There are many good resources out there on carpal tunnel and pregnancy. There are ones that show you exercises and tips that can help you to solve the problem on my own, which is exactly what I decided to do during this era, as an empowered person making things work nicely for my own family with the help of my family. In fact it was my own journey, a happy and memorable one.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I started to feel pain and tightness in my wrist region both bottom and top if I remember correctly, however luckily I kept my hands moving with the recommended exercises including wrist flexion, fist to expand hand and finger touches. I had already removed my wedding ring, and it was extremely helpful to the healing process.
After the birth, my hands and face swelled a bit and when I was able to put my wedding ring back on, I knew that I was truly on the mend. Sliding my wedding ring on was therapeutic as I slid the metal down my finger as though doing some lymphatic drainage. However, so were some other very therapeutic things that I did while breastfeeding my baby during the healing process. One of these was to place the weight of the baby on the palm of my hand in a way that would apply pressure affecting circulation so that I could feel some of the pressure traveling up my arm in a therapeutic way. It felt healing to my mind and body, and since I was coming up with the idea on my own, I also felt fortunate to know that I had also improved my own sense of self image by figure out some self healing and self care on my own. To me this affected our nursing experience and kept us a dyad a little longer.
Are you affected by carpal tunnel like I was, or maybe just curious about how to help someone who is? I would encourage them to try the recommended exercises, practice deep breathing and relaxation as a way of generating improved awareness, and let them embrace their edge by getting a little bit of discomfort during nursing and exercises but not going all the way down the path of feeling pain.
Although this is not completely in the realm of an IBCLC’s scope, as an RN and someone who has experienced this issue, I do feel for anyone who has halted their nursing journey because of not being able to properly hold their child. I was happy that my case was relatively mild but lasted for several weeks. That element of being able to put it out of mind was also very, very important to improve my self confidence as a mom during those important moments.