Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Is Driving Me Crazy

Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.


Week 36

I’ve been hesitant to share about this particular charming malady for the last couple of weeks, because I really don’t want the only documentation of this pregnancy to be a litany of complaints. (I promise, there are good things too! Maybe that’ll be next week’s post.) But early on in this series I told myself I’d let it all hang out and be honest about the whole experience, and guys, this is what is currently consuming my nights and mornings. A darling little interloper called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

It came on pretty suddenly – one night I was sleeping like a champ and the next night the moment I would fall asleep, so would my hands. At first, just the tingling would wake me up and freak me out. And then after a few days of it wasn’t only the tingling, it was actual pain. And now it’s graduated to the tingling, the pain, plus scary claw hands in the morning. Seriously! For the first couple of hours of the day, my fingers aren’t able to fully extend. Tackling my inbox in the morning has become quite the ordeal.

I checked it out with my doctor, hoping for some sort of magical remedy or easy fix (I know, I know – pregnant woman pipe dream). But unfortunately I was met with an apologetic, “Yeah… That’s pretty common. It’ll go away.” Sweet. She did at least let me know the cause, which is apparently all of the extra blood and water and swelling in a pregnant woman’s body putting too much pressure on the nerves that lead to the hand. And voila, you’re not only swollen and uncomfortable but also your hands don’t work. At this point, I’m pretty much useless at opening anything that has a screw top!

So what works to fix it? Beats me, gang. So far the surefire fixes in the morning for getting my hands to loosen up are a good cardio workout at the gym or a hot shower. At night, sometimes I wear a splint on one hand but it doesn’t seem to make too much difference. Otherwise, I con my husband into hand massages and use ice to relieve the pain if it’s particularly bad that day. But nothing so far has been able to curb that tingling at night, and I think I might just be sticking this one out until the baby makes his appearance and the carpal tunnel (hopefully) makes its exit!

Did you suffer from pregnancy carpal tunnel at all? If you had any tips or tricks that worked, I’m all ears!

Photo: Chelsea Foy