Pregnancy Information Center

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Numbness and Tingling During Pregnancy: Your Symptoms Manual


What Numbness and Tingling During Pregnancy Are

Carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which may result in numbness, tingling, weakness or muscle damage in the hand and fingers. It feels like pins and needles in your thumb and index finger. Sometimes you'll feel this sensation in your whole hand and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome can happen anytime during pregnancy. 

Why Numbness and Tingling During Pregnancy Happen

Water retention is the culprit here. It causes swelling of the carpal tunnel, a ring of fibers around the wrist, under which the nerve passes. The swelling causes pressure on the nerve that passes from the arm to the hand. 


How to Relieve Numbness and Tingling During Pregnancy

To relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, try the following:

  • Wear a wrist splint at night.

  • If the splint isn't helping, ask your healthcare provider if it should be tightened.

  • Hold your hand above your head and wiggle your fingers.

  • Sleep with your arm on a pillow.

  • See an acupuncturist for acupuncture treatments. 

  • See a physical therapist for physical therapy.

  • Take frequent breaks to rest your hands. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy should disappear soon after delivery. 

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