Bed rest recommendations for moms-to-be not always best

Jan 19, 2011

For moms-to-be facing complicated pregnancies, a prescription to get some rest might be just what the doctor ordered—but it might not be the healthiest practice for pregnant women and their babies.

According to Judith Maloni, a professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, carries physical and psychological risks of its own. Doctors recommend bed rest for nearly 1 million every year for complications that range from early contractions to high blood pressure to bleeding. Recommendations also vary, from simply taking it easy to actually being confined to a bed or couch for all or most of the day.

Studies have shown that remaining in a resting position can lead to bone loss and muscle atrophy, according to Maloni. She also says the strictest bed rest guidelines—where an expectant mother is confined to bed for nearly 24 hours a day—cause more severe side effects and can lead to depression and anxiety as mothers worry over every contraction.

Maloni's findings were published in a special women's health issue of Biological Research for Nursing, and she says more evidence is needed to determine if bed rest is best for mother and baby.

"Nurses can challenge bed-rest treatment by functioning as advocates for and educating them about the evidence for bed-rest treatment as well as the risks and benefits," she says.

Explore further: A new approach to cut death toll of young people in road accidents

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ante-partum bed rest moms get active in new study

Jul 29, 2008

After weeks of bed rest during pregnancy, new mothers need to rebuild muscles and strengthen their stamina. Now a group of women will test new interventions in aiding that recovery during a pilot study at Case Western Reserve ...

Low Back Pain Is No Reason to Stay in Bed

Jun 16, 2010

For much of the 20th century, “rest”— which generally meant a few days to a week in bed — was the standard prescription for acute low-back pain. In recent decades, however, doctors started counseling patients to stay ...

Recommended for you

Sensors may keep hospitalized patients from falling

18 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—To keep hospitalized patients safer, University of Arizona researchers are working on new technology that involves a small, wearable sensor that measures a patient's activity, heart rate, ...

Rising role seen for health education specialists

20 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

User comments : 0

More news stories