Any tips for dealing with lymphoedema and babies?!

Hi all

I posted to the Younger Women’s forum a while ago to say that after 13 ops and two lots of chemo I had finally met the man of my dreams and miraculously got pregnant naturally at the age of 40! My lovely baby boy is now two months old and I wondered if anyone with lymphoedema had tips for dealing with it plus baby? I actually got an information booklet for one handed parents which wasn’t too helpful. I realised 7 weeks in that I was sitting on the wrong side of the sofa to feed him so my arm wasn’t supported (doh!) and now I do it properly I’m not waking up with a sore hand and it looks a lot better. I have lymphoedema in my left arm/hand but lymph nurse is so far letting me off wearing a sleeve again and I just wear a glove, but it’s off and on all day with changing nappies etc etc.

Any tips gratefully received.



Instead of taking your glove on and off all day would it be possible to keep a box of cheap latex gloves handy to put on over your glove when dealing with nappies etc. I wear a sleeve with a mitten and keep a box in the kitchen to grab when I am dealing with food, or dealing with the cats litter trays or in fact anything messy. They are really quite cheap, I get mine from a well know auction site

Take Care


Andie, thank you! Why did I never think of that?! I’m always taking it off to chop vegetables etc too. Will buy some this morning!


Great idea - being so young he’ll not notice. I had to wear latex gloves for a month or two when changing my daughter when she was 3 (as I almost cut my finger off with a bread knife!!) and she was very put-out that I had to wear gloves!!!

My baby is older - 17 mths now - and I have lymphoedema in my right arm. I don’t wear a glove so nappies are no real issue, and she was 8 mths when I was diagnosed.

I hold for feeds in my opposite arm as I still give her a bottle at bedtime. I always lift with 2 arms and then carry on my left hip with my left arm.

Remember that if you go gently with the lifting your arm should slowly get used to the extra workload - so as your baby gets heavier your arm will hopefully adapt a bit. Make sure as they get older that they get plenty of floor time etc so that they will play on the floor rather than wanting to be carried all the while.

If you want to use a baby carrier then use either a ring sling on the unaffected shoulder or a wrap that spaces the weight evenly across your back.

I must admit I do more than I should sometimes - but I am a Mama and I want to lift a baby that falls over or is teething. I have a 3 year old as well.

Manny, thank you - great tips and nice to know there are other lymphoedema mummies out there! My nurse said the same about building up strength as my baby gets bigger.

Hope you’re doing well after your treatment.

Helen x

I am doing well thank-you. You have such a wonderful story there - and I am so happy that you have had your baby despite all that chemo.

I think the thing with lymphoedema and babies is kind of deciding how to balance things between what is best for the arm and what is best for you as a Mummy. You just can’t do it all perfectly really.

So when my 2 are both crying as they want to see over the fence to see the tractor in the field I will lift them both, enjoy the cuddle, and be normal just for a minute or 2. That means either a 23 or 27lb baby in my arm - but so be it for a minute or 2.

I reserve all my ‘naughties’ for the kids!!! So I get my husband to do heavy housework and carry stuff for me, and take care with the ironing etc.

My arm has been much better since I fitted a bit of exercise in as well - not easy with babies about :wink: