Although there is no credible scientific evidence to suggest that bed rest makes a difference in pregnancy outcomes.
In some cases, it might even lead to other problems for pregnant women and their loved ones.
Here is a list of complications that may encourage the doctors to advice bed rest:
- High blood pressure, such as preeclampsia or eclampsia
- Cervical changes, such as the incompetent cervix or cervical effacement
- Vaginal bleeding
- Premature labor
- Multiple Pregnancy
- History of pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or premature birth
- Poor fetal development
- Gestational diabetes
- Placenta complications, such as placental abruption, placenta previa, and placenta accreta
Best Position for Bed Rest
The best position for bed rest will depend on your situation and what complication your health care provider is trying to address or prevent. In most cases, your healthcare provider will request that you sleep and rest on your side, usually with your knees or hips bent, and maybe with a pillow between your knees.
In other instances, you may be asked to lie on your back while being propped up with pillows or to lie on your back with your hips or legs elevated higher than your shoulders.
Why Bed Rest?
Some doctors recommend bed rest during pregnancy – typically because there aren’t any other treatments to offer patients. Doctors usually want to feel like they are doing something, and patients want to feel assured that their doctors are taking action to keep them safe during pregnancy.
Bed rest is advised to give the body it’s best chance to normalize.
It is advised to women who have conditions related to high blood pressure in order to decrease stress and lower blood pressure.
In some cases, like vaginal bleeding work, activity, lifting, or exercise may worsen or provoke certain situations, so bed rest may be prescribed to decrease the chance of premature labor.
Bed rest may also be necessary to help increase blood flow to the placenta.
If your doctor prescribes bed rest, discuss why he or she thinks it will be of benefit – and about what the potential risks are.