Numb Hands During Pregnancy – 7 Most Causes and How To Avoid

Many pregnant women get numb hands or carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy. During pregnancy body of a woman goes through many changes including hormonal changes and numbness of hands and fingers. The numb hands during pregnancy are very common, and it happens when the tissue on the wrist hit with fluid buildup.  When the fluid buildup happens, it put pressure on the median nerve which runs between the hand and finger, and as a result, you will feel numbness and tingling.

Is it normal to have numb hands while pregnant?

numb hands during pregnancy

If you are one of those ladies who face the problem of swelling in hands and fingers during pregnancy, then you should know about its reasons and symptoms.  As per a conservative estimate, about 25% pregnant women are suffering from numb hands or tingling effect while pregnant.

In few cases, the situation will get to normal after the delivery without any medications. The situation will impair your finger movements and general comfort as you may feel pain when you wake in the morning. So if you ask the question is it normal to have numb hands while pregnant, I would like to say it is common during pregnancy.

It occurs in the second or third trimester, as noticed generally and it may recur in the later pregnancies if you had tingling and numb hands during the first pregnancy. Tingling or numb hands during pregnancy likely to occur in women who have a family history of numbness.  Further, it has noticed among women with back and neck problems.

Any problem on the ribcage section of your body can also be a reason for developing numbness during pregnancy because the median nerve runs on top of the ribcage section to the arm. So any damages such as whiplash injury or collar bone damage may increase the chances of having swollen and numb hands during pregnancy.

Read more :  11 Most Effective Tips To Relieve Sore Nipples During Pregnancy

Why women suffer from numb hands during pregnancy?

There can be many reasons for developing numbness on your hands during pregnancy. Here are some of the common reasons for it:

Numbness due to hormones:

Many pregnant women ask is it normal to have numb hands while pregnant? On medical terms, we cannot say it is a normal to have numbness during pregnancy, but it is very common. It happens due to various hormonal changes occurs while pregnant.

During the late stage of pregnancy the body produces more hormone relaxin, and as a result, the pelvic opening enlarges and soften.  Simultaneously, other joints also will show a relaxing tendency and tend to retain fluids around the joints.

Fluid retention around the joints, especially around the wrist will be a reason for increased pressure on the nerves that carry the sensory functions of the finger and hand. The increased pressure will be a reason for developing numb hands.

Why are my hands going numb while pregnant?

Hormonal imbalance:

Apart from hormonal imbalances, many other reasons attribute to have swollen and numb hands. As your baby is growing in your womb, your body feels more stressed, and it pulls your spine little forward at your lower back. You may also feel the changes in posture of your body due to all these changes in the body.

Physical changes:

It will be a reason for the natural alignment changes of the back and neck muscles. The physical changes can put pressure on your nerves on hands and fingers. All these physical reasons are responsible for numbness in your hands, fingers and other parts like your legs and belly. The skin of your stomach will be stretching out along with the growth of the baby, and you will also feel numbness and swelling in these body parts because of this physical changes.

Excess weight:

Overweight during pregnancy will also be yet another reason for developing numb hands. You may become excess weight if you are pregnant with more than one baby, natural overweight, and/or your breast enlarges during pregnancy.  All these will create excess pressure on your arms, shoulders, and ribs. As a result, you will have every chance to hit with numb hand during pregnancy.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the medical term for numb hands and tingling.  You can find the following symptom common during pregnancy if you have tingling and numb hands.


During pregnancy period, you will feel the tingling sensation on your various body parts because of hormonal imbalances.  The hormonal changes will prompt the body to retain more fluid around the joints, and subsequent swelling will put a lot of pressure on the wrist joints affecting the never sensation. The pressure on the joints will be a reason for developing tingling on a different part of the body such as legs, arms, and hands.


It is very normal that you will feel the problem of numbness on your various body joints during pregnancy. Tingling and numbness are the main reasons of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many pregnant women face the problem of waking up with numb hands during the pregnancy. You may face the numbness in your hands, arms, fingers, and legs.

It happens because of carpal tunnel syndrome due to the hormonal changes. Numbness is temporary during pregnancy period. If you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and engaging in a proper diet, sleep and exercise can reduce the effect of numb hand during pregnancy.

Read more : 6 Best Natural Remedies For Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy

How to keep hands from going numb while pregnant?

If you are searching for a drug-free solution to these problems, you may use some of the common solutions like using any wrist brace, sleeping with elevated hands and maintain your adequate hydration to get rid of swelling in your wrists. Wearing hand splints also can help to reduce numbness and subsequent pain.

Do some gentle exercises with your wrist and fingers which will contribute to reduce the swelling and force the fluid to move from the area.  Using cold water or bag of frozen peas is also very helpful to reduce the pain.  Placing fresh, frigid cabbage leaves over the swollen area can also be a good treatment to reduce the swelling.  You can just wrap the leaves around the wrist tightly and remove it once it is wet and repeat the process until the swelling is over.

Exercise and massage to reduce swollen and numb hands:

Massage the swollen area with the other hand in a circulation style, which can help to reduce the swelling and improve the blood circulation in the wrist area.  As a result, you will have instant relieve since the fluid start to move.

Don’t engage in vigorous exercises; instead, you can do gentle stretches which are also very helpful.  Try to massage the swollen area and massage from the hand towards the armpit, shoulders and neck area which can defuse the numbness.

Alternatively, you can try to keep your hands on the edge of the bed while sleeping, which can prevent curling of hand.

A balanced diet will also help you to prevent numbness and pain. As a good natural solution, you may consume plenty of water, reduce intake of salt, fat, and sugar.  Try to include more vegetables and fruits and make sure you have minimum 5 portions every day.

In addition to all these, you can go for complementary therapies like acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal treatment, osteopathy, and reflexology to reduce swollen and numb hands, and it’s recurring.

Read more : Kidney Pain Symptoms During Pregnancy And How To Relieve It ?

How can you prevent numbness?

Numbness can control by changing your food habits and lifestyles. Include vitamin B6 rich foods, hazelnuts, garlic, lean meat, fish, avocados, dark green vegetables, sesame and sunflower seeds.  Wearing proper maternity bra can reduce the pressure breastbone and ribcage, which can in effect reduce pressure on the median nerve running between the hand and fingers.


Numb hands during pregnancy is not a serious physical condition. In most of the cases, you can find pregnant women get back to their normal condition after the delivery.  It required a body resetting time and within 3 months of delivery, the body will regain its original state and the hormone and fluid level get back to normal.  To be on a safer side, when you face aggressive numbness beyond control, it is better to consult the physician.

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