Bed rest during pregnancy is generally recommended in extreme cases where the health of the mother and the baby is of huge concern. Women who are advised bed rest suffer from conditions such as high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, preeclampsia, problems with the placenta, multiple gestation, and problems with the fetus, and may show signs of preterm labor. The general rationale behind it is that it relieves pressure from the cervix, reduces stress on the heart to improve blood circulation, and minimizes the production of stress hormones. It gives women a chance to relax and take a break from all the tensions of pregnancy. Even though the instances of doctors recommending bed rest is going down, here are a few things you need to know about it.
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1. It Means Different Things To Different People
Best rest does not always mean stopping all activity and curling up in your bed for the rest of your pregnancy. You need to know what bed rest implies in your situation. Sometimes, it just means reducing your level of activity and refraining from doing household chores. You should make everything clear with your doctor. Why you need bed rest, for how long you need it, what positions are allowed, how often can you go to the toilet, and can you have sex.
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2. It May Not Help Treat Medical Conditions
There is no evidence to prove that bed rest improves your medical conditions. It does not reduce the risk of preterm labor and does not help control your blood pressure in a significant manner. You should be well aware of the reason why you are recommended bed rest and whether it will actually help your condition or not. If you do stay in bed for an extended period of time, as recommended, keep a close tab on your health. Have your doctor perform regular check ups to see if the rest is actually helping you. If you suffer from constipation, bed rest makes it worse.
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3. It Increases Joint Pain And Muscle Aches
When you lie in bed for a long period of time, you apply a lot of pressure on your back and hips, and the weight of your little one adds to it. If you already suffer from joint pain and muscle aches, bed rest will aggravate the pain. You need to stretch and change your position as often as you can, but after consulting your doctor. Restricted movement for a long period of time leads to bone loss and muscle atrophy.
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4. It May Harm Your Mental And Physical Health
Being on bed rest entails distancing yourself from other people. Since you will be all by yourself most of the time, it might lead to mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety. You will have high chances of suffering from blood clots, especially on your legs, due to reduced blood circulation. It can make your muscles very weak over time and you will definitely have a much harder time pushing your baby out. You may have to take the help of foreign interventions to help deliver your little one.
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5. It Leads To Slower Recovery After Delivery
Since your muscles are in a rested state for a long period of time, you will take much longer to bounce back after delivery. You need to give yourself enough time to recover and should slowly start building your fitness level. After you are better and after you get a green signal from your doctor, start walking slowly and take as many steps as your body allows. Further bed rest might worsen your condition. Take all the help you can after delivery, and don’t try to take care of your baby all by yourself. Let your partner be completely involved in parenting, and get support from your close friends and family members.
If it is absolutely necessary for you to take bed rest, keep your mind occupied. Read books, start a scrapbook, or communicate with your friends and family through email or letters. Don’t let boredom get the best of you. It might take a toll on your psychological health. If you feel bed rest is not helping your condition, consult your doctor. Always be in constant touch with them and voice out all your concerns and difficulties without hesitation.