faded image of a woman holding her wrist

Carpal tunnel when pregnant

Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually characterized by a tingling or numb feeling in the hand, and is extremely common in pregnant women.

What causes carpal tunnel?

The tingling or numbness or carpal tunnel is caused by extra pressure applied to a nerve in the wrist. Most cases of non-pregnancy carpal tunnel are associated with overuse of the fingers and hands, but during pregnancy it is mainly caused by internal swelling which crowds and applies pressure to the nerve, known as the median nerve.

Tips for managing carpal tunnel?

Stretching, and hand muscle-building exercises may help prevent or manage carpal tunnel. Overuse of the fingers and hands could also factor in, so you may want to take a break if doing a repetitive task like typing for a long time. If your symptoms bother you too much, your healthcare provider may recommend that you wear a supportive brace that can help nullify some of the effects. Carpal tunnel that arises during pregnancy will almost certainly fade in the months following delivery.

Read more
  • R Ablove, T Ablove. “Prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Pregnant Women.” Wisconsin Medical Journal. Volume 108, No. 4. Web. 2009.
  • “Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet.” Womenshealth.gov. Office on Women’s Health, U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 7/16/2012. Web.
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