July 10, 2008,
A.O. asks from Tacoma, WA on July 06, 2008
Nerve Damage and New Baby
I now have a beautiful newborn girl at home and after a little challenge with jaundice in her and a bllood clot in me I now have a new issue that is driving me crazy! About three days ago my lower arm started hurting a lot. It has to be nerve damage of one kind or another because it is a shooting sharp pinching pain. I am breast feeding and I know my position isn't the best but it's the only way I can get her lined up correctly, I also have no idea if this has anything to do with it. Has anyone else ever experienced any nerve damage right after having a baby?
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for the responses. I am still working on my positioning while nursing and thankfully her little mouth is opening wider too which helps SO much! My doctor fit me with a wrist brace and told me I had carpal tunnel syndrome (I have no idea if I spelled that right!) from water shifting after the pregnancy. She also said I could have it for as long as three months. Yuck!! But having answers and ideas really helps bring the worry down. Thanks again moms!
D.H. answers from Portland on July 07, 2008
Well, you certainly have your hands full!
I also experienced pain from nursing. Your phrase, "I know my position isn't the best but it's the only way I can get her lined up correctly" sends up a red flag. You should be able to position her correctly without causing strain to your arm.
First, see a lactation consultant to help you find a comfortable and proper position for nursing.
Then, if the pain still go away after a week or so, see an acupuncturist.
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K.B. answers from Seattle on July 07, 2008
I would definitely check with your doctor. I had (have) something similar with both my kids. I went to the doctor when I started having pain in my arm and hands with my first one (it was so bad at times I couldn't physically pick my daughter up.) My Doc indicated at the time that many moms go through it and it's more the way we do things that are body isn't used to, the twisting, turning, carrying etc. he gave me a prescription for a safe anti inflammatory that helped as I was nursing at the time too.
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C.F. answers from Seattle on July 07, 2008
As a Perinatal nurse, lactation specialist and mother of 4, I understand what you're going through. While I was nursing my 2nd child, I ruptured 2 discs in my neck and the pain was incredible. (The rupture was due to an injury 10 years prior to the rupture). I went through months of PT, pain meds, traction, braces with varying relief for 7 years. Finally, I went to a rolfer and it cleared up for good. I found a rolfer who was also a PT so it was covered by insurance.
I am constantly telling moms to get themselves comfortable and in a good position and then have someone give them the baby to nurse. Always bring the baby to you - don't lean to get to the baby. Use as many supports as you need to help get the baby in a good position - pillows, chair arms, your legs (sitting in a bed with knees bent up helps support the baby on your legs, takes the weight off your arms ), use a stool to support your legs up if you are sitting in a chair. I know it's usually not practical to have someone there to hand you the baby after you're comfortable - so always try to get yourself in good position before attempting to nurse.
I don't know if you can find a PT to help with positioning or work with a lacatation specialist. Your pediatrician would be the place to ask about that or call the unit where you delivered and ask the nurses for recommendations. They are generally more up on that than the doctors.
Good luck and I hope it get's better fast - it is so depressing having pain and it can make a person grouchy.
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T.A. answers from Seattle on July 07, 2008
It's probably tendonitis, another mom wrote in about this a little while ago. It does hurt really bad!
Acupunture and ice are the only things that got rid of mine, twice! I wear a brace sometimes when it's flared up (carrying my heavy baby in the carrier), have my chiropractor adjust my neck and wrists, and have my massage therapist work on my forearms-hard!
For you and your baby's sake, don't just take painkillers or anti-inflammatories, they just cover up symptoms of an underlying problem.Good luck!
K.B. answers from Portland on July 10, 2008
You know, I thought I was having a heart-attack when I was having that same pain. I took baby aspirin for 2 weeks and then used the boppy pillow to help my breast-feeding skills and to align up my new little girl. I found out that it was my position. I would recommend going to a lactation center in the hospital that you had your child in, or read up on different positions and see if that helps. Also, if you could prop the baby up on a pillow, that will take some of the strain off of you and make both of you comfortable. I know that boppy pillows are expensive and my daughter only used it for the first 2 weeks. After that, I had to use 2 full pillows to keep us both comfortable. Also, you may try to put a pillow under the baby, one behind you, and one under your arm-depending on how you are holding your baby.