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What's Keeping Me Up At Night? Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

22 weeks. I'll be 22 weeks on Tuesday and I feel like I'm sleeping as well as I would if I were in the last weeks of my pregnancy.
Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Thirsties Blog
Why? One little nuisance called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This is an ailment that some people have to deal with all the time, pregnant or not; I feel for you seriously if you're living with this 24/7. If you aren't familiar with CTS, I'll explain it to you in easy non-medical terms (we're all parents, right? Sometimes I just don't want to think more than I have to!): Everyone has a nerve in their hand that helps control the muscle at the base of your thumb (look at your hand and move your thumb, see it?). The nerve runs through a bony canal or "tunnel" called the carpal tunnel. The extra blood and fluid that your body produces during pregnancy causes pressure on the tunnel and makes it smaller. That makes the nerve that runs through it compressed. The compression causes the pins and needles and numbness feeling in your hand. CTS is most common in people who have occupations that require repetitive movements like typing on a computer or working on an assembly line. It's common to be worse at night; which is partly why I've been sleeping so terribly. Most CTS symptoms develop in the second trimester but with this pregnancy I noticed it right away. It was one of the signs that made me think I was pregnant. I didn't have it with my first pregnancy but I definitely did in my second pregnancy. If you've had CTS with a pregnancy it's more likely to happen with subsequent pregnancies. So what can you do? There are a few things that can help you cope with this annoying pregnancy problem. One of those things is wearing a wrist brace at night. This helps position your hand so that the tunnel the nerve runs through remains opened and not compressed by the water and blood redistributing in your body. Your doctor can help you in choosing the correct wrist brace. You can also try shaking your hands out periodically during the day. You can hang your hand over the bed at night and shake it out. If you can actually remember to do this in the middle of the night, let me know your trick. It's hard enough for me to make it to the bathroom in one piece let alone hang my hand over the side of the bed and shake it! I'm going to give the wrist brace a try. I know it'll take some getting used to but it's got to be better than what I have been doing...which is nothing, other than repositioning myself what feels like 100 times a night. Have you experienced pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? What helped you relieve the numbness and tingling feeling?
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43 comments

  • I’ve had to sleep with my arm up on a pillow before because of this. It sucks!

    Brittany Jimenez on
  • I had this too. Hoping it doesn’t happen next time I get pregnant.

    Jessica Rodenbaugh on
  • Yep had it a bit but not too much of a bother.

    Catherine B W on
  • oh goodness Id never heard of this before in pregnant women. Thankfuli didnt have to deal with it and I hope you find some relief!

    Sarah Hayes on
  • I have something like CTS, never got an official diagnosis because it’s so strange but it’s very similar, if not just an odd case of it. Since I was very young (I did go to private school and had to write A LOT) I’ve had a sharp shooting pain in my wrist (right at the carpel tunnel) that is so unbearable I can’t do anything except hold my wrist very right putting pressure directly on the pain with my thumb. it happens quite randomly and sometimes doesn’t happen for months or happens several times a day for weeks. it definitely was more frequent when I was pregnant! a wrist brace did help in times that it was frequent, but like I said, putting direct pressure on the pain is the only thing I could really do in the moment. ugh. I feel so bad it’s keeping you up at night I really hope the wrist brace helps and you can keep some sleep!

    Taylor Schell on

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