What You Need to Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In Pregnancy

CTS Carpal Tunel Syndrome is one of the many discomforts in pregnancy. It happens when there is a build-up of fluid in the tissues of your wrist. This swelling squeeze a nerve, called the median nerve, that runs down to your hand and fingers, causing tingling and numbness. This pain will weaken your grip and make it hard to move your fingers.

It is likely to happen in the second or third trimester. If you have it in one pregnancy, there is a high possibility that you may have it in another pregnancy. If it runs in your family, you are more likely to develop it also.

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The median nerve passes the top of your ribcage before travelling down your arm. So, a previous problem in this area, such as a broken collar bone or whiplash injury, increases your likelihood of having CTS.

What causes it?

  • Gaining too much weight during your pregnancy
  • Expecting more than one baby; twins, triplets
  • Overweight before pregnancy
  • Bigger boobs after pregnancy or during

All of the above-mentioned points will put extra weight on your shoulders, ribs and arms which directly affects the median nerve. It is no doubt an uncomfortable feeling, but it’s not usually life threatening. It normally should ease off within three months of your baby’s birth because your hormones and body fluid would have returned back to normal.

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Can it be prevented?

Like we said earlier, if it runs in your family there is a likely hood that you would develop it too. However, following these guidelines or rules can help decrease the chances of you developing CTS:

  • Eating foods high in vitamin b6 can help to promote a healthy nervous system.
  • Wear a well fitted bra that would support your breasts.
  • Exercise before, during and after pregnancy

How to ease the pain from CTS

  • Ask your midwife to provide you with hand splints to wear at night. Splints will stop you from curling your hands while you sleep.
  • Place your hands in ice-cold water. Gently exercise your fingers and wrists to help move the excess fluid, and keep your hands raised whenever possible.
  • You could also try placing green or white cabbage leaves on your wrists to draw out excess fluid and relieve the swelling. The leaves should be wiped clean but not washed, and may be cooled in the fridge, but not in the freezer.
  • Wrap the leaves around your wrists to make a compress. Leave them until they become wet, then repeat with fresh leaves until the pain is reduced.
  • Exercise the hand as much as possible, but check in with your mid-wife as some exercises could worsen the pain



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