Bed rest can be recommended for those women, who have mild to severe complications in their pregnancy. This HerHaleness excerpt points out most of the possible reasons, as to why some women are recommended bed rest during their pregnancy.
Many pregnant women are advised bed rest, as a means of dealing with certain pregnancy complications. For some women, this development may take them by surprise, while others may expect it because of a preexisting medical history. While it is a common phenomenon, the kind of bed rest differs from woman to woman. Depending on your case, you may be advised strict or partial bed rest, which could either be periodic or full rest at home, to monitoring in the hospital.
In some cases, a woman may be confined to bed rest until the complication stabilizes, though some may be confined to such a strict rest for a significant part of the pregnancy. Such a rest may also mean restricting yourself to movement within the house or actual confinement to bed. Your health care provider will explain exactly what kind of rest means in your case.
There are a wide number of reasons, why your health care provider may prescribe bed rest for you. Common reasons are, if you have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, such as preeclampsia, and eclampsia. Other likely causes are cervical changes, such as incompetent cervix, and cervical effacement or placenta complications, such as placental abruption, placenta previa, and placenta accreta.
If you have experienced vaginal bleeding or premature labor, you are likely to be prescribed bed rest. Also, if you are having multiples, a history of pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or premature birth, or if there is poor fetal development, you may be recommended a complete bed rest for preventing a miscarriage.
Whatever the reason, rest is recommended to improve one’s chances of continuing with a healthy pregnancy. In cases where short-term rest is prescribed, it is mainly to give your body a chance to normalize. This type of rest decreases stress and lowers blood pressure. Also, the best position for bed rest differs in every case. Most of the time, pregnant women are required to sleep or rest with their knees or hips bent. Sometimes, they need to place a pillow between their knees. Alternately, one may have to lie on the back with the hips or legs elevated higher than the shoulders.
Level of Activity
As mentioned before, what you can and cannot do during your period of complete rest, will depend on your specific case. You should get a detailed explanation from your health care provider about the dos and don’ts. A few tasks you must avoid are, lifting, exercising, or any strenuous activity. Check with your health care provider about:
- Light household chores
- Bath or shower
- Sexual intercourse
Getting Through the Rest Period
For others, bed rest may seem like heaven, but in reality, it is very difficult for the person going through it. To maintain your sanity, there are a few steps you can take and go through the rest period easily. Start by setting up and following a routine, which will help you feel like you are still in control of your life.
While your movement may be restricted, there is plenty of organizing that you can do while in bed. Update address books, organize photo albums, and sort out whatever you’ve kept pending over the last few months. It’s also a great time to catch up with friends, either through phone calls, emails, or social networking sites. Invite friends over to spend some quality time with you.
The key to getting through the complete resting time, is to stay mentally occupied, and allow those around you (friends and family), to help you with meals, household chores, and errands.