Bed Rest During Pregnancy? Worry Not!

Pregnancy does affect your body and leaves you physically exhausted and hitting the bed to rest. But what if your doctor suggests you bed rest for longer hours? Should you be worried?

What are the reasons for bed rest?

Most Indian pregnant women are advised bed rest, but the duration varies based on your health and if there is any medical condition that needs you to be more careful. The more serious the condition, the more confined to be bed you are with limited movements allowed only to the bathroom.

What conditions would your doctor advise bed rest include:

Bleeding: Even if it light. This may cause harm to your pregnancy and may lead to a miscarriage

Changes in your BP: If your blood pressure fluctuates, it may be serious. This is especially true if you have sudden high blood pressure which leads to pre-eclampsia  (which may be life-threatening to you)

Incompetent cervix: Some women during their pregnancies may have an incompetent cervix. This may lead to a miscarriage as the pregnancy continues and the cervix is unable to manage the weight of your baby. Your doctor may have to put some sutures to prevent that from happening and along with it advises strict bed rest.

Multiple pregnancies or high order multiples (HOM): If you are carrying 2 or more babies, it is best advised to rest.

Pregnancy complications: If your current pregnancy is indicative of preterm labor or has some placental complications (eg:  placenta previa, placental abruption etc) or you faced complications in your previous pregnancy (miscarriage, stillbirth etc), then your doctor may advise bed rest.

Medical conditions: If you’re medically unfit to handle your pregnancy (eg severe gestational diabetes, severe hyperemesis gravidarum) and unwell due to it, you may be advised bed rest.

How to enjoy your bedtime?

Well, it can be a drag being confined to the bed for most hours of the day. If you have to, might as well be prepared for it.

  1. Sleep on your side: Constant sleeping on your back when your pregnant may cause a blockage of a major blood vessel in your lower body and may even disrupt the blood flow to your baby. Sleeping on your back for long may leave you dizzy or nauseous. Sleep on your side to prevent this. We would also suggest you invest in a good maternity pillow.
  2. Eat nutritious and healthy food: Eat a well-balanced diet. This will help your gut during your pregnancy and make your bathroom trips peaceful
  3. Have a distraction: You will get bored soon. So, try reading a good book, watch some television. If you have some pending work, you can use your laptop, provided you have your doctor’s consent.
  4. Bed exercises: Staying put in bed may leave your body stiff at times. Ask your doctor if you can do some mild and easy on the bed exercises (like neck rotation, hand rotations). If you are allowed to stand and walk around for a while, you can ask if minor stretches are allowed for you.
  5. Have essentials at a reachable distance: A bottle of water, something to eat, your phone and important medications should be nearby. It is best if you have some company to assist you during these months.
  6. Have some company: Just because you are bedridden that does not mean you can’t meet people. Apart from your husband and immediate family, meet people who will cheer up your mood and keep you happy.

Being bedridden is not a bad thing at all. Just keep the end goal in mind, i.e., having your healthy baby in your hands and soldier through. Towards the end, all this discomfort will seem nothing in front of your baby.




Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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