According to a new study published in American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation pregnancy can permanently change the size and shape of women's feet. Flattening and swelling of the feet are common complaints during pregnancy but researchers have found in some subjects the feet morphology may not reverse after childbirth. A small study of 49 pregnant women was conducted at University of Iowaand the results confirmed up to 70% of cases, feet became longer and wider after the first trimester and these changes remained five months after giving birth. Results confirmed foot arches dropped during pregnancy while the length of the foot increased by between 2mm and 10mm (approx up to one shoe size). In the general population women are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal disorders, this is especially high in women who have had children. Researchers believe resultant osteoarthrosis caused by permanent physical change to the feet during pregnancy may explain, at least in part, why men suffer less symptoms from osteoarthrosis in their feet, knees, hips, and spines.
Segal, N. A. Boyer, E R. Teran-Yengle, P. Glass N. A. MA.Hillstrom, H. J. Yack, H. J. Pregnancy Leads to Lasting Changes in Foot Structure American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: March 2013 - Volume 92 - Issue 3 - p 232–240