In the heat of summer months, the majority of my pregnant clients come to me with a bit of a hobble in their step and complaints about swollen ankles, and leg cramps or leg restlessness.In pregnancy, the legs, which should be our pillars of support, tend to endure a lot of strain as they are now supporting two people instead of one.This can result in a lot of wear and tear on the ankles and feet in particular, causing swelling and cramping.
So much focus is placed on the hips, pelvis and back in pregnancy – for good reason, these are areas that need to be both strengthened in order to support the weight of the baby in second and third trimester, and opened and softened in order to create optimal conditions for a safe and speedy delivery.But sometimes we forget that the two most important things that can assist us in creating strong support and strength throughout these areas are our two feet! When it comes to joints, what happens at the extremes of the body also translates proximally, or nearer to the body – so what happens in the feet affects the back and hips and vice versa.
Prevention is the best remedy, so I always recommend to my clients to start strengthening their joints early in pregnancy to prepare for the months ahead as the baby starts to grow.This preparation will significantly reduce the occurrence of swelling and cramping in those later months.A combination of stretching, strengthening and massage is the best approach for pregnancy foot pain relief. To start, I recommend yoga therapy poses such as Dandasana with Ankle Circles and Barbie Doll Feet. I’ve included the video for these poses below, and you can find more like these in 10 Minute Yoga Tune® Up Quick Fix for Feet and Ankles here.Remember that in later stages of pregnancy, some adjustments will need to be made to accommodate that beautiful belly!So in Dandasana, follow the instructions, but if need be, separate the feet hip distance apart and always make yourself as comfortable as possible by sitting on a pillow or against a wall for extra back support Hvit Outdoor Oppblåsbare telt.
Read about Babylicious Feet.
Watch our video for lower back pain relief.
Learn about our Therapy Balls Program for your lower back.
I was gifted a reflexology session when I was pregnant and it was such an incredible treat. Since then I really try to give pregnant students and friends extra foot attention. Teaching ankle exercises and rolling out the feet is a great way to offer mamas-to-be some self care.
Yes we often forget about our feet,I really like the yoga tuneup foot and ankle exercises,.the one that is not mentioned as often is baddhakobasana with interlaced toes.we did it in our level one certification but started with first interlacing our fingers between our toes,when you release your fingers it feels awesome.
I teach ankle circle in my prenatal class sometimes, but mostly sitting seza and modified tree pose to stretch and strengthen. I’ll probably add ankle circles more often to start to release this area more gently earlier in the warm up portion of my sequences.
Oh my feet were my kryptonite during my pregnancy. Something I found really valuable to discuss with patients and clients was the amount of time that was spent barefoot or with ill fitting shoes. More often than not our feet tend to swell and grow as the baby bump grows and wearing the wrong shoes can be a factor that may go unnoticed. Or if your feet are used to shoes then that support is removed this can lead to an overstretching of ligaments in the foot causing even more instability. Thank you for brining more awareness to our beautiful… Read more »
No one ever thinks of the feet for pregnant women. Mine used to swell up like crazy. There is something also very soothing about working, massaging and taking care of your feet. There are also so many great pressure points that effect different parts of the body, that you are getting two for 1.
My wife is in her thirdntrimester now and these excersises would be perfect for her. These are excellent exercises for the foot cramps that I used to get while in plantarflexion also.
[…] Read how to Heal Your Aching Pregnant Feet. […]
Practicing yoga every day is what got me though my pregnancy without ever getting swollen ankles or achy back. Doing yoga during pregnancy also provides an amazing outlet for anxiety and morning sickness.
I also recommend legs up the wall, the pregnancy version! Have the moms-to-be put a bolster under their hips so they’re not flat on their backs. It’s hard to get into, especially when you have a big pregnant belly, but it’s a wonderful leg and foot vacation, and helps ease swelling.
While 100% NOT pregnant, this was an amazing ankle stretch! I broke both my feet 2 years ago and am always looking for ways to improve flexibility in my feet and ankles.
Moving (muscle contraction) is the key to lymphatic circulation. This is a great article, and makes a lot of sense.
thank you. i will try this out on my prenatal students. they love the feet massage with the balls and this will be a good one maybe to try before and after the tune up to see if there is better coordination and range of movement.
This reminds me that clogs are really inappropriate pre and post natal footwear. There is so much that can be done during pregnancy to help ease the body through these transitions. Especially when the weather is hot and students call in to me and tell me they are not coming to class it is helpful to have some very concrete suggestions to give them for things they can do on their own. I have been wearing flip-flops a lot this summer which I know are horrible for the structure of your feet-I wil lbe concentrating on these sequences as well.
I’m not pregnant 🙂 but these excercises are very helpful for my tired and tight feet. Once I started practicing them, I was shocked how inflexible my feet became, and I’m not even a fan of high heels. My feet are so tight that camel pose with being on my toes hurts my toes more, than the actual difficulty with the pose. I have to focus on my feet and document the changes. I’m really looking forward to this. Thank you.
Great exercises for everyone! My pregnant daughter and I will enjoy these easy and effective movements, especially after being on our feet all day.
I can’t wait to share this with my pregnant friends and non pregnant friends alike! Things like this, even small things, make me feel so much more confident about one day being pregnant and making the best of it.
My sister is 5 mo pregnant now and having some of these symptoms – I can’t wait to forward her these links! Thanks for posting the videos, since she doesn’t live near enough for me to teach her, they’ll be great for instruction.
this is great! even for those who are not pregnant.
Maybe I can recommend this to my pregnant friend.
This looks great. I have a friend pregnant now with twins and she is going to love this!
Great foot and toe exercises. Amazing to think about how healthy feet and ankles will translates proximally and lead to healthy legs, back and hips. Exercises will definitely pay off in the 8th and 9th months!