When you could no longer fit into the shoe size you'd worn all your life, you blamed it on your pregnancy. Now there's scientific proof that you were right.
The majority of women who participated in a small new study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation saw their feet grow during pregnancy. Researchers found that the loss of the foot's arch -- a common thing that happens to women who are pregnant -- may actually be permanent.
The study only included 49 pregnant women, whose feet arches were measured when they first got pregnant (during their first trimester) and then 19 weeks after they'd had their babies.
More than half of the women -- 60 to 70 percent of them -- experienced that their feet grew. Their feet grew in length by 2 to 10 millimeters and their foot arches dropped, though researchers didn't note any differences in foot pressure.
"Pregnancy seems to be associated with a permanent loss of arch height, and the first pregnancy may be the most significant," researchers wrote in the study.
That could also help to explain why women who have had children seem to be more likely to develop arthritis, though more research is needed to confirm this possibility, researchers noted.
"We know that women, and especially women who have had children, are disproportionately affected by musculoskeletal disorders," study researcher Dr. Neil Segal, M.D., associate professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at the University of Iowa, said in a statement. "It is possible that these foot changes that occur during pregnancy may help explain why, in comparison with men, women are at higher risk for pain or arthritis in their feet, knees, hips and spines."
Have you ever experienced a change in foot size after pregnancy? Tell us about it in the comments!