Bed Rest During Pregnancy
Bed rest is usually recommended during pregnancy to alleviate certain pregnancy complications. It may differ from person to person and may involve bed rest at home to full monitoring at the hospital. Some women may be confined to bed while other may just have to take it easy around the house. Some pregnant women may be placed on bed rest their whole pregnancy whereas others may be on bed rest for a brief period of time to stabilize a pregnancy complication.
Why do I need bed rest ?
Bed rest is recommended during pregnancy for a number of reasons. These include :
- vaginal bleeding
- high blood pressure which include preeclampsia and eclampsia
- preterm labor
- preterm changes in the cervix such as cervical incompetence and cervical effacement
- baby has medical problems
- placental problems such as placental abruption or placenta previa
- expecting multiples
- gestational diabetes
- history of premature birth, miscarriage or still birth
- poor fetal growth
What are the benefits of bed rest ?
In women with high blood pressure, best rest is used to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. It increases your body’s chance of normalizing again. It also helps increase blood flow to the placenta especially when you lie on your side. Bed rest is recommended for women experiencing vaginal bleeding or premature labor.
What position is recommended for best for bed rest ?
Most health care providers recommend lying on your side ( preferably your left side ). It helps to have your knees or hips bent, and a pillow between your knees. You may also be asked to lie on your back while pillow prop you up or lie on your back with your hips or legs elevated higher than your shoulders. However the best position really depends on the complication your health care provider is addressing.
How can I make bed rest as comfortable as possible ?
Bed rest can be quite uncomfortable. It may cause your muscles to lose tone and make your joints ache. It can also reduce your blood circulation. Switching from one side to another may help and so does doing some exercising. You need your health care provider’s permission before your start any exercises.
Here are some of the exercises you can do
- squeezing stress balls
- turning your hands and feet in circles
- pressing your hands and feet in circles
- tensing or tightening of your arms and legs
What are the Do’s and Dont’s of bed rest ?
It usually depends on our condition however most bed rest requires you to avoid the following
- light house chores
- sexual intercourse
- taking baths or showers
You need to discuss ways to get your blood circulating with your doctor if you are going to be on bed rest for a long time.
What ways can I cope with bed rest ?
These tips can help you cope with bed rest
- beat boredom with activities such as reading baby books or watching baby programs
- get organized. Make sure you have what you need such as phone, snack, laptop, extra pillow, blankets or pillows within your reach
- accept help from friends and family with activities you cannot do such as cleaning or even just keeping you company
- seek support by joining support groups or online chatroom for moms to be
- expect emotional ups and downs. Share them with your partner
Bed rest during pregnancy: Get the facts. Mayo Foundation. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20048007. Accessed September 11, 2014
Bed rest during pregnancy. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000581.htm .Accessed September 11, 2014