On Pregnancy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Did any of you mommies experience this? I did! And let me tell you, it’s hard. I guess that’s even an understatement. I couldn’t even say in words how painful mine was.

Looking back, I remember before I turned 20 weeks pregnant, I already noticed some pain on both of my hands. And at 20 weeks, it became really painful. As my pregnancy progressed, the pain was almost unbearable already. My OB said it was Pregnancy – Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). She prescribed Vitamin B Complex but I guess the pain was too painful I couldn’t feel the effect of the medicine anymore. But then again, had I not taken it, maybe the pain would have been more intense. I even had steroid injections at around 35 or 36 weeks along the way, I can't remember exactly, to help my baby's lung development inside my womb (which was also supposed to aid my CTS, according to my OB). 

Update: I was 31 weeks pregnant pala when I had my steroid injections.

Here I was with my first steroid shot. 31 weeks pregnant.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy? 

The carpal tunnel is a bony canal formed by the wrist bones on three sides and a ligament that runs across the wrist on the other. The fluid retention and swelling that's so common during pregnancy can increase the pressure in this relatively narrow and inflexible space, compressing the median nerve that runs through it.

The median nerve gives sensation to the thumb and the index, middle, and half of the ring finger and is responsible for movement of a muscle at the base of the thumb. Pressure on this nerve causes the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.  

-- Source: Babycenter

Anyway, since I could barely use my hands, my OB ordered me to file for Long Term Sick Leave (LTSL) at work. I was already on LTSL when I was 7 months pregnant and it went all the way until I gave birth. Meaning, that includes my Maternity Leave (CS here). Thank God my officemates were all very understanding of my situation. I couldn't thank them enough for their support.

Imagine almost 5 months away from work? That would have been amazing, right? But no! It wasn’t for me. I was suffering then. Yes, I didn’t experience all the other pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, headache, and the like, but I had this. 

I was almost not functioning. It would take a lot of effort from me just to comb my hair, just to brush my teeth, just to send a text message to hubby and everything else that needed my hands. I couldn’t even hold a mxl 990/991 recording microphone! (Well, I didn’t really try to hold one anyway. Just a joke, haha!) But really, most of the time, I would unintentionally drop whatever it is that I was holding because of the pain. I would cry in the middle of the night because my hands felt like it was scorching hot and the “pins and needles” kept attacking my nerves again. I didn’t know how and where to position my hands to stabilize it. I remember when I was 30 weeks along the way, we started buying clothes for the little one. Of course, his stuffs need to be laundered. I think it took me one whole day just to wash all his tie-sides, booties, mittens, etc, etc. Considering those are tiny things! Sigh.

Anyway, long story short, I had given birth already and my adorable son is now 27 months old. But guess what, the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome seems to love me so much that it didn’t totally go away! Hah! Imagine those first few days after giving birth, just holding my little baby in my arms gave me "minor heart attacks" everytime because I was afraid I might  drop him. But no, it didn't happen. Mommy's instinct maybe. Imagine those days when I was already back to work and I had to use a manual pump to pump breastmilk for Trev. It was worst that I thought. I had to buy an electric double pump to continue my journey. I didn't want to stop breastfeeding just because I couldn't pump back then. 

Right, I’m still suffering from it until now. It may not be as painful as before, but the numbness, the pins and needles, the loss of sensation, the pain and all, I’m still feeling all those things. It’s hard I tell you, especially that I am a stay at home wife and mom who does chores at home every single day.

I have been searching for ways to get rid of this or at least to relieve it. I have tried some but not all. Some were effective, others I can’t do at the moment. Surgery? No can do! Ayayay! I even saw a connection between CTS and breastfeeding from Kellymom. Which reminds me, I have to check that article again, maybe it could give me more ideas on what to do. 

At the end of the day, even if I'm suffering from CTS, I don't blame my getting pregnant and my breastfeeding why I have this. I have an adorable and healthy son and that's what's important. Another important thing is that I have with me my husband who supports me all the way, who cares and loves me. Whatever happens, I know both of them will be there for me.

Any of you experienced the same thing or know someone who did? Care to share tips on how to treat CTS? Thank you!

Let's Stay Connected!


  1. I had that kind of pain similar to yours oh it was awful, but it didn't happen during pregnancy mine was after giving birth.. Doctor advices me to put cold compress on the area that hurts and wrist exercise, and you have to wear a flint all the time. Flint is a kind of brace that use to put around your wrist, you can buy a thumb brace it wraps around your wrist and thumb, you cant use your thumb but the other four fingers are free. I use them in my sleep coz your not suppose to use your wrist a lot if you want it to be healed, but sometimes you have to take it off especially when you do cooking and wash your hand, It takes a while though before it goes away but at least it helps.so now I'm pain free but sometimes it came back if I use my wrist a lot especially holding a baby.(http://www.kingbrand.com/Carpal_Tunnel_Syndrome_Treatment.php?REF=Z.CT.X) Here's a link for carpal tunnel treatment maybe it helps.

  2. First time to read about this kind of pain during pregnancy. Naexperience ko lang noon back pain saka minsan leg pain. If it's unbearable, you must have high pain tolerance since you still manage to run the household. O pasumpong sumpong lang?

    Mommy Maye


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