Bed Rest During Pregnancy

Bed Rest During Pregnancy
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

You may have been instructed to stay on bed rest during your pregnancy, which undoubtedly raises your stress and anxiety. You may be thinking you’ll gain more weight than normal since you can’t move around, and about how you’ll ever be able to lose this extra weight.

Keep in mind that this is only temporary, and that soon you’ll have your baby and you can both be healthy and happy.

Everyone needs a day to rest every once in a while, to stay in bed and not do anything. But, when you are medically required to stay in bed for days, weeks, or even longer, it can feel like torture.

Bed rest during pregnancy is pretty common, in fact 20% of pregnant women have to be on bed rest at some point in their pregnancy.

Bed Rest During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman resting in bed

There are many different types of bed rest, so you need to figure out exactly what your doctor means when they tell you they recommend bed rest for part of your pregnancy.

Bed rest can refer to regular rest for periods during the day, lying flat all day long, (with the exception of when you need to get up to go to the bathroom) or some option in between.

Bed rest can help with the possible complications that can arise during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, or it could even prevent premature delivery.

Of course, bed rest can have unpleasant side effects like discomfort and boredom. If you have to spend a lot of time in bed, you need to change positions regularly to avoid body aches.

How To Survive Bed Rest

It can be extremely difficult to stay in bed all day, especially if you are a very active person or if you have obligations to meet, such as taking care of your other children. Still, you have to keep in mind that your health and your baby’s depends on you staying on bed rest. It is worth being patient and to remember that it is only for a little while.

If you need to stay on bed rest and your doctor has told you it’s your only option, then it’s better to have some strategies to get through it and to not lose patience. Above all, think of how important it is to do, of how your baby’s health and your own depend on you being able to rest and that it won’t last forever.

Check out these tips for surviving bed rest during pregnancy.

  • Have perspective. A little bit of boredom will easily be forgotten once your baby is in your arms. And thanks to this temporary boredom, your baby will be healthy.
  • Stay productive. You can do a lot of things from bed, things that you might not have had time to do before. You can read books that you like, shop online, work from home, etc.
  • Be prepared. Before getting into bed, you should make sure that you have everything that you need close by: books, computer, magazines, food, water… anything you might need during the day should be within reach.
Pregnant woman resting in bed and reading a book
  • Take care of yourself emotionally. You may feel anxious or sad spending so many hours in bed. Don’t let these feelings weigh you down, but remember that they are normal reactions. You have your loved ones as a good support system for whenever you need them.
  • Take care of yourself physically. If you are going to spend a lot of time in bed, it is important to get massages, or even to have a professional physiotherapist do a house call and massage the lymph nodes in your legs to prevent them from retaining liquids and to improve circulation and your joints with massage and movement.
  • Remember: it’s temporary. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is right now, because it is temporary and after a few weeks or months you will be snuggling with your baby and enjoying motherhood.
  • Allow yourself to be pampered. This is a temporary situation, so if you have family members or loved ones around you, let them spoil and care for you. You need to be taken care of once in a while, too.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.