18 answers

Loss of Circulation

Hi moms!

I'm in my last month of pregnancy, and for the last week or two I've been experiencing loss of circulation in my arms and hands. It's really annoying. It originally started occuring only during the night while I tried to sleep, which made sleeping difficult as I would wake up and try to find different positions to regain blood flow. But here lately the loss of circulation is not only happening at night anymore - it'll happen spontaneously during the day as well. It's still just limited to my arms and hands. Sometimes the pain gets so intense that I can't classify it as "pins and needles"; it's more like being stabbed by needles (like a nurse that can't find your vein or something). What's worse, my sleeping is very disturbed now because I can't seem to find a position to help allievate the pain for up to an hour sometimes, so I just end up tossing and turning or getting out of bed altogether because I can't go back to sleep.

I've tried stretching, drinking more water, massage...Nothing seems to be helping. Could there be something wrong? My pregnancy is fine so far, complication-free...My OB doesn't seem concerned and I can't think of anything else to do and I can't imagine being like this for another month. Any suggestions or help? Thanks in advance.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the responses, moms. It really put my mind at ease.

My OB seems to think I may be suffering from pregnancy-induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as a lot of you speculated. Since I only have a few weeks to go I decided to try and tough it out by making sure I'm well hydrated, I stretch frequently, and my husband *lovingly* decided to make a pallet on the floor so I could have the entire bed to myself to stretch out and change positions as frequently as I want! I'm also considering adding more cranberry juice and alfalfa to my diet, as some of you moms suggested that they are natural diuretics. Hopefully this will resolve itself in the weeks after the baby arrives.

More Answers

Hi C. -

I experienced the same thing during my pregnancy, the pain could be excruiating at times. Near the end it was difficult for me to even use my hands. My doctor said it was carpal tunnel caused by the exta fluid from pregnancy. It continued to be painful for about 3 days after delievery then slowly got better. It's been 8 months and I haven't had any problems for about 6 months now. I did try wearing a wrist split at night that did help a little. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Find out what a chiropracter has to say. You may find some relief there.

Pregnancy induced carpal tunnel...i experienced the same while I was preggers w/my little (9 months) my ob sent me to physical therapy & it helped a little....if you have a heating pad wrap it around your wrist for about 5 minutes...this is where you can get hubby to help out w/palm side up have hubby (using/both hands) gently massage the wrist w/his fingers do this for about 3-4 minutes or as long as you can stand if you're in pain and then do the same w/your hands after massaging....essentially a warm up...you can do some stretches w/your arm resting on a flat surface you very gently stretch your hand towards you; you will use your free hand to push the hand you are stretching for a little resistance do this for about a minute shake it off & then do it a again...repeat a couple time then alternate. If this helps then before you stretch each time warm up your wrists w/the heating pad; massage & then stretch...you can actually do the stretches & massage yourself but I enjoyed the wrist & hand massage when hubby did it ;0) My pain & symptoms resolved after about 2 months completely w/the help also of a hot/cold rock massage...I know a gal that is certified (but she won't do any work on you while pregnant or until you've had your first postpartum checkup.....http://www.heel-n-soles.com) Congratulations on your little one!

Hi C., This is not something you should have cked out now, but, a few weeks after you have the baby, go into your doc and get cked out for fibromyalgia. I was having the same things happening to me when I was pregnant, and assumed it was because of the pregnancy - sometimes that's all it is. But it kept happening after the pregnancy, and, the pain you're having could just be from poor circulation, but, it could be nerve pain. A year after my baby was born, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It could be hormones, but, better 2 b safe than sorry. Take care, and congratulations!

Hi C. ~
I'm an OB nurse, and unfortunately, this is not that uncommon....it's simlar to carpal tunnel type pain...you could try tylenol, but doubt that would help much...I'm not sure if you could get a hand brace at Meijer's or maybe a home health care products store, and that might help. Luckily you're almost done, it should get better not long after delivery.
good luck!

I had the same problem with all of my pregnancies, and it was not a pinched nerve,. Becasue it is your arms, try sleeping with your shoulders and upper arms a little elevated, like putting a pillow under them,even if you are on your side. Changing the position can change the flow of circulation. There is a lot of escess fluit in your system right now, and hopefully it will go away soon after delivery. I know sleeping is hard at this stage, but try different positions. Also, I developed carpal tunnel and splints that you can get at the drugstore with the metal bar in them can help.

I am willing to bet you have (transient) carpal tunnel syndrome which causes those symptoms - your body beccomes relatively edematous as you go through pregnancy (the same as your feet and legs) which causes compression of those nerves, so this is completely normal, albeit annoying, during pregnancy. Something I learned from my OB which I didn't know is that your whole body retains fluid - it just really shows the most in your legs and ankles, typically, as dependent edema. I had what you have during my first pregnancy and it was painful - I actually slept with wrist guards on that I had from my roller blading days and it helped a little bit. My carpal tunnel went away about a month after pregnancy as the fluid decreased. If you notice any other unusual swelling in your extremities or it suddenly gets much worse, call your doctor because it could potentially be PIH/preeclampsia which you do not want to mess around with whatsoever.

Hi I am a physical therapist and If it is your arms too then it maybe comming from your neck or your first rib maybe out. A chiropractor that is very very gentle in royal oak/berkley Dr. Dean he would be a good person to have you checked for mis alignment. He is also very reasonable. Good luck. K.

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