Putting a Stop To Mommy Thumb: 4 Myths & Facts

Bringing a child into the world is an incredible and exciting experience. Preparing for a newborn can be a fun, but stressful experience and it may feel like you will never be fully ready for your child to be born between diapers, the nursery, household changes, etc. When it comes to holding, nursing and caring for your newborn, mommy thumb is a condition that you can’t fully prevent, but you can educate yourself on and be prepared for any pain that may come! 

Are You Sure You Really Know What Mother’s Thumb Is?

You’re experiencing wrist and thumb pain, but is it mommy thumb? Before we get into the myths associated with mommy thumb, it’s important to fully understand exactly what the condition is. Mommy thumb, otherwise known as de Quervain's tenosynovitis, is a painful condition that directly affects the tendons on your thumb and the side of the wrist. You will know it’s mommy thumb when you are experiencing the main symptoms such as, pain and tenderness in the wrist, often below the base of your thumb. 

Not so sure it’s mommy thumb you’re dealing with? Learn more about wrist and thumb pain to find out what your condition is, so you can find the best way to treat it! 

Mommy Thumb Myths Explained:

  1. Once You Get Mommy Thumb, It Never Goes Away

    This is absolutely false. There are many cures and treatments for mommy thumb pain, and the earlier on you take action the better. In mild cases, changing up how you do your daily tasks could relieve the pain. Looking into baby wearing devices rather than carrying your baby in your arms all day. Mommy thumb can affect people in different ways with a range of severity.

    Here are the best remedies for mommy thumb pain:

    • Try different positions while holding your feeding your baby
    • Use a heating pad for heat therapy on painful areas
    • Support your baby’s weight with a sling or pillow
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers
    • Stretch out your thumb and wrist daily 
    • Use a thumb immobilizing splint during the day 

    If you are experiencing consistent and severe pain, make sure you see your doctor, or another medical professional right away! 

  2. Mother’s Thumb Affects Mothers Only 

    This statement is far from the truth. The many names for this condition can seem deceiving, the wrist and thumb pain associated with caring for a newborn can affect anyone taking care of the child. Whether this is the father of a child, a nanny, or anyone else taking care of children on a regular basis, the pain can take over anyone! Although women are more likely to develop de Quervain's over men, it can occur, especially for stay at home dads who are spending a lot of time with their child, or children. 

    This being said, it’s important to make sure that you don’t count out mommy thumb being the culprit for your thumb or wrist pain, no matter who you are. Mommy thumb can occur for anyone who is taking care of a child daily. Make sure you take action on treating your mother's thumb pain before it gets severe! 

  3. The Pain Will Only Occur In Your Thumb

    Mommy thumb is also sometimes called mommy wrist for a reason. The pain associated with De Quervain's tenosynovitis affects the tendons in your thumb as well as the side of your wrist. Depending on the situation, the pain may be more severe in either the thumb or the wrist, but in most cases it will affect more than just your thumb. For this reason, the best splints to help the pain while your hand is in use are braces that will support both your wrist and thumb.

  4. mommy thumb wrist pain

  5. Mommy Wrist Pain Happens After The Baby is Born

    Sure, most of the time the wrist and hand pain is associated with holding and nursing your newborn. However, sometimes mommy thumb pain can occur before your baby is even born. Due to changing hormones and swelling you may experience the mommy thumb and wrist pain while pregnant, especially if you are doing repetitive hand work. You may also be more at risk for mommy thumb if you have high estrogen levels, or have a chronic joint condition like osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. 

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