Why Do Doctors Prescribe Bed Rest During Pregnancy?

Why Do Doctors Prescribe Bed Rest During Pregnancy?

Bed Rest 101

For the most part, women are able to stay active and busy throughout their entire pregnancy. Many women exercise every day and some continue to work all the way up until they go into labor. However, not every woman is so lucky. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

In fact, somewhere around twenty percent of women are prescribed bed rest for at least a part of their pregnancy. Bed rest is typically described as advising (or prescribing) a pregnancy woman to rest at home, lying down, in order to minimize complications of her pregnancy.

Why is bed rest needed?

There are several different situations in which a doctor might suggest bed rest for a patient. The most common reasons that bed rest is prescribed are things like carrying twins or multiples, preterm labor or risk of preterm labor, placenta previa, gestational hypertension, or pre-eclampsia.

Some women are told to spend time lying on the couch or sitting around at home. Other women are advised to simply try to stay off their feet as much as possible and not do too much. For other women, bed rest means spending a portion of pregnancy in a hospital room, in a hospital bed, with hospital staff, and not being able to get up and move around at all.

Is bed rest necessary?

Bed rest is not a guarantee that nothing bad will happen to you during your pregnancy, it is only a safeguard and a precaution to try to keep you as safe as possible. Some experts argue that bed rest doesn’t really do any good for pregnant women, and still others continue to recommend bed rest, saying that if it helps at least a little bit, that it is better than nothing.

Doctors all agree that more research and studies need to be done on bed rest to find out just how helpful bed rest is. The whole medical community is not in agreement on the benefits of bed rest as of right now, so we can’t really say for sure if it is helpful. Some doctors even think that it is possible that bed rest can actually do more harm than good for some women during pregnancy.

How to deal with bed rest

While the thought of sleeping, laying around, and resting might sound appealing to the exhausted pregnant woman, bed rest can quickly get old and exhausting in it’s own way. First of all, if your doctor recommends bed rest, make sure to find out just what your limitations are.

Are you allowed up for a few hours a day, or do you have to stay in bed 24/7? Can you get by with just taking rest periods throughout the day? Try to gather together some visitors, friends and family to come by and keep you company during your bed rest period. Keep everything within arm’s reach: phone, computer, magazines, books, snacks, drinks, paperwork, etc, so that you don’t have to go searching all over the house to get it.

Bottom Line

The bottom line when it comes to bed rest is that every doctor has a different approach and a different opinion when it comes to bed rest. You will have to talk with your doctor and see what he or she recommends for your particular case.

If your doctor does recommend bed rest, try to keep an open mind about it, and try to make the best of it. Bed rest, especially full bed rest or extended bed rest, can be very hard to deal with, so make sure that you keep things in perspective and remember that bed rest is for the health and well being of both you and your baby. And, just like all of the other pitfalls of pregnancy, bed rest doesn’t last forever!

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Alyssia Granger
Alyssia Granger | ConceiveEasy
Alyssia is mom to 2 giggley twin girls, Sophia and Emma, and son Hunter. She's a Southern girl, passionate about photography, travel and her husband Josh.