I am 30 weeks along and I have been having problems with my hands and arms going numb. This has never happened before my pregnancy. Each day it feels worse and worse and when i sleep at night, they go completely numb and i wake up several times because of it. They ache really bad when the feeling starts to come back and my hands are weak. This is such a big problem and i really starting to scare me. Is there anything I can do and is this causing damage in the long run? Thank you. Please help.”
Numb, tingly or achy hands and fingers usually indicate a case of pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome. During pregnancy, and especially during the end of the third trimester, your body retains a lot of fluid. (You’ve probably noticed that any rings or watches that you usually wear are too tight, and if you wear elastic socks they leave bigger-than-usual dents in your shins.) This extra fluid compresses the nerve in your wrist, which causes pain and numbness. You’re more likely to get it if your work involves compressing your wrist somehow, like computer work, playing guitar or using a cash register for hours at a time.
The good news is that after the baby’s born, you’ll shed all of that extra fluid with breastfeeding and perspiration, and by six weeks postpartum the pain and numbness probably will have gone away. The bad news is that in the meantime there isn’t a whole lot you can do, other than avoiding salty foods and carbonated beverages, which can cause more fluid retention. Sleeping with your wrists elevated on a pillow may help also.