Anthropometric foot changes during pregnancy: a pilot study

Background: Women’s feet change during pregnancy owing to hormonal and anatomical changes, thus having a strong influence on the decrease in their quality of life during pregnancy. This preliminary study aimed to value the anthropometric and positional changes that affect their feet.

Methods: Ten pregnant women were measured during their gestational period to analyze the anthropometric changes in their feet from the 12th week of pregnancy. We examined the changes that occured in foot length, forefoot width, arch of the foot height, and the fixed position of the foot by using the Foot Posture Index, and we analyzed three intervals corresponding to pregnancy weeks 12, 24, and 34.

Results: The most significant finding, with a reliability rate of 95%, is the decrease in internal arch height, which descends 0.65 mm (0.0394 inches) on average at the final stage of the pregnancy period. This change happened in 18 of the feet analyzed, tending toward pronation according to the measure provided by the Foot Posture Index, with a change of 3.78 points on this scale.

Conclusions: The foot of the pregnant woman tends to flatten during gestational weeks 12 to 34, taking a more pronated posture, and the anthropometric changes in late pregnancy result in increases in foot length and forefoot width, changes that seem to be moderate.

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