Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
I’ve never had a problem with carpal tunnel syndrome, but now in my third trimester my fingers and hands hurt. Did you have this?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: During most of my pregnancy, I felt great! You can eat what you want, and people are nicer to you, for example they give you their seats.
But toward the end of my pregnancy, I developed very bad carpal tunnel syndrome. It began toward the end of my second trimester with tingling and pain. It felt like my fingers were falling asleep. It got worse and worse, and then it progressed to the point that I couldn’t move my fingers or use my hands. It was very difficult. My husband had to turn on the water faucet for me so I could brush my teeth. I had to stop performing surgeries and go on maternity leave a week early.
This was a very unusual, severe case, and most women who get carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy don’t get it this bad. Generally, carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy goes away after the baby is born. But not mine! It actually got worse. It was easy not to worry or focus on it because the first few months with a newborn are so hectic. But by about three months it went away, and my fingers and hands have been fine ever since.
—Monica Lee-Griffith, MD, a mom of one, an ob-gyn, and senior staff, Henry Ford Health System in metropolitan Detroit
When to Call your Doctor or Midwife: Carpal tunnel syndrome is fairly common in pregnancy, and it usually begins in the third trimester. Talk with your doctor or midwife at your next scheduled visit if you have tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in your fingers or hand; if you can’t do simple hand movements; if you accidentally drop things; or if you can’t pinch your thumb and index finger together.