Healthy Living

Kim Kardashian's Swollen Feet: Why Does Pregnancy Cause Foot Size Increase? [VIDEO]

Kim Kardashian swollen feet pregnancy high heels
Kim Kardashian’s swollen feet make it difficult for the heavily pregnant reality star to squeeze into high heels, but she's doing it anyway. Doctors recommend pregnant women against uncomfortable shoes. Gossipy.co via Twitter

Kim Kardashian's swollen feet make it difficult for the reality star to squeeze into high heels at this late stage of her pregnancy, she announced last week.

Even so, the 32-year-old celebrity is still suffering for fashion, reports The Daily Mail-- she was photographed yesterday with her swollen feet severely pinched by impractical footwear, while filming an episode of her reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Pregnant women often experience swollen feet, partially because the extra baby weight adds extra pressure to the lower body, flattening the arches of the feet and increasing foot size by a half size or more. Pregnancy hormones also loosen ligaments in the feet, and slower circulation to the extremities causes blood to pool in the feet.

That change is usually most dramatic after a first pregnancy, like Kim Kardashian's.

Doctors recommend that pregnant women accept the growth of their feet, and do what they can to limit their discomfort.

"Too-tight shoes weaken the muscles in the ball of the foot and the ligaments that hold the toes straight," Dr. Ronald Smith, the associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, told Parenting. "And that can set the stage for foot problems."

Those problems can include corns, ingrown nails, and bunions, which are bumps that grown from friction with tight shoes. High heels are especially likely to cause these difficulties.

Kardashian is clearly neglecting such advice. With all her resources, however, she is likely to find some way to avoid the fate of many other pregnant women: permanently swollen feet.

A recent study conducted by Dr. Neil Segal of the University of Iowa found that foot swelling and loss of arch height can last long beyond pregnancy. In a sample of 49 pregnant women, at least 60 percent still had swollen feet five months after they gave birth.

Segal suggested that pregnant women whose feet swell are at a higher risk for arthritis later on, and hopes to conduct further research on foot rehabilitation measures to reduce permanent swelling.

Even if Kardashian continues to insist on donning stilettos in her late trimester, pregnant women with more limited resources would do well not to follow her lead. At the very least, they are advised to wear seamless socks, exercise and stretch regularly, and stay hydrated.

Check out these videos for more tips on dealing with swollen feet during pregnancy:

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