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Women might expect to need new clothes after giving birth. But a bigger pair of shoes? Well, yeah. Because pregnancy can virtually actually lengthen and widen a woman's feet. That's according to a study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that's probably not a surprise to a lot of women. Neil Segal, a rehab postdoc doc at the University of Iowa, heard that some local women had to don larger shoes after pregnancy. So he and colleagues measured the fleet feet of 49 women during their first semester trimester and again five months after childbirth. Indeed, nearly half the women went up a shoe size after childbirth, to accommodate their longer, flatter feet. And multiple pregnancies may add to that effect, Segal says. Pregnant women produce a hormone called "relaxin," which makes the pelvis more flexible. That's good for childbirth. But the hormone can affect joints and ligaments elsewhere, like in the foot. Adding pregnancy right weight to that flexibility can lead to permanent flattening of the foot's arch - associated with knee and hip pain in older women. Segal's now investigating whether custom shoe insert scan keep protect women against that risk, and help get motherhood off on the right foot.