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Pregnancy, Diabetes, and Your Feet
There are so many changes the body undergoes during pregnancy that it becomes easy to ignore the changes in the feet. During pregnancy the body releases hormones that allow the ligaments to relax in the birth canal. The ligaments in the feet also relax, causing the foot to lengthen and widen. Many will complain of a shoe size increase by one or two sizes. In most circumstances, this flattening and widening of the foot is benign and no problems result.
In the diabetic, this change in foot size is important to recognize. Despite the increase in foot size, many moms will continue to wear the same size shoes. As a diabetic, properly fitting shoes are of utmost importance. Increased pressure on the foot can cause areas of rub or irritation and potentially result in ulceration. Once there is an ulceration, one is at risk for infection, delayed healing and further diabetic foot complications.
Diabetic neuropathy is the single greatest risk factor for developing foot ulcerations. Neuropathy is the loss of sensation in the feet commonly caused by diabetes. Many individuals will develop neuropathy before they are diagnosed with diabetes. Others will develop neuropathy years after being diagnosed with diabetes. Luckily, gestational diabetes is not typically associated with neuropathy.
Unfortunately, type I diabetics develop neuropathy much earlier than type II diabetics and may have neuropathy during their pregnancy. Regardless of the type of diabetes, it is still extremely important to have the feet evaluated to assess the status of the nerves. Even mild neuropathy increases the risk of ulceration. Wearing shoes which are too small causes an increase in friction and an increased risk of skin breakdown.
Wearing properly fitting shoes during and after pregnancy is of particular importance. Although the ligaments relax in the foot during pregnancy, they do not stay relaxed. The post-pregnancy foot is at higher risk for developing foot problems. There are multiple reasons contributing to the increased risk. The flattened foot places excess stress on the ligament that holds up the arch. The weight gain from pregnancy places excess stress on the feet. Moms are also carrying their baby, added weight which transmits to the feet. Moms are staying at home more often and walking around in slippers and flexible shoes which are generally not supportive.
To decrease your chances of foot problems during and after pregnancy follow these steps:
1. Check your feet everyday: This is an absolute necessity if you are a type I diabetic or if you have diagnosed neuropathy. It is a good habit to practice. Look for cuts, sores, bruises, openings or areas of irritation. Remember, if your nerves are not functioning properly, then you may not feel everything in your feet. If you cannot reach your feet, have a family member check your feet or place a mirror on the floor and put your feet over it.
2. Check your shoes before you put your foot in them.
3. Don't walk around barefoot: Wear a supportive shoe, one that has a rigid sole and bends only where the foot bends (at the toes). If a shoe seems too confined, find a slipper which has a semi-rigid sole, or try a clog or slip-in shoe with a more rigid sole. The remaining aspect of the shoe can be soft and flexible and allow for swelling, but the sole should be rigid from the heel to the ball of the foot.
4. Buy shoes that fit your feet: Be aware of the changes your feet are going through. The feet are most likely widening and lengthening. Make sure the shoes don't cramp the toes. Your feet will not shrink after the birth.
5. Watch out for folds in your socks: A simple fold can cause rub or irritation on your feet. Swelling will be greater by the end of the day and the small crease that didn't bother you in the morning can rub an open sore or blister on the toes. Serious consequences in diabetics can include ulceration and infection.
6. Dry your feet and between toes after showers: Increased moisture between your toes can lead to skin breakdown and eventual ulceration.
7. Don't be a victim of fashion: Most moms will avoid high fashion during pregnancy, but many try squeezing into that strappy heel after. Wearing high heeled shoes puts excess stress on the ball of the foot, cramps the toes and increases the chances of ankle sprains. Tight shoes will increase the chance of ulceration for those with neuropathy.
8. Test the bath water before stepping in: If you have neuropathy, you will not recognize when the temperature is too hot. Check the water by inserting your hand into the water to wrist depth.
9. Don't use a heating pad on your feet: Although the idea of heat on your feet may sound soothing after a long day, the heat will increase swelling and inflammation. Sore feet respond better to ice. Roll your foot over a frozen sports water bottle to help ease the achiness in the arch. Wear a sock while doing this and don't put ice directly on your feet. The heating pad can cause burns in those who have neuropathy.
10. Don't use any medication on the skin: Be careful of topical medications during pregnancy and during breast-feeding. Consult your doctor before use. Don't use medicated corn pads from the local drug stores if you have neuropathy.
11. Visit your podiatrist: At the first sign of a problem, make an appointment with your podiatrist. Prevention is much easier than treatment.
Christine Dobrowolski is a podiatrist and the author of Those Aching Feet: Your Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Foot Problems. To learn more about Dr. Dobrowolski and her book visit http://www.skipublishing.com/ or at http://www.northcoastfootcare.com
The Dos and Donts of Pregnancy
With so many people giving their opinion on what to do and what not to do during pregnancy, it becomes hard to determine what is fact and what is fiction. Below is a list of some of the more important factors to consider in regards to pregnancy do's and dont's.
Five Ways to Read Your Bodys Changes before Pregnancy Test
What are the most unforgettable changes happen to your body when pregnant? There are a few things, but mostly women can't forget about their breast which get sore and sensitive and their belly which get bigger and bigger during nine month.
Common Sense Approach To Pregnancy Weight Loss
Ok so everyone gains weight while they are pregnant. This is perfectly normal. It is also perfectly normal for a woman to want to lose that weight after pregnancy. We have established this much at this point in time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to get yourself back into shape right after your pregnancy, in fact I certainly encourage it!
Reducing Your Pain In Childbirth
Pain is the word most associated with labor. Women go to great lengths to deal with the discomforts of childbirth. They attend classes, buy products, read books and talk to their friends. However, relaxation is the one essential ingredient, often overlooked, which helps with the reduction of painful contractions. When Moms have fear in labor, their body tenses. When there is tension (opposite of relaxation), there is pain. Relaxation takes away the fear, therefore, reducing tension and pain. You can't have relaxation and tension at the same time.
Vacation Is One Way To Run Away From Stress During Pregnancy
What should you do to have a happy pregnancy? Many things you could do, but what most pregnant women rarely do is having a vacation. Get a life and try to relax a little bit. Or take an extended weekend just to refresh and recharge your batteries.
Dealing With Common Pregnancy Complaints
Pregnancy is not without its side effects. During pregnancy your body will undergo many hormonal changes. These hormone fluctuations can result in a variety of unpleasant symptoms including: nausea, fatigue, bloating and fluid retention and mood swings.
Exercising After Pregnancy
Generally most women can begin a formal exercise program within 6 weeks of giving birth, though this time frame might be slightly longer for some women, including those recovering from a C-section. Most women recovering from a C-section will be able to exercise after there incision has healed and their doctor has cleared them for exercise.
Morning Sickness Survival Tips
"Just eat a few saltines and you'll be ok".
Being Pregnant Is Not a Hurdle to Enjoy A Little Romance
Most of the time pregnant women are afraid to have a little romance. Probably they are afraid something could happen to their baby. Well, that's wrong. It is important that you do not ignore your own needs or those of your spouse's during pregnancy. Unless your doctor has warned you otherwise, it is generally safe to have intercourse while pregnant. You will not hurt the baby, nor will your hubby crush it by lying atop you.
Sex During Pregnancy
It is important that you nourish your relationship as much as your nourish your unborn child during pregnancy. Most women find that their bodies grow large and unwieldy during pregnancy. Many women are surprised to find that their sex drive actually increases during pregnancy, particularly during the second trimester. This is due to the increased amount of blood that is coursing through your pelvis and vagina.
Pregnancy and Exercise, How to Stay Fit While Being Pregnant
Pregnant Mothers and Starbucks
Many mothers are addicted to caffeine and cannot handle going without during the nine months of pregnancy. The damage done to the fetus is a very critical issue in this time of development. Occasionally we see pregnant women come into Starbucks and buy a cup of coffee and wonder if we should say something. We do not of course and mind our own business. They are probably well aware of the risks they are causing their future child. Maybe they do not believe the reports or figure one more cup will not hurt. And maybe that one cup itself will not, but day after day we see them there again.
Sex & Pregnancy...Do They Mix?
As a pregnant woman, you may experience sex drives much like your moods. Up and Down! Some women claim that they have no sex drive at all during pregnancy, and others, say their sex drive is better during pregnancy. With changes to your body happening so quickly, your moods and dives may also change just as quick!
Planned Parenthood Prevents Teen Pregnancy
Planned Parenthood is an alternative for teenagers when they do not know where else to turn. They offer education on parenting, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted teen pregnancy precautions and offer support for individuals who want to terminate their pregnancy. Teens are provided guidance and education from trained staff members rather than receiving all their information about sex from their peers. Many Parents Are Against Planned Parenthood Many parents are against their children seeking out the services in Planned Parenthood facilities, feeling it promotes sex rather than abstinence. Typically parents opposed to Planned Parenthood are parents who do not educate their children on the risks of engaging in sex. They promote abstinence without discussing any other options with their children. Planned Parenthood provides education about the dangers of engaging in sex as well as options should the teen choose to engage in sexual activity. Many Teenagers Feel Safer Talking To A Planned Parenthood Staff Member Many teenagers feel safer talking to a Planned Parenthood staff member about sexual relationships rather than with their parents. It is surprising to hear that many teenagers have not discussed sex with their parents. When asked where they go to find their information the majority of the teenagers say their peers. For pregnant girls who are too afraid to approach their parents, the staff at a Planned Parenthood facility offers a supportive environment for anyone who is questioning whether or not to go through with their pregnancy. Many teenage girls find the facility non judgmental and easier to discuss all their available options. Planned Parenthood Coming To A School Near You! Planned Parenthood has facilities throughout the country. Some schools also encourage staff members from Planned Parenthood to come to their schools to educate students about the dangers of engaging in unprotected sex. With the education the facilities provide, more teenagers are aware of all their options and therefore tend to make more informed decisions about sex. Armed with more knowledge teenagers are better equipped to make intelligent decisions about sex. Whether a teenager chooses to abstain from sex or use protection, every parent generally agrees that a decline in overall teenage pregnancies is in everyone's best interest. I encourage parents and teens to seek out the services of Planned Parenthood, as parent and child alike would benefit from the education these facilities provide. If you are a parent having a difficult time talking to your child about sex, contact the Planned Parenthood facility nearest you.
Can a Woman With PCOS Get Pregnant?
One of the most common questions I get from women who are newly diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome is "Will I ever get pregnant?" I have not been able to find specific studies regarding fertility and PCOS-likely because it is so hard to track those who are successful in getting pregnant without medical intervention. One source said that women with PCOS have an 80-90 percent chance of having a baby, but I was unable to find any research studies to back this up. While some women with polycystic ovarian syndrome will not be able to get pregnant, I believe that the majority can and do eventually have healthy babies.
Calcium and Pregnancy
Studies show that most women do not get enough daily Calcium. And many pregnant women do not realize that the typical prenatal vitamin only contains 4-20% of the RDA of Calcium. Calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones, muscle contractions, nerve function and blood clotting. Calcium-deficiency results in decreased bone density (which in turn leads to osteoporosis and increased bone fracture risk), hypertension, preeclampsia, and increased cavities. There is also clinical evidence that correlates Calcium-deficiencies with preterm deliveries, low birth weight babies, high blood pressure in baby and cesarean sections. Our bodies cannot produce Calcium, therefore we must consume it. The Recommended Daily Allowance of Calcium for pregnant or, breastfeeding women, is 1,200 mg. Good sources of Calcium are listed on the bottom of this article. There is, however, much more to getting your daily allowance than just consuming 1,200 mg of calcium. There are many factors that contribute to how much calcium is actually absorbed by the body. For example;
How To Prepare For Natural Childbirth
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT BIRTH IS NATURAL, NORMAL AND HEALTHY.
Is Pregnancy Changes You?
People say pregnancy is a fun and exciting time. Probably they are right, but don't you think that behind the fun and excitement, you also feel the changes in your body. Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows that changes come with the nine months as the "Baby Carrier."
Very Early Signs of Pregnancy - Do You Know the 10 Pregnancy Signs?
Very early signs of pregnancy - are there 10 pregnancy signs? Yes, there are signs that indicate very early that you are pregnant. Some women will experience one or two of them, others will have several of the very early signs of pregnancy. Once you have conceived, it will take about a week for the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. As implantation happens, it's now possible to experience one or more of the 10 pregnancy signs and begin to know you are pregnant. Around this time, hormone levels begin to change, and the body reacts to these new hormone levels.
The Developing Child
We know the fetus is experiencing whatever is going on with the mother. This is the good news or the bad news as the case may be.
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