Moms, Go Easy on Texting - You Might Get "Mommy Thumb"

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Before I swore off multitasking yesterday, I was guilty of mommy multitasking. Checking my BlackBerry while breastfeeding, working while watching the baby.

While a certain amount of multitasking is expected and appropriate, there comes a point when doing too much starts to interfere with the quality of the task at hand, which is why I’m taking a vacation from it.

And this timely article reminded me of the importance of a BlackBerry break—the dangers of Mommy Thumb.

Apparently common in women with wee ones in the house, “mommy thumb” is the newfangled name for De Quervain’s tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons below the thumb down to the wrist. In addition to scrolling and typing on smartphones, contributors to the condition include lifting children, older moms with young children and cribs that are lower to the floor.

How can you escape the terrors of motherly tendinitis? Obviously, moms do a lot of repetitive movements, and picking up your baby under the armpits can put strain on the thumb. One surgeon in the article recommends putting more weight on the palms of your hands and your forearms when lifting a child out of a crib. Also be sure to use a pillow for support when feeding the baby, so that his or her weight isn’t putting unnecessary pressure on you. And of course, it can’t hurt to take a break from that smartphone!—Erin


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