Numb Hands While Pregnant Tingling Hands While Pregnant

Summary: Numb hands during pregnancy is a common symptom caused by hormonal changes, weight gain, and pressure on nerves. It can be managed through simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

1. Causes of numb hands during pregnancy

Numbness in the hands is mostly a result of carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, is compressed at the wrist. It is more common in pregnant women due to hormonal changes leading to water retention, which causes swelling in the hands. Additionally, the increased weight and pressure of the uterus on the nerves in the wrists and hands can exacerbate the symptoms.

The use of certain medications during pregnancy, such as steroids and antibiotics, can also cause numbness in the hands. In rare cases, numbness can be a sign of a deeper underlying condition such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders.

Poor posture and repetitive hand movements can cause strain in the hands leading to numbness. This is especially common if you have a desk job that requires typing and working on a computer, which leads to wrist injuries and puts you at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

2. Symptoms and diagnosis

Numb hands can be identified by the feeling of tingling or pins and needles in the fingers and hands. Other symptoms include sharp pain in the wrists or forearms, difficulty gripping objects, and weakness. The symptoms may occur at any time, but are typically worse at night or in the morning.

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome involves testing the sensations of the affected hand, measuring muscle strength, and checking for tingling sensations. Doctors may also perform nerve conduction tests by sending electrical impulses through the hand to assess the functioning of the nerves.

If you experience numbness in your hands during pregnancy, don’t ignore it and make sure it’s evaluated by a medical professional.

3. Lifestyle changes to manage symptoms

In most cases, the symptoms of numb hands during pregnancy can be effectively managed using simple lifestyle changes. These can include:

  • Maintain good posture to prevent unnecessary strain on your wrists and avoid slouching when seated at work.
  • Taking short breaks from repetitive tasks involving your hands can help to stretch out your hands, improving circulation and reducing wrist strain.
  • Sleeping with your hands elevated with pillows can reduce pressure on the nerves in your hands while you sleep.
  • Stretching exercises such as hand and wrist flexes or rotatory movements can alleviate tightness or pain in your hands. It is important to perform these exercises gently and not push your hands too hard, to avoid further injury.
  • Avoiding tight-fitting bracelets, wristwatches, or clothing that could exacerbate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

4. Medical treatment for severe symptoms

If lifestyle modifications are unable to alleviate the symptoms of numb hands during pregnancy, medical treatment may be necessary. This can involve medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids to reduce swelling and inflammation around the nerves.

Wrist splints, which hold the wrist in a neutral position, can also relieve pressure on the median nerve and reduce symptoms. In severe cases where numbness continues and interferes with daily life, surgery may sometimes be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve.

It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of any medical treatment options with your doctor before making any decision.

5. Preventing numb hands during pregnancy

Prevention of numb hands during pregnancy can be achieved by following simple measures:

  • If you work on a computer or other repetitive tasks with your hands, take frequent break intervals to rest your hands and improve blood flow.
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands, keeping them bent for long periods, or falling asleep in awkward positions.
  • Stay hydrated; dehydration can lead to swelling, causing pressure to build up in the tissue surrounding the nerves.
  • Do regular low-impact exercises that boost circulation such as swimming, walking, and prenatal yoga. This helps to maintain muscle tone and decreases swelling in your hands and feet.


Numb hands are a common symptom that many women experience during pregnancy. It can affect daily activities, but there are several lifestyle changes and medical treatments available to help manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. By staying aware of the early signs and prevention measures, you can reduce the risk of developing numb hands during pregnancy. Consult with a medical professional before making any decisions on treatments or preventive measures.

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