Bed Rest

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Bed rest during pregnancy

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Did You Know? Cautioning Against Bed Rest and Why

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Bed Rest in Pregnancy | CS Mott Children's Hospital | Michigan Medicine

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Organizational Leaders. This theory has been in place for many years, with an estimated 18 percent of all pregnant women in the U. When physicians are worried about a patient, the therapeutic imperative often drives the practice, Dr.

Grimes adds. The definition of bed rest varies, says Dr. Grimes, but the strict version typically means you stay put, in bed, and can only get up to use the bathroom. Time out of bed is very limited—only to shower but not sit for any length of time. A modified version at home allows for showering and meals at a table, but bans work, caring for older kids, cooking, and cleaning. Certain conditions tend to receive this directive with the hope that slowed movement will ease worrisome symptoms high blood pressure, contractions.

The most common pregnancy complications for which resting in bed is recommended include preterm labor, prevention of preeclampsia , multiple gestation, hypertensive disorders, intrauterine growth restriction, antepartum bleeding, and placenta previa when the placenta partially or fully covers the opening in the cervix.

In contrast, the medical harms of bed rest are clear.

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For example, placing a pregnant woman at bedrest dramatically increases her risk of blood clots in her legs, which can travel to her lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. While bed rest or activity restriction are often recommended to moms-to-be for a variety of pregnancy conditions, according to ACOG the practice hasn't been shown to improve birth outcomes.

So while the first day or so of couch time may be relaxing, the following days and weeks can be difficult for expectant mothers.


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Prescribing this kind of rest also suggests that the patient has some measure of control over her pregnancy complication, leaving her to feel guilty if she can't fully comply, especially if the guidelines are vague. Rather than send women to bed to wait out their pregnancies, some doctors are now directing moms-to-be to listen to their bodies.