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Bed Rest During Pregnancy – Why Is It Important?

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Bed Rest During Pregnancy - Why Is It Important?

Are you pregnant and wondering why your doctor has advised you bed rest during pregnancy? First and foremost, you should know that around 70% women are advised bed rest during pregnancy. So there’s nothing to be alarmed. It’s the amount of bed rest that differs from person to person. While too much rest isn’t recommended for a healthy pregnancy, there could be some conditions when your doctor can advise you complete or partial bed rest. Below we’ve listed everything you need to know about bed rest and make the most of it.

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What Is Bed Rest During Pregnancy?

Bed rest primarily refers to limiting yourself to essential activities. In some cases, you may be allowed to move around the house, as long as you’re not doing any heavy household chores and lifting children. But in other cases, the guidelines for bed rest could be stricter. You would be allowed to sit in a reclining position and get up only for showing and using the toilet. Hospitalization may be necessary if the doctor suggests not moving even for basic hygiene. It’s only for the betterment of pregnant women as it avoids any further complications during pregnancy.

Why Is Bed Rest Important During Pregnancy:

In the case of certain complications, doctors may advise you a complete bed rest throughout the pregnancy. A few of these complications include:

  1. Bleeding:

In the case of slight bleeding or spotting, your doctor can advise you bed rest during pregnancy.

  1. Incompetent Cervix:

Women with incompetent cervix have a high chance of late miscarriage. Once the fetus starts growing, the cervix finds hard to bear the weight. In such cases, doctors may perform a minor surgery to close the cervix and can advise complete bed rest during pregnancy.

  1. Changes In Blood Pressure:

Fluctuation of blood pressure during pregnancy could also be the reason behind your doctor suggesting you bed rest. This holds true especially in the case of high blood pressure, which lead to the development of eclampsia, a life-threatening condition during pregnancy. If not, a complete bed rest, he can advise partial bed rest or can limit the level of activity.

  1. Multiple Pregnancies:

Bed rest isn’t really recommended for twins, but in the case of triplets or quadruplets, it’s mandatory to take complete bed rest during pregnancy.

Other Possible Complications Include:

Benefits Of Bed Rest During Pregnancy:

Doctors always advise bed rest to make the delivery safe for you and your baby. Some of the benefits of bed rest during pregnancy include:

  1. Bed rest helps the cervix remain free from all sorts of pressure
  2. Bed rest lowers stress on the heart to boost blood flow towards the kidney, thereby preventing the accumulation of fluids.
  3. Bed rest lowers the levels of catecholamine, the hormones associated with stress in the body. This hormone, if raised in the body can cause contraction.

Rules For Bed Rest During Pregnancy:

If your gynecologist has prescribed you bedrest during pregnancy, you need to know some important rules pertaining to it. You should ask all the questions you have in mind to ensure that you understand the rules well.

Timing: When do you need bed rest? Will the restriction improve your condition?

Position: Can you sit up? If yes, then for how long? Can you walk around the house and climb the stairs?

Personal Hygiene: Can you use the toilet, wash your hair and take a bath?

Activities: Can you do light household chores like folding the laundry? Can you drive the car? Can you do light exercises like stretching?

What Is The Best Position For Bed Rest During Pregnancy?

The best position for bed rest during pregnancy is on the left side. The right side should be considered when the left side gets numb or sore. This will relieve pressure on the vein that carries blood from the heart to the feet and to prevent pressure on the liver. Do not lie on your back for long as it will put pressure on your inferior vena cava.

Side Effects Of Bed Rest During Pregnancy:

The side effects of bed rest during pregnancy include:

  • It can increase the risk of blood clots in the veins of the legs
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Decreased bone mass is also a side effect associated with bed rest
  • Emotionally, you’ll feel isolated and confined
  • If you’re the bread earner, financial crunch could also be an issue
  • Even after delivery, the effects of cardiovascular and muscular deconditioning can linger, which can slow the ability to get back to your usual activities.
  • The boredom coming with bedrest can build into frustration, leading debilitating mood swings.
  • Loss of appetite

How To Tackle Discomforts Associated With Bed Rest During Pregnancy?

Bed rest may initially look like a welcome change, but it soon builds up into boredom as you’re not allowed to do anything. It can become even more challenging, especially if you’re used to working. But all the issues can be dealt if you follow a few simple tips to stay active even when you’re on the bed.

  1. Get Organized:

Ensure that you have everything you need within your reach like phone, laptop computer, a cooler stocked with water, juice and other healthy snacks, hand wipes, tissues, books, magazines, writing materials, blankets, pillows and more.

  1. Beat Boredom:

To beat the boredom, you can try doing some art and craft. You can start a scrapbook or organize photos. You can even shop for your maternity and baby online. Or plan your weekly menu. You can pay the bill, balance the checkbook and update the family’s budget.

  1. Help The Older Kids Adjust:

If you have older children, try to provide as much stability as you can to them. Or do some quiet and least stressful activities together, like coloring, reading or watching movies.

  1. Connect With Other Moms:

You can even connect with other mothers online. It will help you maintain a positive attitude throughout your pregnancy and will even kill time. Check for some online chat rooms, bulletin boards and support groups.

If you still find handling bed rest frustrating, consult your gynecologist for additional support. You need to remember that bed rest won’t last forever. You should focus mainly on yourself and your child’s health.

Did your doctor advise you bed rest during pregnancy? What other tips did he share? Share some of the tips with us by commenting below.

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