Mom Wrist

Mom Wrist

Ok mamas, here’s a random one for you! A few weeks ago I woke up and could barely move my left wrist. I was freaking out because it hurt pretty bad and I didn’t know what was up. After a few days of pain, I was telling my girlfirend about it and she said she had the same thing. She also just had a baby so I started googling.

Apparently mom wrist is a thing, especially for breastfeeding moms. It’s carpel tunnel and it usually goes away as the baby gets older, but for now doesn’t feel great.  I am a lefty so tend to hold Amalia on the left side more and she prefers that side when nursing so it’s like a double whammy for my left wrist.

Luckily my husband has dealt with a lot of clients with carpel tunnel so he’s been helping me with it at home. Here’s what I’m doing to help it:

1. Massage my forearm with the opposite elbow. Even though the wrist is what hurts, it’s the muscles in your forearm that are causing the problem. I’ve found this to be the most effective thing.

2. Pay attention to my sleeping position. It gets worse at night because I tuck my hands in while I sleep. I’m trying to be more cognizant of that, and find that it helps too.

3. Switch sides. It’s hard for me to remember to hold the baby on the right side for some reason but I try to switch it up as much as possible now.

4. Use the Boppy. I try to always use the Bobby pillow when breastfeeding now. I was getting lazy about it because we were in a groove, but when I use it, it takes the pressure off of my wrist.

Update: After hearing from a bunch of you, including a few doctors, it sounds like this is actually DeQuervain’s Tendinitis and getting a wrist brace is the best way to go!

Ok moms, have you had mom wrist? And what have you done to help combat it?

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  1. Brittany French said:

    I got horrible carpel tunnel right after having my daughter. It was so bad I could barely hold her which was really frustrating (especially when breastfeeding) since I was a clueless first time mom to begin with. I had my daughter without any medication, yet I needed a percoset to deal with the wrist pain haha. Hang in there!

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • Ha! The mom things that no one tells you about 🙂

      10.31.17 · Reply
  2. Samantha Stec said:

    Hi Julia! I am a new mom as well and recently went to an orthopedic doctor for pain in both wrists. I would wake up in the middle of the night and it felt like my wrists were totally locked up. He diagnosed it as DeQuervain’s tendinitis. I got cortisone shots in both wrists and felt like a new person. Apparently this is very common for new moms because a woman I work with experienced the same thing and had cortisone shots as well! You never hear of these crazy side effects to motherhood!

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • Kiera said:

      I was going to say the same thing! It actually is DeQuervain’s not carpel tunnel. This happened to me too. If you don’t want to go the route of cortisone shots having a wrist even if just while you sleep will do wonders. (Get the one with thumb support)!

      10.30.17 · Reply
  3. Sophie Alexander said:

    I am so glad to hear I’m not alone!

    10.30.17 · Reply
  4. Michelle Anderson said:

    Oh my gosh, yes! I had a big baby (9lbs when he was born) and now he weighs almost 26lbs as an 11mo old. We couldn’t breastfeed, but just picking him up and carrying him has given me Mom wrist. I wear a brace when I can and use topical ibuprofen at night. Good luck Mama!

    10.30.17 · Reply
  5. Hailey said:

    Hi Julia! My son is the same age as Amalia, and I have been experiencing this wrist pain as well. My orthopedic doctor says is DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis and gave me a brace to wear (I was too nervous to get a cortisone shot). I still have some pain, but wearing the brace has helped a lot, especially at night.

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • Thank you! I think I’m going to get one for nighttime.

      10.31.17 · Reply
  6. Meredith said:

    Hi Julia! Just like the other mamas said you probably have dequervains. I had it through out my pregnancy in both wrists, still have it in my right wrist and it’s so painful. I went to ONS in Greenwich and started doing OT and had custom wrist splints made for night time. I’ve heard the cortisone shots really help, but I’m scared to take it. For now I’m doing lots of stretches and icing at night. Hope you feel better!

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • Wow, so intense! Going to try a brace now to avoid future problems. Fingers crossed that it helps.

      10.31.17 · Reply
  7. JenDominguez22 said:

    I had DeQuervain and it got so bad that a hand and wrist doctor recommended surgery. I got a second opinion, and ended up getting a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain. It helped sooo much. My 3rd little one is 4 months now and I have pain but not as I had with my first.

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • WOW! I can’t believe it can get that bad. So insane!

      10.31.17 · Reply
  8. Caitlin F. said:

    I have it right now and it’s driving me crazy! I’m glad I’m not alone.

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • Definitely not alone! Sounds like wrist braces help though.

      10.31.17 · Reply
  9. Erica said:

    My daughter is 14 months old and I had completely forgotten about this! I also had terrible posture when breastfeeding. My back hurt a ton!

    10.30.17 · Reply
    • Same! I try so hard to sit up as straight as I can!

      10.31.17 · Reply
  10. Britta said:

    I ended up getting a feeding pillow called “my breast friend.” Even though I thought the name was kinda silly, it ended up taking a lot of pressure off holding my daughter during feeding. It’s kinda shelf like and it clips around you and holds a lot of the baby’s weight. It’s good for home, but too bulky to take out much.
    Have you tried wraps? I have a friend who wore one a ton of the time she was carrying her infant and it also took a lot of the pressure off and allowed her to be hands free most of the time.
    Good Luck!!!

    10.30.17 · Reply
  11. Mary Fremeau said:

    oh no! I hope you feel better! I am at 17 weeks now, and I know my friend did have this exact thing happen to her. I’m sorry you’re feeling that!! PS- I am totally going back through and reading all your pregnancy posts now that I’m pregnant! Yay!

    10.30.17 · Reply
  12. Michelle said:

    Yes! Both wrists hurt but my left especially! It’s usually numb when I wake up and almost feels arthritic or something. Babies are heavy and our wrists are always bent carrying and supporting them.

    11.1.17 · Reply
  13. UCW said:

    You can also talk to your doctor about topical creams that will help with the inflammation. Voltaren gel is a prescription, but it really does help with tendinitis (I’ve had it chronically for years). There are also natural options. In states where it is sold, a topical CBD cream really can help. Even though it is derived from cannabis, it doesn’t impact cognition – it just has a good anti-inflammatory effect. Topical creams are a good options sometimes, if you don’t want to take anything that could be absorbed into your system (and go to Amalia). Obviously, ask your doctor if they are safe when nursing 🙂

    11.2.17 · Reply
  14. Lindsey Jeffcoat said:

    I also had wrist pain from nursing that became numbness all the way to my elbow! Eventually diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, I had surgery (both hands- separate years) but I don’t recommend it as the recovery takes a long time. (No Downward Dogs for a year!)
    Later, a massage therapist said it could have been relieved through massage therapy and acupuncture.
    Wish I’d known that at the time!
    Years later I have pain in the base of my thumbs-
    different issue. Wrist brace and yes- CBD cream helps. Cortisone injections are a last resort but work like a charm. There is the possibility that cortisone can cause damage- do research!

    11.3.17 · Reply
  15. Heather said:

    What brace did you end up getting? I am looking at a huge selection and have no idea which one would be best for a Mama who constantly has her hands full! =)
    Thank you!

    8.7.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I ended up getting the Mueller fitted wrist brace from Amazon. It helped a LOT! I would wear it every night while I slept and sometimes during the day if it got bad.

      8.7.18 · Reply