Tommy's PregnancyHub

Swollen hands and feet in pregnancy

Swelling or puffiness of your hands and feet is common in late pregnancy.
Maternity care is still essential during the coronavirus pandemic and services are still running. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy call your GP, midwife, nearest early pregnancy unit or maternity unit.

This is because your body holds more water than usual when you are pregnant.

Normal swelling in pregnancy:

  • is often worse at the end of the day
  • happens in late pregnancy
  • comes on gradually
  • gets better when you lie down
  • will appear in both feet.

You should call your midwife or hospital maternity unit immediately if you have:

  • a sudden increase in swelling in your face, hands or feet
  • a very bad headache  or a dull headache that won’t go away
  • problems with your vision, such as blurring or flashing lights
  • severe pain just below your ribs
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • feeling unwell.

These could be symptoms of pre-eclampsia.

Things you can do to avoid and ease swelling

Try to:

  • avoid standing for a long time
  • wear comfortable shoes and socks – avoid tight straps or anything that might pinch if your feet swell
  • when you rest put your feet up as much as you can
  • drink at least 8 medium glasses of water a day – this helps your body get rid of excess water
  • stay active.

NHS Choices Swollen ankles, feet and fingers in pregnancy (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2018 Next review due: 28/02/2021)

Review dates
Reviewed: 27 September 2018 | Next review: 27 September 2021

This content is currently being reviewed by our team. Updated information will be coming soon.