Posts Tagged ‘swollen hands’

Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Preeclampsia is a blood pressure condition that only occurs in pregnancy and during the postpartum period. Women who have preeclampsia develop high blood pressure and may also have signs that some of her organs, like her kidneys and liver, may not be working normally.

Preeclampsia is a serious health problem for pregnant women around the world. It affects 2 to 8 percent of pregnancies worldwide. In the United States, it’s the cause of 15 percent of premature births. Premature birth is birth that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Most women with preeclampsia have healthy babies. But if it’s not treated, it can cause severe health problems for you and your baby.

For most women, preeclampsia happens after 20 weeks of pregnancy. When it happens during the postpartum period, it is usually within 48 hours of having a baby. However, it can develop up to 6 weeks after birth.

One of the best ways to detect preeclampsia is to go to all your prenatal care checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. Preeclampsia sometimes develops without any signs. This means you may have preeclampsia and not know it. During your prenatal care checkups your health care provider will measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein. In the case of preeclampsia, there’s usually a presence of protein in the urine. 

Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Changes in vision, like blurriness, flashing lights, seeing spots or being sensitive to light
  • Headache that doesn’t go away
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting or dizziness
  • Pain in the upper right belly area or in the shoulder
  • Sudden weight gain (2 to 5 pounds in a week)
  • Swelling in the legs, hands or face
  • Trouble breathing

Many of these signs and symptoms are common discomforts of pregnancy. If you have even one sign or symptom, call your provider right away. Without treatment, preeclampsia can cause serious health problems for you and your baby, even death.

If you’re at risk for preeclampsia, your provider may want you to take low-dose aspirin to help prevent it. Talk to your provider to see if treatment with low-dose aspirin is right for you. Visit marchofdimes.org for more information about how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Why does your wrist hurt?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

wrist-painYou’re pregnant and you expect a growing belly, a little nausea, swollen feet… So what’s the deal with the aching wrist?  As your body retains extra fluid during the second half of pregnancy the fluid can cause swelling and discomfort in various areas.  Most of us think of carpal tunnel as a condition gotten mostly by people who work using a constant repetitive motion, like typing on your keyboard or messing with your mouse.  This repetition causes irritation, swelling and pressure on local nerves.  Pregnancy is a time when many of us take swelling to another level, so it’s common in pregnancy, too.

Swelling in the area of the hands and wrists puts pressure on the median nerve that leads to the thumb and most fingers.  This pressure can cause tingling, numbness, ache or sharp pain in this area and even up the arm.  Well, aren’t we lucky?  The good news is that it usually goes away after the baby is born and your body returns to its normal unswollen self.  Thank goodness!

How can you deal with this delight until delivery? Ergonomics.  If you use a keyboard, try adjusting your chair so that your wrists aren’t bent and your elbows are supported on the chair arms, or use a wrist support in front of the keyboard.  Some people choose to use a specially designed, ergonomic keyboard.  If you’re on the phone a lot, use a headset or hands-free phone.  Sometimes symptoms feel worse at night when you’re lying down because the swelling in your feet redistributes to other areas.  It may help to sleep with your wrists elevated on pillows. 

Let your health care provider know that your wrist is bothering you.  She may suggest trying a wrist brace to keep your hand in a neutral position, just don’t make it too tight.  Anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be helpful, but don’t take them without first talking with your doc.  If you’re one of the “lucky” moms to suffer with carpal tunnel, hang in there.  It should go away in a few more months.

Carpal tunnel, another pregnancy treat?

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

handYou’re pregnant and you expect a little nausea, swollen feet, round belly. So what’s the deal with the aching hands?  As your body retains extra fluid during the second half of pregnancy the fluid can cause swelling and discomfort in various areas.  Most of us think of carpal tunnel as a condition gotten mostly by people who work using a constant repetitive motion.  This repetition causes irritation, swelling and pressure on local nerves.  Swelling is swelling, though, so it’s common in pregnancy, too.

Swelling in the area of the hands and wrists puts pressure on the median nerve that leads to the thumb and most fingers.  This pressure can cause tingling, numbness, ache or sharp pain in this area and even up the arm.  Isn’t that just great?  The good news is that it usually goes away after the baby is born and your body returns to its normal unswollen self.  Thank goodness!

How can you deal with this delight until delivery?  If you use a keyboard, try adjusting your chair so that your wrists aren’t bent and your elbows are supported on the chair arms, or use a wrist support in front of the keyboard.  Some people choose to use an ergonomic keyboard.  If you’re on the phone a lot, use a headset or hands-free phone.  Sometimes symptoms feel worse at night when you’re lying down because the swelling in your feet redistributes to other areas.  It may help to sleep with your wrists elevated on pillows. 

Let your health care provider know that your hand is bothering you.  She may suggest trying a wrist brace to keep your hand in a neutral position, just don’t make it too tight.  Anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be helpful, but don’t take them without first talking with your provider.  If you’re one of the “lucky” moms to suffer with carpal tunnel, hang in there.  It should go away in a few more months.