Each year, health care professionals will prescribe bed rest to more than half a million expectant mothers. A doctor may recommend bed rest in response to a medical condition or symptom that puts the health of the baby and/or mother at high risk - multiple pregnancies, high blood pressure (hypertension), pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal bleeding, and premature labor, for example.
Positive Effects of Bed Rest
Bed rest has been shown to alleviate symptoms and reduce risk for complications. Established benefits include:
- Decreasing physical and emotional stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduction in vaginal bleeding
- Restriction of premature contractions
- Facilitation of blood flow to the placenta
It is important that you discuss both the specific details and the exact requirements of your bed rest with your health care provider. Some cases require stringent adherence, but milder conditions may allow for a little more flexibility.