Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - from breastfeeding?

(34 Posts)
islingtongirl Mon 04-Nov-13 06:57:41

I think I have this - numbness and tingling in hands at night, getting worse and hand feeling weaker, especially left hand side. I think its from the hold when I bf 10 week old DD and she often has a nap on me when out and we seem to favour the left hand side. Another reason I think its carpal tunnel is my mum had it badly after having me and had to have an op in the end on the nerves in the wrist confused does anyone have/had similat symptoms? What worked for you to relieve it? I don't want it to get worse and its driving me mad already and affecting my sleep (annoying as DD has just started sleeping much better but now something else is keeping me up!). I could try other bf positions but the cradle type hold I do works well and DD is used to it....

gretagrape Mon 04-Nov-13 07:32:25

Hi - I've developed tendonitis in both wrists since being given really bad advice on bf technique, which I think is a similar thing to carpal tunnel syndrome.

I had wrist straps fitted that have metal pieces to stop the strain on the tendon by restricting the movement of the hand, but to be honest I found they made it worse because it was as if it put strain on the wrist in places that wouldn't normally have to take the strain, so I stopped using them.

Son is now 7mo, and it's no better, but no worse - first thing in the morning it's quite painful and it's hard to hold a pen or anything in a pincer grip - quite depressing sometimes. I'm not sure how it will get better really, until he doesn't need me to constantly lift him I guess....

PseudoBadger Mon 04-Nov-13 07:39:16

I have it (am BFing 4 week old dd) but I've had it since about 32 weeks pregnant. I was hoping it would go away like after I had DS but I've still got it. My hand has been numb since August, not just at night either.
I hope yours goes away soon!

fuckwittery Mon 04-Nov-13 10:13:20

Are you doing cross cradle or cradle hold? My wrist is aching terribly from 2 weeks of cross cradle. Cradle hold is better. Can you try rugby hold or lying down? At 10 weeks she should be pretty good at latching om and adjusting to new position

ToddleWaddle Mon 04-Nov-13 21:27:38

I have had it with 2 pregnancies and actually getting worse after babies born.
Splints helped to some extent but I did end up getting steroid injections at 4/5 months which have cured it completely within days. Injections were quick and easy.
It is unusual for it to worsen but does happen.

themummyonthebus Mon 04-Nov-13 22:03:23

I think I may be developing tendonitis. DC is almost 3mo and getting heavy, especially when he falls asleep on me. My wrists are achy all the time and painful when I put pressure on them.

I'm hoping it'll go away once we're out of the "snuggle with mummy all day"phase.

CinnabarRed Mon 04-Nov-13 22:07:52

I had it, getting progressively worse after each of my three pregnancies. Splints relieved it for a while, but all I was really doing was delaying until DS3 learnt to walk. I had the operation on both wrists (separately, with a couple of months in between) and haven't looked back. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner, because I have permanent nerve damage in my right hand the makes it hard to use touch screens.

HighVoltage Mon 04-Nov-13 22:10:36

I've got tendonitis too (de Quervain's/Mother's thumb) and have had a splint made which I wear mostly at night. I had it for DS1 and has been really bad for DTs (now 4 months).

I was advised by the physio to ice it as tendonitis (as inflamed).

I'd recommend going to the GP and getting referred (OP if anywhere actually near Islington the Whittington has good postnatal physio apparently). They've really helped me.

islingtongirl Mon 04-Nov-13 22:26:11

Thanks all - seems fairly common then! Will try and find time to visit docs over next few weeks. Can't see it getting better without help as DD just gets bigger! confused Kind of dread going to sleep now and waking up with a numb hand....

islingtongirl Mon 04-Nov-13 22:26:50

Toddle - my mum said that, got worse after pregnancy. I fear I am going down the same route...

I get this but it's caused by a trapped nerve in my elbows from sleeping with my arms bent.

islingtongirl Mon 04-Nov-13 22:31:20

Interesting scarlet - how did you find out that was what it was?

islingtongirl Mon 04-Nov-13 22:31:45

Sorry Scariest, not scarlet!

FrontLoader Tue 05-Nov-13 00:46:16

Just to add OP, definitely go to your GP sooner rather than later if you can.

I had the same problem after DC 1 and waited (busy with baby etc) until mine had become tendonitis, then ended up having to use a splint for months, plus it was incredibly painful at that stage.

ToddleWaddle Tue 05-Nov-13 08:23:23

Agree definitely see GP sooner than later. The steroid injection if you are suitable is do quick and easy. You won't look back!

gretagrape Tue 05-Nov-13 09:02:22

ToddleWaddle - I was offered the steroid injection for my tendonitis but was told it doesn't actually cure it, just gets rid of the pain for a few months, but that because I wouldn't feel the pain I could do more damage, so I didn't go for it. (told by GP)
How long ago did you have it - has it lasted?

Lorelei353 Tue 05-Nov-13 09:16:22

mother's thumb is a thing? I definitely have it. All around the wrist bone on one hand is killing me. Definitely worse when I pick ds up in certain ways.

Lorelei353 Tue 05-Nov-13 09:17:00

Might it resolve on its own?

HighVoltage Tue 05-Nov-13 20:06:02

Hey Lorelei - it can resolve on its own but really needs rest (not v likely with baby).

Best thing is to put ice packs on it and there are some exercises you can do (google them - there are drawings, videos).

I bought a splint from chemist which helped with DS1 and eventually it went but this time it got really bad (twins) so physio has made me a splint which really helps if I wear it at night. I'm also on the waiting list for seeing a consultant about injections.

TheIggorcist Tue 05-Nov-13 22:40:52

I had it for months and then with the right physio exercises cleared up within a month. I wouldn't wait for it to get worse, I found I was getting depressed about having to feed the baby, pick him up even, as I knew it was going to hurt me.

Petcat Wed 06-Nov-13 07:57:34

I have developed carpal tunnel and tendonitis in both hands since my DD was born. It's much worse in the morning, I really struggle to hold and dress her. My GP won't give me the steroid injections so I have these horrible splints to wear at night, however my baby wakes at least 5 times a night and I can't pick her up with them on so they don't get much use!

I carry her in a sling a lot to save my hands and bf lying down when I can. I also take ibuprofen every day for thepain.

It's worth getting blood tests done to rule out an underactive thyroid and rheumatoid arthritis as both can cause similar symptoms and be triggered by pregnancy.

Hope you feel better soon.

ToddleWaddle Wed 06-Nov-13 10:34:18

Greta had the 1st injection after DD1 born 2 plus years ago and no problems until second pregnancy.
2nd injection after DD2 born about 2 months ago. Absolutely fine since.
GP has a special interest in rheumatology and really seems to know his stuff. Injection was only 1mg of steroid so really low dose.

gretagrape Wed 06-Nov-13 16:21:19

toddlewaddle thanks - I'll see if I can talk to a different GP and see what they say then.

WheresMyCow Wed 06-Nov-13 16:36:46

I had it in both hands, but it was worse in my right. I was prescribed ibuprofen gel and when that didn't work algesal cream. If that had'nt worked it would have been steroid injections.

The cream did work to ease the pain, but I also think that as I got more proficient with the feeding, my hold got more natural and I wasn't putting as much pressure on my hands.

It still flares up every now and then now...perhaps I should have got the injections.

mustardtomango Fri 08-Nov-13 20:39:15

I'm really identifying with this.. Only found our yesterday that it was actually a 'thing' (any not just me).

Is cross cradle worse than cradle? So far only doing the former, pain around my thumbs getting quite intense though

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