Pregnancy and Pediatric Foot Health-Frequently asked quesions
January 11, 2012
1. How does pregnancy impact the feet?
Pregnancy can impact the feet in numerous ways, from overpronation and plantar fasciitis due to
increased body weight to an increase in foot size related to hormonal changes and leg
cramps because of impeded circulation.
2. Is it normal for my baby’s feet to look discolored or wrinkled or for his/her skin to peel when
he/she is born?
Babies spend anywhere from nine to 10 months in a shelter of protective fluid. The feet need just as
much time to fill out and turn a normal color as the rest of the body. Once you give birth, your obstetrician and
then later your pediatrician will look for obvious abnormalities of your baby’s feet and legs.
3. Are there certain things I can do to care for my baby’s feet?
Caring for your baby’s feet is no different than the care you provide to the rest of his/her body. Trim your child’s
toenails with baby nail clippers, making sure to cut straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Also, be sure to
thoroughly dry your baby’s feet after a bath. Try SmartKnit Kids Seamless Sensitivity Socks* – these soft,
anti-microbial socks don’t wrinkle or bunch and are proven to reduce irritation on your tot’s tootsies.
4. At what age should my child take his/her first step?
When physically and emotionally ready, your child will walk. Comparisons with other children are misleading,
since the age for independent walking ranges from 10 to 18 months.
5. When should I put my baby in his/her first pair of shoes?
When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Allowing your youngster to go barefoot or
to wear only socks helps the foot to grow normally and to develop its musculature and strength, as well as the
grasping action of toes. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, babies' feet should be protected
in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials. Try Pediped’s* – designed for infants and toddlers up
to two years old, these soft, hand-stitched shoes provide a safe environment for tiny toes while allowing plenty of
room for foot growth and muscle development.
6. When should I take my child to child to see a podiatrist?
The APMA recommends having your child examined by a podiatrist, if there is a family history
of foot problems, once he/she begins to walk to make sure his/her feet are progressing normally.
7. When is a child’s foot fully developed, and why is this important?
Full skeletal maturity takes place in most individuals between the ages of 18 to 23 years of age. Foot maturity
continues while many children are active on their feet. It is important to have your child’s feet checked regularly
by a podiatrist.
8. What steps should be taken to make sure a child’s feet are not at risk when participating in sports?
When your child participates in sports, make sure he/she wears sport-specific shoes that fit properly. He/she
should also warm up and cool down before and after participating in a sport and avoid poor outside playing
conditions, such as very wet grass.
For more information or to schedule an appointment call Dr. Bryant Tarr or visit his website at www.sudburypodiatry.com or www.westfordpodiatry.com