Pregnancy – Why Are My Fingers Swollen?

Swollen fingers are often par for the course during pregnancy. Eighty percent of pregnant women complain of swelling (oedema), not just in the fingers but also in their legs, feet and ankles. Particularly in the latter stages of pregnancy, it is common for extra fluid to accumulate in the tissues of your body. It seems to be more prevalent at the end of the day and often improves markedly during sleep, when the body is at rest and can settle down for some hours.

Women who experience swollen fingers should consider leaving rings off for the duration of the pregnancy to avoid affecting circulation if the rings become too tight for comfort.

It can be beneficial to exercise the fingers to ease the discomfort of the swelling. The following exercises are useful:

  • Flex and contract the fingers
  • Make a fist and then open hand completely
  • Stretch fingers apart repeatedly
  • Open and close your hands
  • Shake your hands with your fingers relaxed

If your swollen fingers are particularly concerning you, you might consider visiting your doctor.

Swollen fingers during pregnancy can be a sign of high blood pressure and as such, should be reported to your doctor. She will take your blood pressure reading and determine if the swelling is normal fluid retention or if there is reason to begin a course of action to reduce the pressure. If there are other symptoms such as blurred vision, puffy face or severe headaches, you must call your doctor immediately. Also tell her if the swelling is not relieved by rest, if it is more than slight, and if you have swelling in other parts of your body.

While it’s likely to be nothing to be concerned about, swollen fingers can be an indicator of health issues that require attention, so be vigilant and always keep your doctor informed.


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