There is lots of evidence to show the benefits of staying fit and active during pregnancy.

Is there anything that I can do?

CTS is often diagnosed based on the description on symptoms and physical examination of wrists and hands. In the majority of cases, symptoms of CTS will disappear within 12 months of delivery of the baby. Consider the following options to help manage symptoms of CTS:

  • Pace your activities and actively rest

Ensure that you take regular breaks or regularly switch activities to use different movements and muscles.

Reduce activities that cause your wrist to bend forwards – try to keep your wrist in a ‘neutral’ position.

  • Use a splint or brace

Wearing a brace at night can be particularly helpful but you can use it during the day if you have a flare up in your symptoms. Make sure that you remove the brace regularly and move your wrists and hands so that they do not become stiff.

You can purchase splints from your local chemists or on the internet.

  • Use cold therapy

Try contrast baths

Contrast baths can be used to reduce the swelling in your hands.

Submerge your hand(s) and wrists(s) in cold water for one minute, remove, pat dry and then submerge in warm water for 1 minute. Repeat this for 6 minutes.

If you experienced CTS during pregnancy, it can cause some challenges with breastfeeding once you have had the baby. This can be managed with a bit of forward planning. You might want to talk to your midwife or health visitor to discuss the options for different holds.

You may find that using a ‘rugby hold’ or specific cushions may help. Otherwise hands-free nursing using a sling worn close to the body might be an option for you.

The foot during pregnancy

Changes in the foot

During pregnancy, soft tissue structures such as your tendons and ligaments can become more lax in response to hormonal changes in the body. This can lead to the foot more often than not becoming a little flatter and wider.

Will my feet hurt?

As pregnancy progresses, your feet and lower limbs will be required to tolerate additional load. With a change in your posture and the way that you walk, your feet and ankles may become painful. Cramping in the calves is also common due to the extra load and work that they are required to undertake but can also occur due to mineral deficiencies.
Changes to the feet are commonly associated with the second and third trimesters. In the majority of people, these changes will return to pre-pregnancy appearance. This can take up to 6-8 weeks. For those that are breastfeeding, changes can be present for up to 12-months or longer if breastfeeding is continued.

Is there anything that I can do?

As these changes are a natural and are associated with pregnancy there is little that can be done to stop these changes. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent or help manage pain in the feet and ankles.

We recommend:

  • The use of appropriate footwear – link to leaflet and video with a slight heel pitch, a stiff/robust sole, and a form of fastening can give the foot some additional support.
  • If needed insoles can provide further support. Link to OTC insoles leaflet
  • Calf stretches – link to leaflet and video can also help with maintaining food mobility and flexibility around the ankles.
  • The small muscles in your feet can become overworked and are usually helped by doing some simple exercises while you sitting down – link to foot muscle exercises

If your foot pain persists consider seeking further help  which you can complete to refer yourself to the Podiatry service for advice

graphic showing drinks that do and don't irritate the bladder

ABUHB Physiotherapy team – returning to exercise postnatally

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – returning to running – Physios’ postnatal running guidance recognised and aligned with government advice

Physical activity guidance following childbirth (up to 12 months – Physical activity for women after childbirth: birth to 12 months

This Mum Moves – Activity after childbirth – New Mums

Healthier Together is the ABUHB website designed to support children and their families during pregnancy and beyond Healthier Together