows you to instantly book an appointment with a fully registered Chiropodist or Podiatrist in the comfort and convenience of your home. We’re a comprehensive mobile foot clinic that comes to you and we specialize in custom orthotics as well as a wide range of other Podiatry services. So, if you have any kind of foot pain, we’re here to help.
Our team has over 20 years of combined experience in the foot care industry, and we’ve built successful Chiropody clinics and orthotic manufacturing labs. Our Chief Chiropodist, Marlie who is licensed and actively practicing in Ontario, oversees our clinical operations and training. This collective experience and expertise is why we chose to focus on orthotics and podiatry/chiropody services. We know the industry inside-out and we know how to do it right, so it made sense for us to focus on this industry initially. However, we will expand into other related services and expand our geographical reach. We’ll keep you posted!
What are the advantages of booking with HealthCasa over a traditional clinic?
1. Instant Booking
It literally takes a couple of minutes to book an appointment online. Simply register for a free account, add an address for your appointment, select a date and time that suits your schedule, choose a practitioner and enter your credit card details. And that’s it! We don’t mess around with annoying booking requests dressed up as actual bookings (none of us have time for that and we know you don’t either!) Your appointment is instantly booked and confirmed within minutes.
2. Convenient appointments
You can book an appointment at a date and a time that suits YOUR schedule. Book an appointment before, during, or after your workday, or evenings and weekends. You can book an appointment during nap time or your baby can play while you have your appointment at home….and if your baby is having one of those days, don’t worry, our practitioners are amazing with babies and kids too!!
We Get It …
We’re Parents Too!
Here is our Chief Chiropodist, Marlie casting for custom orthotics in a patient’s living room, while the baby plays … it’s that easy! #easywithHC
3. Save Time
HealthCasa saves you time. There’s no traffic, no waiting rooms, no delays… We know you have more important things to do. We come to you, so now there really is no excuse to keep putting off your appointment. You don’t need to book a babysitter or deal with a crying baby in the car or waiting room. (we’ve all been there, it’s not fun and often you don’t have a choice, but with HealthCasa you do!)
4. Secure patient portal
Once you’ve created your HealthCasa account, you’ll have access to all your receipts, documents, and prescriptions that you would need to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. We make it really easy for you to download and print everything directly from your account, so you don’t need to worry about keeping track of multiple pieces of paper!
Being a mom is HARD – the founders of HealthCasa all have young kids and we never feel like there is enough time. We focus so much on our children and our families and by the time we’ve finished the feeding, changing, laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, organizing activities and playdates (and more!), we’re left with very little time for US! We often neglect ourselves and our health and unfortunately, foot pain is one of those things that we often ignore and accept as normal. One of our biggest goals at HealthCasa, is to educate our patients that foot pain is NOT normal and now with HealthCasa, it can be easily (and conveniently) dealt with so you can start living pain free and resume your regular activities.
Foot problems are very common during pregnancy
Your body goes through a lot of changes when you’re pregnant. The last thing you want to worry about is your feet. Did you know that women’s feet often go up a half to full shoe size during pregnancy? This can be caused by weight gain, which puts greater stress on the feet and hormone-related overall ligament relaxation, which makes the foot structure more malleable. Sometimes, the change in foot size is permanent.
Unfortunately, foot pain is VERY common during pregnancy and can persist for many months after giving birth. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to help.
Here’s a list of tips for some of the most common foot problems experienced during pregnancy:
1. Foot pain, over-pronation and plantar fasciitis
Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is completely altered. This causes a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet. Many women will complain of pain in the heel, arch or ball of the foot.
Pregnancy weight gain also causes added pressure on the body, which in turn causes the arches to flatten and roll inward when walking. This is called overpronation (flat feet). This can cause inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the feet (plantar fasciitis) and lead to pain in the feet, calves and back and can make walking very painful.
Orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support to correct the over-pronation. If you have mild, occasional foot pain, off-the-shelf insoles can be helpful as a short-term solution. These off-the-shelf insoles will offer some temporary relief and won’t cause any harm, however, most only provide extra cushioning and don’t address the underlying causes of your foot-related pain or discomfort.
If you have chronic or serious foot conditions insoles made of gel or other soft materials can potentially do more harm than good because the soft, flexible material creates an unstable surface underneath your feet. In these cases, custom orthotics are a better option, especially considering that they would be made specifically for your feet according to the specifications of a Chiropodist or Podiatrist.
Proper fitting footwear:
Choose comfortable shoes that provide extra support and shock absorption. Your Chiropodist or Podiatrist can help advise you on the best footwear to suit your specific foot condition, lifestyle and activities. It is important to treat over-pronation for pain relief but also to prevent other foot conditions from developing such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-Tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions.
Edema (swelling of the feet) is a very common foot problem experienced during pregnancy. It is usually noticed around the fifth month and tends to increase during the 3rd trimester. During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby. Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid. The extra fluid has to go somewhere, so it tends to be pulled down by gravity to your feet and ankles, leading to swelling.
- Elevate your feet as often as possible. If you have to sit for long periods of time, place a small stool by your feet to elevate them.
- Proper fitting footwear. Footwear that is too narrow or short will constrict circulation. You may notice that your shoes become too tight.
- Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
- If you are driving for a long period of time, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and promote circulation.
- Wear compression stockings to help decrease the swelling. Our practitioners can assess and take measurements for compression stockings for you.
- Exercise regularly to promote overall health; walking is the best exercise.
- Rest on your left side. This decreases the pressure on blood vessels and allows more fluid to move from your legs to your upper body.
- Stay hydrated. The more water you drink, the less fluid the body will retain.
- Avoid salty foods. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods high in salt that can cause water retention.
- Swelling is normally similar in both feet. If swelling is not symmetrical in both feet, this may be a sign of a vascular problem and a doctor should be contacted immediately.
3. Leg Cramps
These painful cramps usually affect the calf muscles and may be caused by changes in calcium and magnesium concentration, dehydration, muscle fatigue or increased pressure from the uterus on the blood vessels and nerves. Leg cramps are most common during the 2nd trimester and occur more often at night. If the cramps persist, please speak to your doctor.
- Massage your calf and flex your foot to try and alleviate the pain during a cramp
- Exercise regularly and don’t forget to stretch
- Take a warm bath to relax your muscles.
- Talk to your doctor about taking calcium, magnesium or vitamin B supplements.
- Stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water regularly throughout the day
4. Varicose veins
These are veins that have become enlarged and look like twisted purple chords under the skin. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of your body (the inferior vena cava), which increases pressure in your leg veins. You may have no symptoms at all, or the varicose veins might be sore, itchy or make your legs feel tired and achy.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time, walking is a great form of exercise to help improve your circulation
- Take frequent stops to exercise and stretch your legs if driving or flying long distances.
- Compression stockings can help alleviate the pain or discomfort you may experience
- Avoid crossing your legs, to prevent excess pressure on the blood vessels in the legs
- Lie on your left side to help relieve pressure and improve circulation
How do custom orthotics work?
Whether you’re a new mom, you’re expecting or are trying to keep up with a busy toddler, custom orthotics can help alleviate discomfort, reduce fatigue and keep you staying healthy and active.
Orthotics help to relieve pain in the foot, heel, ankle and lower leg by placing these joints back into their natural alignment so that they ‘track’ properly, move more efficiently, and with significantly less discomfort. By properly aligning the foot and ankle, there is often also a reduction in knee, hip and back pain, since the foundation of the ‘kinetic chain’ is being properly aligned. The feet represent the base of the kinetic chain, and each subsequent joint above the feet can be considered a ‘link’ in the chain, much like a stable house is built upon a strong foundation.
Remember, HealthCasa custom orthotics are the real deal – they are fully custom made for YOUR feet, as well as your foot condition, lifestyle and activities. The orthotic industry can be confusing with so many options available to consumers. Knowing what to look for and asking the right questions is your key to getting the best possible solution to your foot problems.
Watch some of our videos to learn more about how our custom orthotics are made and what to look for when choosing a healthcare practitioner and lab for your custom orthotics.
So … now there’s NO reason to suffer from foot pain during and after your pregnancy! We’re so excited to be playing a role in making the lives of busy moms (and moms-to-be) just a little bit easier.