Swelling Fingers Mean Ditching Rings in Pregnancy

Rings in pregnancy
Photo © tmarvin/Getty Images

Swelling in pregnancy can be very normal. You will really see this both as your pregnancy progresses and during the summer months. While you probably have assumed that your feet would swell, you may not expect that your hands will swell potentially as well. This can cause your fingers to swell to the point where wearing your rings is dangerous.

Molly remembers the first time her rings got stuck: "It was summer and I simply wasn't thinking.

It was getting hard to take my rings off in the evening when I was ready for bed. Like a fool, I kept putting them on. So when I couldn't get them off one night, I panicked. My husband laughed and laughed. He laughed until she cried. I was so mad. We finally got it off with some lotion and me sitting with my hand over my head for awhile."

If you can prevent your rings from getting stuck, do so. You might notice that your rings slip on fine in the morning, but are harder to get off in the evenings. This is normal. If you have trouble getting your rings off, you can try holding your hands above your head for a bit, use some lotion to lubricate your finger or even soak your hands in cool water to decrease the swelling. But as soon as you start having trouble getting your rings off, it’s time to come up with an alternate solution. (There are also medical solutions to helping you remove your ring if it's a really bad case, not all of them involve cutting the ring off.)

"Thankfully I noticed that my rings were getting tight. I probably would have been one of the moms who needed it cut off, but I got lucky in that one morning when I went to put on my rings, they were snug and I knew then that it was probably a bad idea to put them on," says Amanda.

"My wife was really upset that her ring didn't fit," Kevin told me.

"I knew it mattered to her, and she thought it mattered to me. I just didn't want to have the thing cut off. So I went and spent about $40 on a new ring. It wasn't fancy, but it didn't turn her finger green and it didn't cut off her circulation. I call that a win. She was really glad to have a ring to wear."

Things to Try Other Than Wearing Tight Rings

Here are some solutions that might work well for you:

  • If you have trouble getting your rings on, take them off immediately.
  • Start wearing a ring that isn’t a complete circle but has a break in it.
  • Wear your rings on a necklace.
  • Pin your rings on to your clothing with a pin. (Diaper pins can work too!)
  • Simply go without rings for a while.
  • Order a ring that is larger to wear in the interim.

There are other ways to deal with the ring issue. Be inventive and try to figure out a solution that works for you. It's not a one size fits all approach.


Venters WB. Ring removal from a swollen finger: a refined technique. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2006 Fall;15(3):181-3.