28 answers

Numbness and Swelling in Fingers

Hello ladies,
I thought I would turn to you all, yet again, before I make ANOTHER call to my doctor. I am due on Feb. 12 but I have been taken off work and put on light bed rest as of Jan.13 doe to severe edema and back pain. Luckily my blood pressure has been excellent this whole time, so docs aren't concerned about that. FOr the past month or so I have been experiencing instant numbness in my fingers, but it usually goes away. I have not said anything to the doctors because I never think about it when I am there. Today, however, I have noticed that my hands are VERY achy and they are swelled. Usually the numbness just goes away but it hurts to even open a bottle of water. Has anyone ever experienced this in their pregnancy? If so, what are your suggestions? Should I be high tailng it to my doc, give him a call, or wait until next Wednesday, which is when I go again? Thank you all for your help!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I didn't have swelling, but I did have numbness and tingling in my hands, especially when I was driving. Dr. said it is a form of carpel tunnel and will subside after childbirth, which it did.

This happened to me as well. Doctor said the swelling causes carpel tunnel and that is what causes the pain and numbness. It all went away shortly after giving birth.

I never had this when I was pregnant, but I have carpal tunnel syndrome now and if I have swelling in the hands, it will cause it to act up.

More Answers

I had numbness and swelling in all my extremities during my pregnancy because of poor circulation. If it is just in your hands and fingers, it could be carpal tunnel. I had carpal tunnel while pregnant and I had to wear the braces, go to physical therapy and use ultrasound therapy to try to increase circulation. Doing hand exercises, squeeze some play-doh, if you have some beads. put them in the play-doh and pick them out individually. I know it sounds crazy but it will increase circluation. Try to keep your hands up, if they are bent down or straight out like you are typing the circulation is decreased. If you have an ace bandage you can try loosly wrapping them up while you sleep to increase circulation. Search the internet for carpal tunnel physical therapy exercises, see if can get anymore ideas. If you have carpal tunnel just be glad it will go away after you deliver. Hope this helps, good luck!

That happened to me with my first one, and will probably happen again with this one. It is most likely Carpal Tunnel. When I had troubles with this when I wasn't pregnant wrist braces worked. I found the braces actually made it worse when I was pregnant. Pay attention to how you position your hands when you sleep and how you push up off the bed. I found I was sleeping with my hands curled against my chest, which hyper extended my wrists and put pressure against the tendon. The pain got to the point I couldn't push myself into a sitting position from my side.

For me, the solution was that everytime I caught myself curling my hands in I's flatten out my hands and wrists. It helped to put my hands together and put them under my pillow. I was less likely to pull them out. Doing this helped a lot. I also changed the way I pushed myself up from my side. Instead of pushing up with the palm of my hand and bending my wrist back, I pushed up with a fist so I didn't bend my wrist.

This lasted for a while past delivery but then went a way. Probably when things tightened back up and couldn't flex as far.

i had numbness & swelling in my hands & fingers during the 3rd trimester & my midwife & ob said it was okay...however, since you are on bedrest, i would give your doc a call. you never know!

I would wake up at night from numbness in my hands, and discovered you can get carpal tunnel syndrome from pregnancy (looked on website aboutr carpal tunnel). It went away right after I had the baby. I would mention it to your doctor though.

I remember telling my OB that my hands hurt and were numb and they scheduled me to be induced. (After this I used to tell people to tell the doc their hands were numb if they wanted to be induced!)

I was a little closer to my due date than you, but you may want to call in this symptom, in case it is serious.

Since then I have carpal tunnel. It's pretty bad and just awful if I aggravate my wrist from some type of work. I guess carpal tunnel is often brought on by pregnancy. I hope this isn't the case for you.

Good luck!

It could be pregnancy-related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, espcially if you're really swollen. I had it, but it was mostly at night. (Most people naturally curl their wrists when they sleep, and it further blocks the carpal tunnel.) If it's particularly bothersome, you should tell your doctor. They can give you Cortisone shots in your wrists to decrease swelling of the carpal tunnel, and provide some relief.

I'm not a doctor, though. It's just a thought.

Call your doctor. That is what they are for.

In the meantime, drink LOTS of fluid, esp. water. You are probably retaining water.


J., The same thing happened with my sister. By chance has your doctor checked your sugar? This sounds suspiciously like symptoms of Gestational Diabetes that she had. Talk to your doctor and make sure that he understands all of your symptoms even if you think they are not a problem they could be a sign that there is a problem. Stay healthy and good luck.

It sounds to be carpal tunnel. When I was pregnant with my twin girls I couldn't even sleep because of the pain in my ring and middle finger due to carpal tunnel from the babies pushing on a nerve. It faded after they were born but still to this day I still feel the numbness sometimes. I have had 5 children and the was the worst thing I experienced through any of my pregnancies. Even worse than the back pain!!!! Talk to your dr. about it but if it is carpal tunnel there is nothing you can do about it. Try also keeping your hands up higher than you belly so the blood isn't rushing straight to your hands. I used to rest them on my stomach once I got that big. Good Luck!!


I would call your doctor now. You need to have your blood pressure taken again because the swelling is getting worse. It is always better to be safe.


could be carpultunel (not sure about spelling) I had to get braces and wear during both of my pregnancies becasue mine got so irritating, I could not sleep at night, but since you are due real soon, you may just wait it out and see if it goes away. Mentioning it to your would be fine just to let them know that you are having some numbness.

Your numbness is probably from a pinched nerve which goes away when you sit down and relax.The achyness is most likely water retention, it will go away after the baby. But please do talk to your Dr. about it.Remember every pregnancy is different.

I just had my first baby 12/29 and had issues with my hand going numb through out the entire pregnancy and my doctor assured me that is was pregnancy induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Nothing you can do about. It didn't bother me once I knew what it was, it was just weird.

First you need to say something to your doctor. Alot of times during pregnacy we devolop carpel tunnel due to the swelling we experience due to the baby. I did it with my second. My sister-in-law developed it with her third and my friend had it with her first. Sometimes it goes away and sometimes it does require surgery. It should be monitored so please mention it to the doc.

Hi, J., hope you are feeling better. I finally had a chance to check my mail today....I normally wouldn't respond, because there has been a lot of responses. I think mine is a little different. I had the carpal tunnel due to pregnancy with my first.(I have 6) I also had the pre-eclampasia. It is great that your blood pressure is doing well. That is a sign your doing somethings right. Hows your diet? I know the Dr.s and midwives generally tell prg. women to reduce the salt. My midwife says use as much sea salt as you like. Also, are you eating eggs regularly?(at least 2 a day) They are very important, plus other protein. Even though I knew all of this info, with my 5th child I started down a slippery slope and was not watching my diet, skipping eggs...My blood pressure sky rocketed. I went to the hospital and they wanted to induce right away and give me something to lower my blood pressure. I was scared to death and I did not want to go that route. I signed myself out of the hospital and with the help of a good friend, she fed me about a dozen eggs that evening. I went back to the hospital the next day, resigned to whatever they thought was right, and when they checked my bp it was down to 115/80! I believe in the power of eggs. Have them anyway you like, just have them! Check out the Brewer diet also you might visit a web site home4birth and go to the nutrition section. I don't believe they state it is the brewer diet, but it is very close. Hope this helps. Hang in there! You'll soon have that baby in your arms! CONGRATULATIONS!

I didn't have swelling, but I did have numbness and tingling in my hands, especially when I was driving. Dr. said it is a form of carpel tunnel and will subside after childbirth, which it did.

I urge to to call your doctor right now. That can be a sign of preeclampsia and very serious to you and your baby. It could also be nothing, but better safe than sorry! Good luck!

Hi J., I had the same thing happening to me during my recent pregnancy. I worked in an office and used a computer 8 hours a day and by the time I would leave at night, my hands/wrists would be aching so bad I could barely stand to drive. Pregnancy hormones can actually cause a carpal tunnel flare-up, and it is safe to have the testing done by a neurologist while you are pregnant. The testing itself is basically a series of electric shocks similar to the "zap" you feel when you walk across the carpet in your socks and touch someone else lol. Call your OB and tell him/her about what's going on. Dr. may want to refer you to a neurologist before the baby's born. If it's pregnancy related CTS, it may clear up on its own after the baby's born, but it's not an overnight thing. My son is almost 5 months old and I am still having problems, the CTS tests came back negative, but my doc is now checking for Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Good luck with your pregnancy and congrats on the new little one!

I never had this when I was pregnant, but I have carpal tunnel syndrome now and if I have swelling in the hands, it will cause it to act up.

I would call the dr just to be safe, that is what they are there for. Have you been eating more foods that are loaded in sodium? I had some issues with swelling my 3rd trimester and cut back on the high sodium foods and it went down.

Congrats and good luck!!

if you have a history of ecclampsia then you need to give your doc a call, it can't hurt to go in to get your blood pressure checked and your urine checked!!! remember your goal is a healthy mom and healthy baby!!!!

Sounds like you need to be drinking some green tea (drink the flavored ones if you don't like it plain). Green tea has a chemical that triggers, not only fat loss but also helps you get rid of excess water. Make SURE you're getting at LEAST 1/2 your body weight in ounces of WATER daily. DO NOT drink sodas of ANY kind. Sodium (water retention......) or other processed foods that are normally high in sodium.

Secondly, YOU NEED TO BUY A COPY OF PAIN FREE WOMEN by Pete Egoscue. The back pain is normally a result of the repositioning of the pelvis. YOU CAN CHANGE THAT AND RELIEVE your back pain. Same thing w/ the numbness.

Many times I see clients w/ numbness who have dropped shoulders (your hands are on the front of your thighs when you stand up rather than at your sides with your THUMBS ONLY facing forward) Realize that when this occurs, you've now restricted blood flow as well as the neurological system in the shoulder. If you look at neurological anatomy, you'll see that the nerves that go to the fingers START at the neck. YOu may ALSO have forward head posture.

I'm a certified posture alignment & pain management specialist. I see this stuff ALL THE TIME! Change the position of the shoulders and you'll get rid of the numbness. In addition, WATCH SLEEPING ON YOUR SIDE! This contributes LARGELY to the numbness. When you sleep on either shoulder, you are putting CONSTANT pressure on the joint, circulatory system AND neurological system. Try opening up your chest a bit if you HAVE to sleep on your side. THIS HELPS TREMEMDOUSLY. In addition, this is how I recommend clients transition to learning to sleep on their backs.

When your hands/fingers are number and/or swelling, stand with your heels against a wall and FEET PARALLEL to each other - perpendicular to the wall, EVERYTHING against the wall IF you can.....hips, shoulders, head (not necessarily low back) Arms are open at a 45 degree angle to your sides & the wall. Press your shoulders back and down....like you're trying to squeeze your shoulder blades against the wall. Squeeze & release at least 20-30 times. This should help. IF YOU FEEL DISCOMFOR & TUGGING..DO NOT STOP!!! This is because the muscles are being re-educated and helping to strengthen the muscles & re-position the joints.
You should notice a difference in BOTH swelling AND numbness.

It's probably carpal tunnel. It should go away after delivery. I had the same thing, but mine did not go away. My doctor thinks its the start of arthtis. I know take mortrin when it flares up and it stops the pain. Hang in there and wait until after delivery to see how your hands feel, and if it persists see your doctor.

It sounds like pregnancy induced Carpal Tunnel. I did not have it, but my friend that just had her baby had it pretty badly. They did give her some wrist supports to wear and she said that helped a lot. I would mention it to your doctor at the next appointment and see if you can try those wrist guards before getting any shots. Worth a try.

This happened to me as well. Doctor said the swelling causes carpel tunnel and that is what causes the pain and numbness. It all went away shortly after giving birth.

First all...hang in there it's almost over!!! :) I just had a baby at the end of October and had the same thing. I am trusting that you have already been tested for preeclampsia. The last 2 weeks I had complete numbness in my fingertips. Part of the problem is that at this point there is just no where else for the fluid to go...the baby and all of the fluids that you are retaining are pressing on nerves that are making your feet and now your hands swell and go numb. My advice is to do what the doctor says...stay off your feet! Keep them elevated! And drink as much water as you can possibly intake in a day! Yeah, I know it isn't much fun...but the feeling does come back...I promise! The good news is that when you actually have the baby you will lose like 4 -5 pounds a day! :) Our bodies our amazing...it is crazy to think that our bodies can hold that much fluid...LOL. Know the warning signs of preeclampsia...but YES...I am sorry to say the numbness is part of the miracle/fun/pleasure of being pregnant...LOL. Good luck and congratulations!!!!

In the last trimester of my pregnancy carpel tunnel kicked in big time. My left hand was worse than my right hand...but it was aweful. It went from numbness to burning especially while I was sleeping. Carpel tunnel is common enough during pregnancy. However, you mentioned swelling in your hands. I did not have swelling in my hands. You should call your doctor because if I remember correctly, swelling in the hands and face can be a sign of toxemia. Give your doctor a call and see what they think needs to happen next. Better safe than sorry.

I had severe swelling all over my body when I was pregnant. I also had pre-eclampsia, but that's linked to high blood pressure. It could be that the swelling is affecting the circulation in your hands. If you're concerned, call your doctor. That's what they're there for!

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