Cosleeping = my arms are tingling all the time! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Am I just getting old? Are there other positions I can try? Seriously, between cosleeping and carrying the babe a lot, my arms tingle a lot. It's kind of worrisome.

She usually ends up tucked kind of in my armpit, which is lovely, except I think she's cutting off my bloodflow or something. I am considering trying to get her in the crib for part of the night to try and get some relief. Any other ideas?

thanks,
Erin

Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#2 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 01:26 AM
 
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I have no ideas, as the same thing happens to me and is seriously interfering with my sleep. I hope someone has some good suggestions!

BUT I did want to post to say I think your DD's name is lovely! My DD is Beatrice, born 26th Aug 2006.
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#3 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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I was so wanting to open this thread and find some great advice...alas, I'm the same as you both. I wake most the time with my arm totally asleep. The other thing I'm struggling with is my hips. Whatever hip is on the top as I'm nursing just aches. Goes away as soon as I spend some time on my back, but then the "dead" arm comes into play.

Hope someone lends some insight!
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#4 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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I have bouts of numbness & tingling in my arms & shoulders every couple months, lasting for a few days (going through it now!) It could be a pinched nerve, but I think I have found it relates to stress too, in my case. I had a really bad week or so after we moved last year, waking up in severe pain several times a night; I noticed I was also clenching my jaw, so I did relaxation exercises to loosen my jaw before I fell asleep, and the arm pain/numbness subsided as well.

When my co-sleeping & bf'ing days are over, I'm planning to go to the chiro - I figure why go when I'm just going to mess it up by sleeping hunched over and slinging dd all day.
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#5 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ABand3 View Post

When my co-sleeping & bf'ing days are over, I'm planning to go to the chiro - I figure why go when I'm just going to mess it up by sleeping hunched over and slinging dd all day.
LOL - I'm feeling the same way. SO much for selfcare!
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#6 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I have found it relates to stress too, in my case.
You're probably right about that. We've been fighting illness since Thanksgiving (baby has a double ear infection this week). And our house is under construction. So, stress. I keep saying I'm going to sign up for a yoga or pilates class. And this is the week I'm going to do it!

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BUT I did want to post to say I think your DD's name is lovely! My DD is Beatrice, born 26th Aug 2006.
Thanks! DH picked it, and we mostly call her Bea. I thought she'd be a Trixie, but that doesn't seem to fit. We have good taste, no??


Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Ah, the sacrifices we make for our little ones! I'll keep checking to see if anyone has the magic solution...

-e

Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#7 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 03:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ABand3 View Post
When my co-sleeping & bf'ing days are over, I'm planning to go to the chiro - I figure why go when I'm just going to mess it up by sleeping hunched over and slinging dd all day.
:

Exactly!

Same boat here. No advice. Only empathy. Numb and/or tingling arms and hips. And the 22 pound baby in the sling for hours every day - slinging her while bouncing on the bed to get her to sleep even - doesn't help either. For the hips I find laying on my back helps immensely ... of course, I spend most of the nights nursing so that doesn't help much. However, I am now able to lay *almost* all the way flat on my back now and my oh-so-stretchy and large breastfeeding mammaries will reach sideways to my baby's mouth. How is that for handy? But, yeah, the arm is still dead with her head laying on it most of the night. Even if I have her flat on the mattress the arm I have stretched out above her head goes to sleep or is extremely stiff. In fact, the other night I woke up to find I couldn't lift my head up ... slept on it way wrong and totally screwed up my should and neck! Ugh. But, yeah, it's so totally worth it all to sleep with my angel! :luxlove:
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#8 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 04:44 AM
 
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hello, physical therapist here, who cosleeps/nurses for over 5 years. i get aches and tingles, too! right arm and leg (and an unhappy sinus that only lets me sleep facing right...). don't dismiss them if they're constant and worsening, it can lead to long term damage that's hard to recover from.

tingling: sign that nerve is compressed, most likely at your neck, but possibly at your shoulder if baby's skull is lying heavy/bony right on a nerve. if arm feels cold, too, then circulation might be compressed. several nerves and blood vessels come through the "thoracic outlet," an area where they are easily compressed by tense muscles (the scalenes, ones at the side of your neck), which could connect to the "worse when i'm tense" issue.

if the top hip hurts, it's also probably referred pain from upper lumbar nerves, probably too much lateral flexion or rotation (twisting)

self help:

positioning!!! get enough pillows. make sure neck is supported, maybe with a rolled up hand towel inside the pillowcase at the crook of neck. don't flex forward to stare at your bundle of joy, or at least don't fall asleep like that. pillow between knees, maybe one at your back to keep you from rolling backwards (or allow you to relax from trying not to roll back. maybe a towel roll under the curve of your waist to keep the top side from too much lateral flexion.

exercises

chin tucks: face a mirror, keep your head level and pull your head back to make a double chin. hold a few secs, do 5-10 reps several times/day.

mobilizing with tennis balls: do as often as feels necessary, ie a few times/week up to 3 times/day.

neck take 2 tennis balls and stuff them into a long sock, tie two knots to keep them close together. lie on your back with them under your neck (bend your knees), with the dip between them right at your spine. do a chin tuck pushing back into the tennis balls. push in little thrusts, gently pushing into resistance, about once/second. move the balls up or down to work different joint levels (vertebrae), especially stiff ones, 5-20 reps, until you feel loosening. if a level feels loose, let it be, especially if it's sore. sometimes stiff levels feel fine, while loose joint hurt, because they do all the movement to make up for the stiff ones, and are overstretched.
for sore hips, do the same at your mid/low back, tightening abs to push down into tennis balls. if it feels too intense, lean against the wall on them, instead. have your feet 2ft apart and 1ft away from the wall, bend your knees.

after mobilizing, do some gentle rotation to ease into any gained range of motion. for neck, arms: standing, raise and lower arms oppositely, one up while other is down, and turn your head to match, facing the down arm. for back/hips: lying on your back with knees bent, rock your knees back and forth to the side. 10-30 reps.

HTH, if anything gets worse, stop! see a PT for more specific evaluation and treatment, manual therapy, etc.

and arnica gel can ease aches.

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#9 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 04:57 AM
 
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I swear the universe provides...I was just going to post this thread too I cannot feel my baby pinky finger because my arm is soooooooooooo tingly/numb.

Thx formerluddite for the hints and tips..gonna try 'em tonight
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#10 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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I haven't tried this yet but I just recently read that if large busted it can be because of not enough support in the bra. The narrow straps put pressure on the nerves. It supposedly can be helped by wearing a sports type bra where the extra wide straps meet and cross in the midback. I haven't had the chance to buy one but I thought maybe wearing one in the daytime would help.

Currently I just reposition myself and try to have enough room to stretch out in the bed. I can drop my arm off the side of the bed too and the blood flow will get going again.
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#11 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by strathconamama View Post
I cannot feel my baby pinky finger because my arm is soooooooooooo tingly/numb.
definitely neck related, otherwise you'd have less specific symptoms (like more fingers if it's a nerve pinched in your arm, or whole arm/hand if it's circulation). the pinky is innervated by C8, which comes out between the C7 (bottom neck bone, C=cervical) and T1 (first trunk bone, T=thoracic) vertebrae. try the tennis balls right at that level, and also at nearby levels (up and down) in case C8 hurts because it's getting pinched by an overly mobile joint that's making up for other stiff joints. sometimes the 1st rib can also get pushed out of alignment when the arm is flexed upwards a long time, like in sleep. you can feel it (the rib) at the top of your trunk, between the neck and shoulder. use your opposite hand and feel the clavicle (collarbone) in front, then slide your fingers back towards your scapula (shoulderblade). halfway there, at the top of the hill, push down and feel how hard it is. that's your first rib, joked about by PT's as the "most massaged muscle," because people think its a tight muscle and try to "work out the tension." use your fingers to press straight down, like a piano key, in little springy thrusts. it should give a little, and may feel a bit uncomfortable an inch or so away, where it attaches to your spine. take notice if your pinky symptoms change while you're pushing, or soon after you stop. push like i described for mobilizing with the tennis balls, once per second 5-20 reps, then pause and reassess your symptoms.

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#12 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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I have been having problems with my hands for about a month. Excruciating pain when asleep and numbness in my fingers all day long. Went to doctor who diagnosed carpal tunnel. SHe sent me to a specialist who advocated discontinuing cosleeping AND breastfeeding (dd is only 8 months old!). I was so frustrated I cried all the way home. Now dh is sleeping on floor to give me and dd more space. I am so worried that I will do some permanent damage and have to have surgery. Any words of encouragement?
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#13 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Thanks for the PT help! I thought I was the only one with this problem. At first, I thought it was me, then I realized that it only happens in one position when my right arm is sort of wedged into the wall and my daughter is sleeping on my arm. I switched sides and haven't had it come up anymore so far.
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#14 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by olivia'smomma View Post
I have been having problems with my hands for about a month. Excruciating pain when asleep and numbness in my fingers all day long. Went to doctor who diagnosed carpal tunnel. SHe sent me to a specialist who advocated discontinuing cosleeping AND breastfeeding (dd is only 8 months old!). I was so frustrated I cried all the way home. Now dh is sleeping on floor to give me and dd more space. I am so worried that I will do some permanent damage and have to have surgery. Any words of encouragement?
what a lame specialist! you still have to feed baby! or maybe you're supposed to bottle prop?: did they give you a PT referral? i'm glad you're looking for help IRL, just keep trying and you'll find someone who values nursing and can help, instead of dismissing it.

positioning: find several different positions to feed in (8mos can handle a variety of positions, and might think it's fun, lots of pillows, foam wedges. get an evaluation by a PT, manual therapy if indicated. carpal tunnel doesn't come at the same time on both sides too often, referred neck pain is much more likely. look at tips on neck in my earlier post to get started. watch your posture/positioning and time at the keyboard. (like surfing MDC from a laptop in bed nakking )

true carpal tunnel can be shown by nerve conduction velocity tests: they send an electrical current down your arm from elbow to fingers, look at the speed to see if the problem is truly at your wrist. did the specialist do that?

get moving, general execise helps with all sorts of inflammatory conditions. large gross movements, walking (but not slinging or stroller pushing, you need to let your arms swing) is the best. see if you can even take 2 10 min walks each day. do other inflammation reducing things, diet changes and such, try looking in the health and healing forum and i bet you (and others lurking here) can find more veterans of this condition to guide you.

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#15 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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Count me in with the numb camp but actually it's my middle toes and only when I sit on the birth ball for too long. I'm trying so hard to wean DD from it.

I could go to the chiro, but I swear the last one I went to just saw $$ whenever she saw me. I just need to find one that's poor or something.
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#16 of 18 Old 01-13-2007, 11:16 PM
 
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I've been having some troubles as well - mostly because I tried to move something too heavy and my mid-back is in spasm. In fact, I was in so much pain the other night, I put DD into the cosleeper for part of the night until I felt better. She did okay, but was restless. I am going to continue putting her in the cosleeper at least until her first nursing of the night.

A few other things that may help -

In the short- to medium-term:

1. For those with carpal tunnel, wearing a brace at night really helps.
2. If you're not adverse to meds, some advil at night will help muscle spams and other problems. When I had runner's knee years back, it really got me back on track. I used it last night as well as having DH rub an ointment on my back and just one night of treatment really helped get me back on track, so to speak.
3. Moist heat for any spams or sore areas on the back or shoulders- 10 minutes every hour is ideal, but who has that kind of time? Either a moist heat pad or letting the shower run over the area helps. Follow up with some light stretches for the back and shoulders.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining goddess) with a bolster under your back is awesome for moms. see http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/663_1.cfm
5. acupuncture. i've found "medical" acupuncture to be useful in relieving muscle spasms.

In the long-term:
1. Yoga
2. I haven't done this yet, but am looking into Heller Work (http://www.hellerwork.com/). Other moms I know say that it realy helped them along with yoga.
3. Chiropractors do help, but only if they provide you with tools for the long-term, especially exercises to do.
4. Include foods with natural anti-flammatory properties in your diet such as ginger and EFAs, and bromelain.

And if you have ongoing back problems, check out any book by Dr. Sarno. Really enlightening!
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#17 of 18 Old 01-14-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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2. If you're not adverse to meds, some advil at night will help muscle spams and other problems. When I had runner's knee years back, it really got me back on track. I used it last night as well as having DH rub an ointment on my back and just one night of treatment really helped get me back on track, so to speak.
3. Moist heat for any spams or sore areas on the back or shoulders- 10 minutes every hour is ideal, but who has that kind of time? Either a moist heat pad or letting the shower run over the area helps. Follow up with some light stretches for the back and shoulders.
advil can also break the spasm/pain/spasm cycle too. when you've hurt your spinal nerves (neck/back), the paraspinals tense up to limit movement, then after a while they themselves start to hurt, because they're working too hard and the tension isn't allowing good blood supply, so they spasm further... advil can cut your awareness of the pain, then the muscles relax, and when it wears off, if the nerve that got hurt is feeling better the muscle doesn't bother to tense up again.

if it's a new injury, better to use ice the first 48 hours, and for inflammation ice is still better. heat can feel soothing, but contributes to inflammation. ice numbs you so you can get pain relief. you apply it to the spinal level associated with the referred pain. hand/wrist=low neck (C6,7,T1), hip=waist level (L1,2), down the leg into foot/ankle=low back (L4,5,S1,2). use a bag of frozen peas, mark it with an X, put it in the freezer reuse it. put a WET dishcloth between it and your skin to really conduct the cold, otherwise you're wasting your time. <10 min, or when you go from tingly to numb.

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#18 of 18 Old 01-16-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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what a lame specialist! you still have to feed baby! or maybe you're supposed to bottle prop?: did they give you a PT referral? i'm glad you're looking for help IRL, just keep trying and you'll find someone who values nursing and can help, instead of dismissing it.

positioning: find several different positions to feed in (8mos can handle a variety of positions, and might think it's fun, lots of pillows, foam wedges. get an evaluation by a PT, manual therapy if indicated. carpal tunnel doesn't come at the same time on both sides too often, referred neck pain is much more likely. look at tips on neck in my earlier post to get started. watch your posture/positioning and time at the keyboard. (like surfing MDC from a laptop in bed nakking )

true carpal tunnel can be shown by nerve conduction velocity tests: they send an electrical current down your arm from elbow to fingers, look at the speed to see if the problem is truly at your wrist. did the specialist do that?

get moving, general execise helps with all sorts of inflammatory conditions. large gross movements, walking (but not slinging or stroller pushing, you need to let your arms swing) is the best. see if you can even take 2 10 min walks each day. do other inflammation reducing things, diet changes and such, try looking in the health and healing forum and i bet you (and others lurking here) can find more veterans of this condition to guide you.[/QUOTE]

Thank you so much for your ideas! I am really going to try them out. It is great to have something to actually DO instead of wait and see. I will have to enlist help of dh though, I do a lot of walking, but it is always with sling or stroller, and dd is about 25 lbs.

It’s feels good to know that I am not the only mommy out there who feels differently then my doctors. I find it really difficult to find a doctor that is on my wavelength. We got really spoiled when having dd. We had a homebirth, and our midwife was excellent. She would give us info on pros and cons of all decisions, and let us decide. Now I am back in “mainstream” health care and I feel like all the decisions are made for me.

Someday I will find that perfect physician; I know he/she is out there!!!
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