Pain in hand joints after breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 07-07-2008, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
Really need some help as hands not getting better......!

My DD is just over 3 months old and EBF. She was born early and tiny (just under 5 pounds) and I initialy held her in the football hold to nurse. After several days of nursing (when she was about a week and a half old), I started to get really painful hands during and just after nursing her (I think from holding her head in position firmly with my hands). The pain is in the joints of my fingers, mostly my thumbs. It is worse at night (the heat?) and first thing in the morning. I knew it was from how I held her when breastfeeding so over time I changed and I know cradle hold but rest her on a pillow so I'm not using any strength in my hands.

BUT, the pain isn't going away. It's awful and I feel like I've developed arthritis or something. It's so bad sometimes it hurts to pick up a pen and sign my name.

Anyone experienced this? Any advice?
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#2 of 12 Old 07-07-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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I haven't experienced finger joint pain, but I do have pain in my wrist. It's swollen and hurts when I move it certain ways. Doctor says it's strained with a touch of tendonitis and probably happened because I was holding baby a certain way. They can't give me steroid shots because I'm breasfeeding so basically they just sent me home with a splint. The splint is totally impractical for holding the baby during the day but I wear it at night and it's helped with the pain somewhat. You should go to the doctor so they can do x-rays just to make sure nothing is broken - they did x-rays on me and that's how they could tell it was just strained. I've been dealing with this for almost 3 months and I don't know if it will get completely better until I stop breastfeeding but the nighttime splint makes it much better even during the day when I'm not wearing it.

Good luck!
Christine
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#3 of 12 Old 07-07-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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YES!! My left wrist/thumb joint was cracking and killing me (from breastfeeding and carrying her). Rigth now, I have a wrist brace on and it seems to be helping. I hope after a couple weeks with it and giving my wrist a break, things will be back to normal.
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#4 of 12 Old 07-07-2008, 03:17 PM
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MAy be while breastfeeding your hands stuck somewhere. This is the basic reason which have been seen in some case. But it is not always some women face arthritis problem after pregnancy. You should ask your doctor first take some expert advise my dear.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-07-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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I'm having the same problem. Mine started while I was pregnant, and I attributed it to my job, where I sort/file a lot of paperwork. However, the pain has gotten much worse since I had my baby 3 1/2 weeks ago.

I just did some internet research, and it seems likely that it is De Quervain's Syndrome, an inflammation of the tendons at the base of the thumb. It is often seen in new mothers

Short of surgery, it seems all that can be done for it are wearing a splint, taking anti-inflammatories, applying heat or cold (whichever helps), and not performing the movements that cause pain (yeah right, that's going to work with a new baby).

Anyway, good luck. I hope some of this info is helpful.

Single Mother by Choice to Hunter (6/11/08) and 2 cats
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#6 of 12 Old 07-07-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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Have you tried chiropractic?
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#7 of 12 Old 07-09-2008, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your responses.

I will definitely be going to the doctor and hopefully trying at least a splint/brace, which I do think will help, because when I do really try and limit movement or use of my hands (e.g. breastfeed while laying down) it does feel a bit better - it's just so hard to do this!

I haven't tried chiropractic....... haven't tried that before at all, so perhaps if it doesn't improve with the splint then I'll give this a try.

Thanks again,
Liana
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#8 of 12 Old 07-09-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
I haven't experienced finger joint pain, but I do have pain in my wrist. It's swollen and hurts when I move it certain ways. Doctor says it's strained with a touch of tendonitis and probably happened because I was holding baby a certain way. They can't give me steroid shots because I'm breasfeeding so basically they just sent me home with a splint. The splint is totally impractical for holding the baby during the day but I wear it at night and it's helped with the pain somewhat. You should go to the doctor so they can do x-rays just to make sure nothing is broken - they did x-rays on me and that's how they could tell it was just strained. I've been dealing with this for almost 3 months and I don't know if it will get completely better until I stop breastfeeding but the nighttime splint makes it much better even during the day when I'm not wearing it.

Good luck!
Christine
I can't remember what the shot I got was but I still bf'ing when I got mine (I think it might have been cortisol or cortisone). It made all the pain go away within a few days. The doc told me it might come back (which it recently has, 6 months later) but it was great relief. I remember researching the drug beforehand and feeling relatively assured that it was okay for bf'ing. You may want to check.

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
My Cup Runs Over Daily!

www.becomingamommy.com

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#9 of 12 Old 07-09-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I had painful tendonitis of the wrist/thumb area that started while nursing dd. It only lasted 3-4 months. I wore a splint when necessary and went to a hand therapist a few times. I also took Advil. The doctors said it was caused by a combination of holding my wrist in strange positions too long while nursing and the hormones produced while lactating. I haven't had it again since.
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#10 of 12 Old 07-09-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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Check out De Quervain's tendonitis, sometimes called "Mom's thumb." A brace definitely helps!!!
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#11 of 12 Old 07-09-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Oh wow! I think I have this! I didn't think it was all associated--well i've been having wrist pain and thought it was just carpel tunnels that I hear all pregnants get---but my thumb pain came about a month before hte baby was born and is still here! I didn't think they were related...(the baby is now 5 1/2 weeks and I still wake up with numb arms/wrists every morning--when does this go away!?) --

but my thumb is just painful! I went to the Chiropracter and asked him to pop it in or something...he said he thought it was a pulled strained something and that I now had scar tissue--and to massage through that...wrong diagnosis? should I massage the tissue?
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#12 of 12 Old 07-10-2008, 03:49 AM
 
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Thanks for this thread. I would have never connected the two. I have pain in my left thumb. Hurts a lot. I also am having problems with both of my ankles when I get up in the morning. I feel soooo stiff and they hurt so bad. It takes a few min. to get them loosend up. I wonder if that has something to do with bf'ing too??
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