Post Natal Times
Updated: Oct 8
Conditions, Symptoms, Sign, and Concerns that may present after having your baby.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that may causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the forearm, hand, or fingers. The condition occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed, as it travels through the wrist. The cause of the compression of the nerve is often due to swelling in the narrow space through which the nerve travels and is often a result of overuse of the wrist, poor wrist positions (repetitive strain) and or hormonal changes, causing effects of the fluid retention in the body.
For many clients, the symptoms can worsen over time and therefore is best to seek treatment early. Correct diagnosis and treatment are essential and often non-invasive treatments such as massage of the muscles along the median nerve pathway such muscles in and around the shoulder, arm and forearm greatly reduce symptoms, wearing a wrist support also helps, as well as education on the correct posture and position of the wrist when sleeping, lifting, carrying your baby and or breast feeding are affective in resolving symptoms. Surgery and or a steroid injection into the carpal area should only be considered when all conservative management options have failed to relieve symptoms.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition however pain created from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is due to swelling of the tendons in your wrist rather than direct the nerve irritation. Swelling occurs around the tendon sheaths that cover the 2 tendons that attach to the base of the thumb. The tendons become inflamed and cause swelling and as a result pressure on the adjacent nerves causing pins n needles, pain and often loss of thumb motor power. Often clients complain of loss of movement and or power from their thumb and simple tasks such as lifting their baby, or a bottle, trigger the pain. The pain can be sudden or over time like all repetitive strain pains and may travel up the wrist and forearm in time.
Conservative treatment is recommended as soon as you lose motor power of the thumb or with pain. Massage, ultrasound, laser, kinaesthetic taping and or a well fitted thumb support should greatly reduce the symptoms. It sounds basic but proving the correct education with regards posture, thumb position and avoiding repetitive aggravating thumb positions are key to recovery.
Sex after childbirth
Returning to sex after childbirth can be a very daunting thought for many clients. It has often been many months since having sex with their partner and in fact any form of intimacy. Couples are often exhausted in those first few months to even a year or more after the birth of their baby. Hormones can be playing havoc for many women and breast feeding and leaking breasts can be very off putting for both partners, as they navigate the new role of parenthood and their relationships with each other.
Many women will say that sex is now painful and or feels quite different since giving birth. This is very normal and in time and with treatment can be resolved. The discomfort maybe due to reduced vaginal lubrication, which is often associated with hormonal changes with breast feeding, lack of sleep and or stress. The pelvic floor muscles may have altered muscle strength, activation, and sensitivity. With the correct pelvic floor muscle assessment, a training program can be individualised for every woman to gain strength, improve sensation and sexual arousal. Alternatively, the pelvic floor muscle may be in spasm and the client maybe experiencing a form of Vaginismus (overactive pelvic floor muscles) causing pain on sexual penetration or arousal. Again, with treatment, within 1-4 sessions these symptoms can be resolved, and confidence and pleasure gain back in the bedroom.
Please do not be embarrassed or apprehensive about mentioning any concerns you have with returning during and or after having your baby, as these concerns are very real, and are experienced by almost every client at some stage of their pregnancy journey.