St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Bed rest during pregnancy

    Your doctor's orders to stay in bed for a few days or weeks might seem like a welcome break. But you will find that bed rest during pregnancy can be as much work as it is a break.

    You might not be able to work, do things around the house, or spend time with other family members the way you normally do. If you're on complete bed rest during pregnancy, you might not even be able to shower or eat when sitting up.

    Bed rest means you will need to quickly adjust to doing things differently. You will need to find ways to pass the time and ask for help with all of the things that you normally do.

    Why Do I Need Bed Rest?

    Your health care provider may order bed rest to help you continue with a healthy pregnancy. If you have any of these problems, you may need bed rest:

    • High blood pressure
    • Premature or preterm changes in the cervix
    • Problems with the placenta
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Early labor
    • More than one baby
    • History of early birth or miscarriage
    • Your baby is not growing well
    • Your baby has medical problems

    Bed rest does not guarantee that problems with your pregnancy will get better. It is just a safeguard.

    What Is the Best Position for Bed Rest?

    The best position for bed rest is on your side, with the left side being preferred and the right side as an alternative when the left gets sore. It helps to rest with your knees or hips bent. You may want to use a pillow between your knees to relieve stress on your back.

    How Can I Deal with Discomfort from Bed Rest?

    Bed rest can make your body ache. Switching from side to side every so often will help move your muscles and relieve pressure.

    Movement and activity will also help keep your blood flowing. Here are some exercises that may help. Talk to your health care provider before you start any activity:

    • Squeezing stress balls
    • Pressing your hands and feet against the bed
    • Turning your arms and feet in circles·
    • Tensing or tightening your arm and leg muscles

    Try not to use your belly muscles if you are stretching or exercising. Keep in mind that you should talk to your doctor before you do any stretching or exercising while on bed rest.

    What You Can or Cannot Do While on Bed Rest

    The dos and don'ts during bed rest will depend on your situation. Most often, bed rest will require that you avoid:

    • Lifting
    • Exercise
    • Any activity that strains your body

    Ask Your Doctor

    If you should limit yourself from doing any of these:

    • Cooking
    • Light chores·
    • Walking
    • Bathing or showering
    • Driving
    • Having sex

    If you will be on bed rest for a long time, you will need to get enough movement each day to keep your blood circulating. Talk to your doctor about safe activity you can do while on bed rest.

    How to Cope with Bed Rest

    Remember that each day of bed rest brings you one day closer to the birth. In the meantime, try to:

    • Get organized. Make sure what you need is within reach -- like a phone, laptop, drinks and snacks, the remote control, and extra pillows and blankets.
    • Beat boredom.This is a great time to focus on the baby. Shop online for baby goods. Knit a baby sweater. Ready baby books or watch baby programs on TV. Do things to keep your mind busy.
    • Accept help.When friends and loved ones ask what they can do, put them to work -- mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathroom, or keeping you company.
    • Seek support. Connect with other moms who know what you are going through. Talk to friends who have been in your shoes. Check for support groups, bulletin boards, and chat rooms online for moms-to-be on bed rest.
    • Expect emotional ups and downs. Share your hopes and worries with your partner. Let each other vent if needed. If sex isn't allowed, look for other ways to show your love. Take time to kiss, hug, and cuddle.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

            Talking to your MD

              Self Care

              Tests for Bed rest during pregnancy

                Review Date: 8/15/2012

                Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

                The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
                adam.com

                A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


                Back  |  Top
                About Us
                Contact Us
                History
                Mission
                Locations & Directions
                Quality Reports
                Annual Reports
                Honors & Awards
                Community Health Needs
                Assessment

                Newsroom
                Services
                Brain & Spine
                Cancer
                Heart
                Maternity
                Orthopedics
                Pulmonary
                Sleep Medicine
                Urgent Care
                Women's Services
                All Services
                Patients & Visitors
                Locations & Directions
                Find a Physician
                Tour St. Luke's
                Patient & Visitor Information
                Contact Us
                Payment Options
                Financial Assistance
                Send a Card
                Mammogram Appointments
                Health Tools
                My Personal Health
                mystlukes
                Spirit of Women
                Health Information & Tools
                Clinical Trials
                Health Risk Assessments
                Employer Programs -
                Passport to Wellness

                Classes & Events
                Classes & Events
                Spirit of Women
                Donate & Volunteer
                Giving Opportunities
                Volunteer
                Physicians & Employees
                For Physicians
                Remote Access
                Medical Residency Information
                Pharmacy Residency Information
                Physician CPOE Training
                Careers
                Careers
                St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
                Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile