The Skinny on Mommy’s Thumb

Just a few days ago, I was watching a repeated episode of The Doctor’s, and the main subject of the day was Mommy’s Thumb. I decided to actually pay attention and see what Mommy’s Thumb was all about. I never heard of it before and envisioned a cartoon thumb.

Here is the skinny on Mommy’s Thumb. It is actually a tendon problem, and it sounds quite painful too. The pain will often affect both the thumb and the wrist. The condition has a different medical name, Tesnosynovitis or Tendonitis, but Mommy’s Thumb is the catchy phrase used on the news. The reason the condition is now referred to as Mommy’s Thumb is simply because it is an issue that will typically take place in women who have recently given birth.

What Causes Mommy’s Thumb?

Mommy’s Thumb is caused by an inflammation of the thumb, which also leads to pain in the wrist. So what causes the inflammation? One of the reasons us moms end up with Mommy’s Thumb is because there is a constant strain put on the wrist and thumb from picking up a newborn baby several times a day. A new mother is usually constantly picking up her new baby, and while it is something that we all have done, it is also something that can cause serious inflammation and pain. Of course, this does not mean that we should stop lifting our babies. However, it does mean that we need to be careful about how we are picking them up. Our usual instinct is to pick our baby up with our thumbs pointed straight and upwards, with the hands on the back of the baby. Unfortunately, it is this type of position that can cause that unwanted strain on the thumb, leading to serious inflammation and Mommy’s Thumb.

Is Mommy’s Thumb a Real Affliction?

Mommy’s Thumb is a real affliction. In fact, many doctors are trying to raise the awareness of the issue, especially for new mothers because they want them to be cautious when lifting and holding their new babies. The television show, The Doctor’s, is watched by so many of us women, many of whom are mothers just like you and I. Even the episode on this show has helped to raise awareness of the issue for many. There are several different methods of treatment for those who are currently dealing with the inflammation. A doctor will usually prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and advise the patient to perform some gentle stretches and hand exercises to help reduce inflammation. In the most severe cases, steroid injections have been used, but this is very rare in the first place.

How Can I Prevent Mommy’s Thumb?

The best way to prevent and avoid Mommy’s Thumb altogether is to pick the baby up with the palms of the hand to avoid putting too much strain and stress on the thumb. It can be difficult to always pick the baby up with the palms, but it is something that can be done quite often. Alternating back and forth from different positions will also help to prevent too much strain being put onto the thumb. So what does this mean? The best means of prevention is to hold the baby using different positions, and avoid putting too much stress on the thumb and wrist. Mommy’s Thumb may be a painful ailment to deal with, but it is avoidable.

If you want to learn more about Mommy’s Thumb, you can go here – This site also have the episode on the Doctor’s TV if you’re interested.


  1. Sheila says:

    I love the Dr’s but must have missed this show. Thanks for the recap :)

  2. Rachel says:

    It is funny, there are times that I pick up the baby and my thumbs hurt. I never knew why.

  3. I swear I had this when my kids were small. I love the Doctor’s – they are full of such good info!

  4. so weird. I have never heard of this. I do like to catch an episode of The Doctor’s every now and then though

  5. hmm interesting!

  6. OMG! I had this after I had my son but I got it from constantly having to hold up my gigantic boobs so I didn’t smother my baby while nursing LOL

  7. I’ve never heard of this before – this is really interesting!

  8. Who knew!!!???

  9. No wonder I had this before. That’s the only way I pick up my baby. I never knew that could be a big deal. I thought I was already having an arthritis or gout attack. I had a big baby and was picking her up that way even when she’s already bigger. It’s good that we have shows like this that could reach out to moms and prevent problems we could have without knowing what caused it. The pain definitely hindered us in giving the best care for our child. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll start watching The Doctors regularly.

  10. Having just been diagnosed with arthritis and bone spurs, I guess I’m glad I’m past the stage of life to have to worry about this. When I first saw the headline I thought “oh my…what could be next?!” LOL

  11. Alana says:

    This was really insightful. I’m a work-from-home mommy blogger, and I have a 2 month old that I play with regularly in-between work. I started noticing pain around my thumb area, so I figured it could be due to the typing. I took a break off work for a couple of days, but it still persisted. I am glad I found this article ; I’m off to the doctor’s office to have this checked out!


  12. Wow, I had no idea!! It makes sense though. Thanks for sharing!

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