An article on bed rest that gets it right! Today's story in the Globe and Mail reports that two recent papers published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology questioned the usefulness of instructing high-risk pregnant women to rest in bed, whether for just a few hours a day or 24/7. In fact, bed rest may be associated with more harm than good as it increases a woman's risk of things like blood clots and exercise intolerance - not to mention the emotional stress it can cause.
I never prescribe bed rest for my patients. There has never been any evidence that bed rest has improved the outcome of a pregnancy; whether the concern was related to preterm labour, pre-eclampsia (a type of high blood pressure disorder in pregnancy) or cervical incompetence. It is certainly reasonable to have reduced activity in certain circumstances - but this doesn’t mean bed rest. Usually all I recommend to my patients is no heavy lifting, not because this could cause a problem with your pregnancy, but your body and back are under a whole lot more stress and sometimes even minor lifting can cause injury. So, for the most part, keeping active is a good thing.