How is Carpal Tunnel Treated While Pregnancy

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I'm 31 weeks pregnancy. My weight and blood pressure are fine.

Of late I have started feeling tingling and numbness in my middle three fingers of my right hand. I was asked to get a neurology opinion in which they have found decreased sensory and motor conduction along the supply of the median nerve.

I'm worried. Can you tell me the treatment for this?

ANSWER

Carpal tunnel is common during pregnancy, and usually resolves afterward. The primary treatment is delivery, so you have about 10-11 weeks to go if this is your first pregnancy. Meanwhile, the usual treatment is a wrist brace, which can help but not necessarily cure the problem.

You can try raising your hand above your heart as much as possible and sometimes that helps.

This, too, shall pass! It is definitely an annoyance, but it is not permanently dangerous to you or your baby.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.