Why Is Bed Rest Essential During Pregnancy?
Are you a mom-to-be and wondering why your doctor has advised you bed rest during pregnancy? Well do not worry we are here to talk about the importance of bedrest for your special nine months.
Your obstetrician might advise you to take bedrest. Bed rest is usually advised to around 70% of women who are pregnant, so you need not be alarmed as you are not alone! The amount of ‘bed rest’ tends to differ from one woman to another. While it is certainly not recommended to have too much rest in a normally healthy progressing pregnancy, there are some conditions when your doctor may advise partial or sometimes complete bed rest.
What Is Bed Rest During Pregnancy?
Bed rest in pregnancy basically refers to limiting your activity to just a few basic activities such as having a bath or using the washroom. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary, as when the doctor advises not to move even as much as required for basic hygiene.
Being completely on bed rest saves up a lot of your energy, and helps avoid complications during pregnancy.
Why Does A Doctor Recommend Bed Rest During Pregnancy?
Your doctor would tell you to take complete bedrest for various health issues that you might be suffering during your pregnancy. Some of them include:
Sometimes there may be a slight bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. Your doctor may advise bedrest until the spotting stops. Sometimes it may even be necessary throughout the pregnancy.
2. Incompetent Cervix:
In women who have an incompetent cervix, there is the chance of threatened late miscarriage. Once the baby starts growing the cervix cannot bear the weight anymore. Your doctor may then perform a small procedure to close the cervix with a few stitches and advises complete bed rest.
3. Blood Pressure Changes:
If the blood pressure tends to fluctuate during your pregnancy, your doctor may advise partial bed rest, or limit your level of activity. This is especially true in case of high blood pressure as it can lead to the development of eclampsia, a life threatening high blood pressure condition during pregnancy.
4. Multiple Pregnancy:
Although bed rest is not routinely advised for twins, in case of multiple pregnancies like triplets or quadruplets, it becomes mandatory to have complete bed rest.
Some other reasons may be:
- Complications with the placenta such as placental accrete, placental previa and placental abruption.
- Preterm labor
- History of miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth.
- Gestational diabetes
Benefits of Bed Rest during Pregnancy:
Your doctor would prescribe bed rest in order to limit your day-to-day activities and for many other benefits that are discussed below to make your delivery safe for both you and your baby. Some of the benefits offered by bedrest during pregnancy include the following.
- Bed rest can help your cervix remain free from any kind of pressure.
- Bed rest lowers the stress on your heart thereby boosting the blood flow towards the kidney, in turn preventing accumulation of fluids.
- Optimum bed rest also improves the circulation of blood in the uterus and offers extra nourishment and oxygen to the baby.
- Bed rest is also known to lower the levels of catecholamines, which are hormones associated with stress in the body, which if higher, can cause contractions.
Dealing with Discomforts Associated with Bed Rest during Pregnancy:
Though lying down on the soft and comfy bed may sound very tempting, you will begin to experience a bit of pain in the joints, lose the muscle tone, decreased appetite and other such issues- and yes, they are associated with taking bedrest during pregnancy. You just have to follow few steps to improve your blood circulation and stay active even if you are in your bed.
a. Lie On Your Side:
Lying on the side would help maximize the blood circulation to the uterus rather than other positions. Have a body pillow or wedge under your abdomen and below the knees to get a good balance while you sleep. Have a soft pillow of moderate height for your head and make sure you turn the sides once every hour to prevent all kinds of aches and irritations.
b. Perform Effortless Workouts:
Forget strenuous workouts or barbells while in bed. You can try to squeeze soft stress reliever balls or press your hand and feet to make it sink inside the bed, perform small circular motions with arms and feet and tightening arm muscles by rotating it in circles in sitting position.
c. Stick To A Healthy Diet:
Though you don’t have a good appetite, cope up the nutritional demands of your body by eating foods that are rich in nutrition. You can divide your meals into smaller portions and consume it as it can aid in faster digestion and prevents heartburns.
How to Make Bed Rest Less Monotonous?
Keep everything you need in easy reach. If you are a working woman, you can opt for the work-from-home option and do small jobs everyday to keep yourself abreast. It also helps to fight boredom.
- Keep your books, laptop, cell phone or tablet handy.
- Have a bottle of water always by your side.
- Read stories to your older kid, so they don’t feel ignored.
- Read up online activities to do with your older kid, which you can easily do lying down.
- Connect with friends. Have them come over every now and then so you can have some entertaining company.
- If possible, have the television installed in your room, so you can watch your favorite channels.
- Have a word with your physician if you can practice some simple stretching exercises to avoid muscular strain.
- Watch what you eat. It is easy to let go during a difficult phase especially when you don’t have much to do.
- Accept help gracefully. When someone offers to help you, accept it knowing that now is the time when you cannot conceivably do anything on your own.
Once you deliver your baby, do not switch to a strenuous workout activity immediately as you have to remember that you were off your feet for a few months and your body is not ready for it. Take it slowly by practicing yoga, walking or swimming to begin with. Understand and accept that this bed rest is for you and your baby’s good. Do take all necessary steps to enjoy a productive time for you and your family.
Share your experiences with us in the comment section below:
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