The Postpartum Chronicles are an ongoing series sharing stories and experiences through pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum, shared by real moms with a real passion for passion. Have questions about or suggestions for the Chronicles? Submit them here !
Happy Maysturbation Month!
Or, for some moms, maybe not so happy. On top of all the fun changes to your libido in pregnancy and postpartum, you may also develop a common and obnoxious physical challenge that messes with your mojo – Mommy Wrist. Like we don’t have enough to deal with, now it hurts to deal with ourselves?
What is “Mommy Wrist”?
Mommy Wrist (or Caregiver’s Thumb) is a catch-all term for pain through the thumb and wrist that is developed during pregnancy or in postpartum, and can also affect caretakers of young children. Formally, Mommy wrist is caused by de Quervain tenosynovitis, but can also be a descriptor for pregnancy related carpal tunnel syndrome. Changes in the body including weight gain, fluid retention and hormonal changes contributing to tendon laxity in combination with new repetitive motion (lifting and holding baby, nursing or bottle feeding, or even how we hold our cell phones) can contribute to the pain. You can imagine what other repetitive motions can aggravate this condition!
There are options to keep your pain manageable so you can focus on your pleasure. Mommy Wrist is treatable with non-surgical options for the majority of those who suffer. Treatment can include controlling inflammation with rest and ice, learning gentle stretches, and changing the repetitive motion that is aggravating the tendons. When it comes to changes so that masturbation is more comfortable, go for the ultimate multitask. Choose a toy with heat and vibration functions, and use it on the softest setting along the base of the thumb and into the wrist for a soothing relief before you get started. If your pain is more intense, you may want to choose a toy with a more ergonomically friendly handle and grip for self-stimulation; the Com Wand by Dame is specifically designed with an angled neck that fits your curves without needing pressure or tension in your arms. For an added warming sensation (bonus!) try Sway by Lora DiCarlo. As another option, choose something that can be worn and operated remotely. The WeVibe Chorus is a fun wearable with multiple settings and pleasure areas. While designed for couple play, it can easily transition to a self-care option with minimal hands-on time.
Mommy Wrist can and often will resolve with time and lifestyle changes, but those changes shouldn’t include cramping your pleasure style! Find the time where you can and make yourself a priority this May, and always.