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The Foot Pain of Pregnancy

Meet our wonderful Podiatrist, and new mum, Rachael Crawford! Rachael has been with My FootDr Camp Hill since 2016, having joined the group shortly after graduating with Honours at Queensland University of Technology.

Today, Rachael is the proud mum of bouncing baby boy, Jack!

Join us now as the first-time mum, armed with her knowledge as a Podiatrist, shares with us some of the personal challenges she encountered during the development of her pre- and post-partum body.

 

“First of all, I’m going to assure you that not every aspect of my pregnancy was a walk in the park, with the physical reality of doing so a real struggle towards the end!

It was by then that I was carrying an extra 23kg kilos, and my feet had grown an entire shoe size bigger. I was certainly larger than life and feeling all the telltale niggles of the third trimester.
Apparently, the loosening of ligaments essential to helping your beautiful bub enter the world also has a similar effect on your feet and legs. Certainly eye-opening as to how weird and wonderfully adaptive our bodies truly are!

Unfortunately, the extra weight in addition to my ‘relaxed’ feet and legs gave rise to heel and arch pain, particularly in those first steps of the morning! Ouch. I knew immediately that these were signs of plantar fasciitis, a condition I have diagnosed in many of my patients over the years, whereby a long ligament connecting your toes to your heels is flattened and strained to the point where micro-tears can form. Adapting just as quickly as my body was changing, icing and strapping shortly became my friends, and arch support my bestie! Within no time I was back on my feet for my usual daily doggy-walking laps around the park relatively heel pain-free! It was in the final weeks of my pregnancy that I was occasionally jolted on by the odd quick zap of sciatica down my left leg.

Eventually, almost a week past our long-awaited due-date, my beautiful boy entered the world and made every previous niggle and struggle completely worthwhile!
However, I’m afraid that was not the tail end of my foot drama… Postpartum I was lucky enough to find a fungal nail infection in my right big toenail, and as many of the pregnant/breastfeeding mums know, there’s not much you can take or apply without precaution!

Fortunately, as a Podiatrist, I knew of the perfect solution. One that was safe to use whilst breastfeeding, and painless and effective; I choose Laser fungal treatment. It worked wonders by penetrating the nail with heat to kill the fungus in just a few treatments.
Nine months later, the pangs of motherhood have settled in, and my life with baby Jack is insanely fun! Reflecting back, I can certainly say that some of the changes to my body were permanent (bigger feet), and sadly, some more fleeting (bigger boobs). Needless to say, the knowledge I’ll take into future pregnancies is the importance of preserving my feet and legs. Because as a mum, these days I’m rarely off them!

 

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