Relaxin - Your Newest Frienemy

Pregnancy can be one of the most wonderful and magical times in a woman's life. Not only is there a new life forming and growing inside of your body, but there are also changes happening every day to your body in order to adapt and prepare for the arrival of your baby.


What is Relaxin?

One of these changes is the hormone Relaxin - which does exactly what it sounds like. It relaxes the ligaments around your hips and pelvis to prepare your body for childbirth. The problem is that it doesn’t discriminate which part of your body it affects and this is BAD NEWS for your feet.

Relaxin takes every strong ligament in your foot and arch and relaxes them, making them softer and more flexible. What was once strong is now looser and weakened. 


What does this mean?

As you gain natural weight throughout your pregnancy, you will start to put additional pressure on your arches. What was once nature’s way of keeping the bounce in your step, is now weaker and looser than it has ever been. Combine that with the added weight of baby and voila, they may start to collapse under the pressure. 


What could result from collapsed arches?

Bigger feet

Try to imagine turning a bow (from a bow and arrow) upside down on the floor. Now push down on it! It gets longer as you press down, removing the arc of the bow with the added pressure. Your foot is no different. As natural weight gain occurs, your body bears down on your arch.  This will may collapse and elongate your foot. When the hormone relaxin leaves your body after pregnancy, you may be left with a permanently longer foot. 

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is typically felt as a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near your heel. As your arches collapse during pregnancy, the main ligament on the bottom of your foot, called the plantar fascia, will begin to stretch and may become inflamed. This can be alleviated by keeping your arch supported before it becomes an issue. 


How can I prevent these problems?

The best way to prevent these problems from occurring is by supporting your feet properly! The easiest way to do so is by using the MommySteps insoles in your everyday footwear throughout your pregnancy. This will ensure your arches are well supported without sacrificing style or comfort!

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