Pregnancy Makes Women's Feet Bigger Forever but That's Not the Worst of It

pregnant feetThat fact is most of us don't make it through pregnancy without some changes to our bodies. Some are welcome (bigger boobs, anyone?) while others are just unfortunate (stretch marks, sigh). But there's one change that has always seemed to be the stuff of old wives' tales that I didn't think really was true -- permanently bigger feet.

But lucky us, it's a real thing. A new study from the University of Iowa found that approximately 60-70 percent of women's feet were longer (between .08 and .4 inches longer) and wider and their arches lower after pregnancy. How crazy is that?


I always suspected my feet had grown, but attributed it mostly to just wanting to be more comfortable after having kids. I'm just not as willing to wedge my foot into a cute shoe and suffer like I was once upon a time. Turns out it's more than my new-found love of comfort over style.

According to a press release from the University the changes are likely due to the foot flattening out because of extra weight and increased looseness of the joints that comes with pregnancy. Apparently first pregnancies account for the most significant changes while subsequent pregnancies may not change feet all. So blame your first born if you have to size up.

Besides the vanity issue and perhaps having to trade in some of your favorite kicks, it's actually not so good for the future of moms' feet either. Neil Segal, M.D., a professor at UI explained: 

We know that women, and especially women who have had children, are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal disorders. It is possible that these foot changes that occur during pregnancy may help explain why, in comparison with men, women are at higher risk for pain or arthritis in their feet, knees, hips and spines.

So it's kind of a downer all around. The upside, however is that this information may help scientists figure out how to better protect musculoskeletal health during pregnancy ... and it confirms that all of us women who claim pregnancy made our feet big aren't just imagining it.

How were your feet affected by pregnancy?


Image via Nina Matthews Photography/Flickr

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