Pregnancy: Hand Changes
During pregnancy, changes in the hands are common.
- Mild swelling of your hands may be caused by the normal buildup of fluid during pregnancy.
- Red, itchy palms and soles of the feet are caused by changing hormone levels. The symptoms go away after delivery. Moisturizers may give some relief.
- An occasional pins-and-needles sensation may occur in the hands for no obvious reason. It is not known why this occurs in pregnant women, but it usually is not a cause for concern. Sometimes changing position helps relieve symptoms.
- Numbness and pain that occur in your thumb, index finger, middle finger, or half of your ring finger may be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome . This condition is more common during pregnancy because the normal buildup of fluid puts pressure on nerves in your wrist. Symptoms usually go away after pregnancy.
Swelling also can be a more serious sign of preeclampsia, a problem related to pregnancy. For more information, see the topic Pregnancy-Related Problems. Swelling of your hands during pregnancy may be more serious when you have other symptoms, such as:
- Swelling or puffiness in your face.
- Weight gain of 2 lb (0.9 kg) or more over a 24-hour period.
- An elevated blood pressure.
- Protein in your urine (a lab test is required to check for protein).
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology