Pregnancy: Hand Changes

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Topic Overview

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).

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014