Bed Rest During Pregnancy

What exercises can you do when your doctor prescribes bed rest?

Bed rest during pregnancy can range from decreasing daily activity for a period of time. Days, weeks, or months to monitored hospitalization where you can only lie on your side including eating and going to the bathroom.  Although it may seem like a nice break for a day or two to mentally let go of the to do list and pass responsibilities to others, bed rest for prolonged periods of time can cause physical, mental, and emotional discomfort.

Does Exercise Incease The Risk of Preterm Labor

There is no evidence to indicate that exercise increases a healthy pregnant woman’s risk of preterm labor. Also premature rupture of membranes or fetal distress, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. In addition, exercise does not increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Unfortunately doctors commonly prescribe bed rest during pregnancy.  Up to 70% of high-risk or at-risk pregnancies will be put on bed rest at some point. Even though “bed rest isn’t a proven remedy for preventing pregnancy complications or preterm birth” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Stressful Pregnancy

Pregnancy itself is a stressful and emotional time for a mother-to-be. And when complications arise, fear for a healthy baby can be overwhelming. Adding additional stress to her already complicated life.

Alternatives to Bed Rest

  • Help her visualize her perfect body, healthy, and whole. To imagine her bleeding to stop, a clot to dissolve, the placenta to grow with the uterus and away from the birth canal, the cervix thickening, the contractions dwindling, and her body self cleansing toxins.
  • Motivate her to embellish a diet of organic healthy whole foods. So that she can nourish her body with necessary nutrients for her and her growing baby.
  • Encourage her to slow down a little and perform relaxing exercises. Such as yoga breathing, meditation, and energizing exercises.
  • Take the time to focus on the present and ask herself what she needs right now. This way she can feel supported and secure during this stressful time in her life.
  • Dig deep for the courage to ask for help and support she needs, whether it is help around the house, financial support if she cannot work, massages, a retreat or vacation, cooking or just someone to talk to.

Imagine the different experience a mom could have if she were guided through this stressful and difficult period in her life. With positive self-reflecting and nurturing activities instead of just bed rest.  Even in extreme cases where hospitalization is the only option, combining these tools and techniques with bed rest can provide a mom-to-be with a more positive and empowering pregnancy and childbirth.

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