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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....

LilPeasMama Thu 05-Dec-13 23:48:28

Hi all,
I have this too, it started a month after LO was born.
I have been referred to orthopaedic dept after Christmas so hopefully something will be done.
It started in my right hand, tips of fingers being numb to the pain radiating up my arm when feeding the baby but now seems to have eased on my right hand and moved to my left.
Now the tips of my left fingers are now permanently numb confused

scrivette Thu 05-Dec-13 20:03:19

I had it too, it went away when DS was about a year (and feeding less). I used to find that laying on my back to sleep with my palms facing upwards helped as it meant they weren't bent during the night.

Sleepyfergus Thu 05-Dec-13 06:23:28

I don't think I had carpel tunnel - in fact doctors said I didn't, but I did have pains that were akin to arthritis in my hands after dd1 was born. My fingers became very stiff and sore, especially if I knocked them. Te mornings were the worse as they so stiff I could hardly move them. I used to massage them gently under a warm rubbing tap until they eased up a bit

It was all very strange and nobody really knew what it was but tended to link it to breastfeeding and hormones. It cleared up by itself after a few months (I bf exclusively til 6 months and then gradually dropped feeds over the next 6 months) and just went away.

Didn't get it at all with dd2!

Bellini28 Thu 05-Dec-13 06:14:27

Another one here. Had carpel during pregnancy and post delivery pain in left hand. Saw an orthopaedic surgeon who diagnosed de Quervain syndrome. Was told first stage to wear support glove (am on first stage) second topical medicine. Third injections and if all else fails, surgery.

I pray this goes away. In fact this has been far worse than my c section recovery. Damn annoying too! I sympathise ladies!

catellington Wed 04-Dec-13 20:10:23

I have wrist pain, sounds like tendonitis others have.

I'm bf dd who us 9.5 months

I haven't found a solution, I tried a sports massage which helped temporarily. She told me the thumb / wrist joint is vulnerable as it's the only example of a saddle joint in the body, which has a full range of motion. Not sure if that's right or not but I thought interesting.

BraveLilBear Tue 03-Dec-13 03:30:23

Sorry for spelling - on phone... another cause of strain lol!

BraveLilBear Tue 03-Dec-13 03:28:29

Sounds like this is quite common. Anyone with thumb pain though it might be mother's thumb rather than carpal tunnel - it's generally caused by lifting babies from under their armpits.

I qas suffering from this a few weeks ago and managed to splint my thumb with some strapping (have needed spicas twice in the past due to sports injuries so worked out how to immobilise it in the right position) for a couple of days.

It helped a lot as it forced me to get more creative with how I lift and hold DS (19 weeks) to vary the strain.

However, I did find that he often gives me pins and needles/tingling in wrists if his head rests on my wrist while feeding.

I definitely think it's a good idea to see GP though if you're suffering with carpal tunnel or mother's thumb symptoms - besides anything else, carpal tunnel can be a symptom of thyroid problems which aee apparently common after birth. They might b able to check for that,too.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 03-Dec-13 03:20:37

I was thinking about starting a thread on this. I had mild carpal tunnel towards the end of pregnancy and it has gotten worse in my thumb/wrist since DD was born 6 weeks ago.

I find rest helps - I lift her with the fingers of my bad hand rather than with her armpit on the bit between my thumb and forefinger, which helps, but I seem to catch it accidentally, like when tucking her blankets under her mattress.

I have my six week check this week so am going to mention it. I haven't done any exercises but ice sounds like a good idea if it is inflammation.

This feels like a good thread for mutual support - I'll feed back if I learn anything interesting.

Bexiwoo Tue 03-Dec-13 02:41:51

I had carpal tunnel symptoms early in pregnancy which went away in third trimester. Came back after birth and have got progressively worse since. Just had electronicnerve sstimulation tests at hospital today andghave been told I need emergency surgery on left hand before the nerve damage becomes permanent.
I've now been referred to specialist to have operation before Christmas. ....ds is 5 months old and ebf. Totally panicking about how this will work post op as I won't be able to lift him. Will need dp to be with us 24/7 to do all baby care. I've read some scary stories about recovery times (weeks of not being able to do anything or drive)
Got to have right hand done as well in a few months.
Has anyone else had the op while still bf their baby?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Might it resolve on its own?

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.

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?

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!

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.

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

Sorry Scariest, not scarlet!

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

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

ScariestFairyByFar Mon 04-Nov-13 22:28:01

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 22:26:50

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

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