This one is another doozy that new parents are often unprepared for in terms of bodily discomfort. We often don’t think about the fact that holding baby for an extended period of time can cause forearm tightness and compression in wrist joints. The combination of these two things can lead to inflammation of the tendons running through the carpal tunnel and out to the hands and fingers. As a result, folks often have debilitating wrist, hand and finger pain that is hard to manage because they can’t stop holding their babies, so it is difficult to mitigate the inflammation. Especially with new parents who may not feel completely at ease holding their new baby, there is a tendency to want to curl in and hold the baby extra tight. What often happens is they curl their hands in and around the head or the baby’s bottom creating extra pressure on the wrist joint.
Outside of the bodily discomfort that comes with holding a new baby, core strength is the main thing folks attend postnatal classes to address. Core weakness impacts everyone no matter what their pregnancy looks like, and everyone needs to rebuild strength postpartum. The sooner we can begin to address core strengthening the more quickly we may notice back pain and weakness also diminishing. Its a win-win, but knowing where to start can be challenging. We don't want to jump right back into aggressive core work as we begin, but instead start slow and simple.
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