Your belly isn't the only part of your body that swells during pregnancy, and fluid retention in the arms and wrists can put pressure on nerves there. The result: a temporary case of carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition shows up in about a quarter of all pregnant women, making hands and wrists feel numb and achy. If the numbness is limited to your fingertips, postural changes in your upper back- in response to your changing center of gravity- may be putting pressure on nerves near your shoulders.
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is a minor nuisance, but if yours is unusually painful, your healthcare provider may suggest wearing splints at night to keep your wrists straight. Limit activities such as typing and riding a bicycle (even a stationary one), since gripping the handlebars forces you to hold your hands in a flexed position. Take breaks from repetitive activities and practice good posture. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, often used to treat this problem, are not recommended during pregnancy.
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