Swollen hands and feet in pregnancy

Swelling or puffiness of your hands and feet is common in late pregnancy.

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.

Read more


NHS Choices Swollen ankles, feet and fingers in pregnancy https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/swollen-ankles-feet-pregnant/ (Page last reviewed: 28/02/2018 Next review due: 28/02/2021)

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Last reviewed on September 27th, 2018. Next review date September 21st, 2021.

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Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.

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