Side Effects of Pregnancy

Pregnancy Makes Your Feet Grow and 9 Other Unexpected Side Effects

Pregnancy Makes Your Feet Grow and 9 Other Unexpected Side Effects

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about the side effects of pregnancy.


Researchers have confirmed what I and my massive feet have known for years: pregnancy can increase a mom-to-be's shoe size — permanently.

I noticed the change during my first pregnancy when my comfy ballet flats suddenly became a lot less comfy. I expected to outgrow my skinny jeans, but the shoes came as a bit of a surprise. I wasn't too worried at the time, though, figuring maybe my feet were just swollen.

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I had my daughter and eventually lost (well, almost) all the baby weight, but my feet sadly have remained almost a half a shoe size bigger than they were prepregnancy. They weren't small to begin with — at almost six feet tall, there's not much about me that's petite — so that half-size has practically bumped me into Sasquatch territory.

"I had heard women reporting changes in their shoe size with pregnancy but found nothing about that in medical journals or textbooks," says Dr. Neil Segal, the University of Iowa researcher who led the study. "In order to study this more scientifically, we measured women's feet at the beginning of their pregnancy and five months after delivery. We found that pregnancy does indeed lead to permanent changes in the feet."

It's thought that the phenomenon, which seems to occur mainly during a woman's first pregnancy, could be due to the increased looseness of the joints during pregnancy, as well as the fact that all that extra weight can cause the foot to flatten and lengthen.

Did your feet get bigger during pregnancy? Did they stay that way? As most moms know firsthand, bigger feet aren't the only surprising side effect that pregnancy can bring . . . Thankfully not all of these are permanent! Did you experience any of these other odd pregnancy side effects?

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