Bed rest can seem like a fantastic idea for a mom who is pregnant, especially, if you are in those final few weeks of pregnancy. However, bed rest is sometimes recommended during the early stages of pregnancy to prevent complications and help increase the chances of delivering a healthy baby. If your doctor orders bed rest during your pregnancy, it is very important that you listen to your doctor. For some mom’s, bed rest can seem like an impossible task because they don’t have any one to help them with other children or household chores.
Note: I am not a doctor, nurse, or health care provider. This post is for informational purposes only and never should replace getting medical care during your pregnancy.
When is Bed Rest Recommend During Pregnancy?
If your doctor ordered bed rest, it is important that you take your doctor’s recommendation seriously. A doctor will recommend bed rest for mom’s who are experiencing the following symptoms during pregnancy:
- Contractions or Symptoms of Preterm Labor (Typically Before 37 Weeks)
- Incompetent Cervix
- High Blood Pressure
- Problems with your Placenta
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Growth Problems with Your Baby
- Multiple Gestation Pregnancies
- Threatened Miscarriage
- Previous Miscarriage or Baby Born Preterm
- And Other Conditions Determined By Your Doctor
What Will Happen If I Don’t Take Bed Rest Seriously?
Bed rest can get very boring and leave you feeling isolated but it is very important for you to listen to your doctor’s advice. If you don’t listen to your doctor’s advice, you could potentially put your life or your baby’s life in danger. There are several different types of bed rest so it is very important that you ask your doctor what you can and can’t do while on bed rest. Not taking bed rest seriously can increase your risk for being admitted into the hospital for complete bed rest or delivering your baby prematurely.
What Type of Bed Rest Will Be Ordered?
There are several types of bed rest that your doctor can order. Many doctors put you on bed rest to prevent complications from some of the problems that I listed above. It is important for you to ask you doctor what your limitations are so that you can adhere to his or her bed rest order.
- Modified Bed Rest – This bed rest requires you to spend a majority of your time in bed or lounging around the house in a comfortable spot so that you can keep your feet up. This bed rest is the least strict and allows mom’s to get up to fix meals, take a shower, and do some light chores. However, it is important to stay off your feet as much as possible and rest.
- Strict Bed Rest- If your doctor orders you strict bed rest, it is important that you discuss with your doctor what he expects for you to do. Most doctor’s want you to stay in bed and only get up occasionally. Some doctors go as far as requiring you to lay as flat as possible.
- Hospital Bed Rest – Is generally ordered when you don’t listen to your doctors advice or when you and your baby need additional monitoring. If you are admitted into the hospital for bed rest, the doctors and nurses will enforce strict bed rest for you and your baby’s health.
How to Cope During Bed Rest?
Many mom’s feel discouraged when they receive the news that they must take it easy and are forced to rest. It is normal to feel guilty and you should allow yourself to sort through these feelings. Being on bed rest long term not only affects you but it can affect your whole family. Your spouse, family members, or friends may need to help assist you and your family with household chores, meals, care for other children, and provide emotional/social support for you while you are on bed rest. If you are unable to work due to bed rest, it may cause financial hardship and leave you feeling guilty for not being able to provide for your family. However, remember that you did nothing wrong and that you didn’t cause this situation. Bed rest is covered under the Family Leave Medical Act and will ensure that you will still have a job. FMLA allows you to have a total 12 weeks off a year if you qualify. (for more information on FMLA qualificiations, visit the following website: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/)