Bed Rest for You and Your Unborn Baby


 There is nothing more anxiety provoking for a pregnant woman than being told that she must go on bed rest. According to Dr. Sara Twogood, who is one of two physicians that deliver infants who are high-risk pregnancies in partnership with the The Institute for Maternal-Fetal Health at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,

Bed rest has been prescribed to patients to try to decrease preterm delivery. The problem? Studies show that it probably doesn’t make a difference. There are also many downsides to bed rest, including muscle weakness, increased risk for blood clots and stress to the mother and family.”

Question Bed Rest Prescription

If your doctor is prescribing bed rest, as a patient, it’s important to speak up. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is the reason for bed rest?
  • What is the chance it will help?
  • What are the risks?

When to Consider Bed Rest for Your Health and the Baby's

Currently, there is no clear definition of bed rest, and it varies by doctor. The general trend is leaning towards taking it easy during pregnancy instead of complete bed rest. This is especially true if the patient has a very strenuous job with physical demands. Bed rest is important to consider for expectant mothers who are experiencing:

  • Placenta problems
  • Unexpected cervical dilation
  • Ruptured membranes

Read more about bed rest being prescribed for pre-term labor.

How to Stay Sane While on Bed Rest or "Taking it Easy"

Whether you have been placed on bed rest for one week or 20 weeks, here are a couple ways to help keep you from going insane. A couple of years ago, I had a girlfriend who was restricted to bed rest at her home which required her to spend time on her couch all day, every day and was only allowed to get up to use the restroom and shower. This continued for 20 weeks. Below is a list of things that I did to help!

  • Bring a basket with things to do while on the couch: yarn and knitting needles, books from her favorite author, playing cards, Sudoku books, magazines, an iPod with a preloaded playlist and don’t forget her favorite movies.
  • Bring lunch or dinner to the house a couple times a week.
  • Plan girl nights on the couch with movies and popcorn.
  • Play board games.
  • Do mani’s and pedi’s, or anything else to make her feel beautiful.

Help Other Moms-To-Be!

If you or a friend were placed on bed rest, what did you do to stay sane? Please share your ideas in the comments section below. During these really hard times having the support of friends and family is the best for these soon-to-be new moms and their sanity. Thank you for stopping by and remember that bed rest may not make a difference, so be sure to ask the right questions! Stay tuned for the next post on Prenatal and Pregnancy.