This month we talk to one of our Podiatrists (and new Mum!) Vanessa Houghton, who took time out of her busy schedule of feeding, *trying* to sleep, and squeezing in emails to have a quick chat.
Firstly, your patients will be wanting news!...
We had a boy, Hugo. He was born at 3pm on the 1st of September weighing 3.57kg or 7 pounds 8 ounces in the old scale.
I will be off the Junction grid for a little while, settling into motherhood and enjoying some time at home!
Of course, after being told he was healthy and breathing, the first thing I did was check his feet.
(laughs) Yes the numbers of toes is meant to be 10, right?
But it does raise an interesting point. A lot of new parents don’t realise their baby’s feet are meant to look flat and can be concerned. Babies are born with a pad of fat in the arch area. This is just because of course their foot and leg muscles are not developed enough to support their arches when they first begin to stand. The arch develops in the early toddler years, about 2 or 3. So I will be closely checking that out!
And what if they don’t?
It is true that some children do remain truly flat-footed, and if an arch never appears, we usually know by the time they are 4 or 5. In my career I have occasionally had young patients referred by paediatricians just to treat and manage the condition.
What does that involve?
I have seen arch supports work well. Special daily stretching exercises can also help with pain or cramps.
What else do we need to look for in precious little feet and toes?
A baby’s feet are so soft and flexible, so your instinct is to protect them until the cartilage converts to bone. When I am at work, I often recommend to new parents that they don’t rush in to shoes too quickly. I am grateful for all the knitted booties we were given as baby gifts, as socks and soft shoes are actually perfect for babies! They offer a bit of gentle protection but plenty of space and room for toes to wiggle, stretch and move around.
Any other tips for babies’ feet?
Let your baby have time once a day with bare feet so they can exercise. I will be practicing what I preach and making bath time for toe tickling and movement.
When will we see you again?
All my patients are being well looked after by my lovely friends at Junction. I am looking forward to bringing in the photos and showing off next month!
Our team are qualified to see patients of all ages. If you have anyone in your care with little feet and toes you would like our opinion on, call us on 9250 1676 or book online.