Hormones are responsible for a whole host of body changes during pregnancy and one of their lesser-known abilities is to transform normally sweet-smelling, maintenance-free feet into things that smell like something the cat dragged in. Perspiration in pregnancy is common. Combine that with swollen feet due to water retention, weight gain and shoes that just don't fit properly any more and you have the perfect recipe for stinky pregnancy feet. Good personal hygiene is your first line of defence, but if that isn't enough to keep the beast at bay, ask you doctor or midwife for advice about stronger antibacterial foot products that are safe for use during pregnancy.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Mild soap or shower gel
- Baby powder
Wash you feet with a mild soap at least twice a day to get rid of the sweat before it takes hold. Fresh perspiration doesn't smell - it's the bacteria on your skin breaking down the sweat and as it decomposes that gives off that unmistakable cheesy odour.
Dry your feet thoroughly and top them off with a dusting of baby powder. Dampness and warmth encourages bacteria to grow, so pay particular attention to between your toes. That's often easier said than done when you have a huge pregnancy bump to contend with so if you can't reach your toes comfortably, give them a gentle once-over with a hairdryer to see off any lingering dampness.
Change your socks every time you wash your feet and put on a dry pair of shoes if possible. According to chiropodist Lorraine Jones of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, allowing your shoes to air between uses significantly reduces the smell so alternate your footwear and don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
Wear cotton socks or socks designed for extra airflow; some of these also have an additional antibacterial coating in the cotton to increase their effectiveness. Nylon and polyester socks or tights don't allow your skin to breathe, making your feet hot and sweaty, so stick to natural fibres such as cotton.
Ask your doctor or midwife for advice if regular washing and footcare isn't working. Over-the-counter medicated or antibacterial foot washes and powders are ideal under normal circumstances, but check with your health professional before using them during pregnancy.
Tips and warnings
- Never take any supplements during pregnancy unless your doctor tells you they are safe. Some herbal remedies claim to reduce sweating, however even natural products may be harmful to your unborn baby.
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