Reasons You Might Be Put On Bed Rest During Pregnancy

Bed rest during pregnancy is not fun at all. The bed rest order from your doctor is due to specific diagnosis or condition. Bed rest can be as serious as confined in bed all day every day or you would be simply asked to limit your activities. It is recommended mostly to prevent you from going into labor too soon and for other pregnancy complications.

Reasons You Might Be Put On Bed Rest

Nearly 20% of women are prescribed bed rest during pregnancy. The most common reasons to put you on bed rest are:

Preterm Labor

The most common reason for bed rest is in most cases premature or preterm labor. Almost 12% of pregnancies go into premature labor. If your baby is born before term or before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is termed as premature labor. There are birth complications which would sometimes become issues throughout the life of the baby when they are preterm or a preemie. Unexplained vaginal bleeding, abnormally low or high weight issues, drinking problems, drugs or smoking would lead to premature labor. For this reason, your doctor might prescribe bed rest. Each individual pregnancy is different and they are treated on a case-by-case basis.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

When the pregnancies have conditions like maternal weight more than 100 pounds, poor nutrition, use of drugs, smoking, and alcohol, hypertension, placental abnormalities it might lead to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). When the fetal weight is below the 10th percentile of gestational age as determined by an ultrasound, babies are diagnosed with IUGR. This is also called small-for gestational age (SGA) or fetal growth restriction. This is another reason for bed rest during pregnancy.

Placental Previa

This is a condition when the placenta gets connected to the lower part of your uterus, which obstructs the cervix and your baby’s way out of the womb. An ultrasound confirms the condition and your doctor would suggest complete bed rest to avoid any downward pressure on your placenta and cervix.

Cervical Conditions

If your pregnancy leads to excessive cervical changes like incompetent cervix or cervical effacement, then your doctor will suggest you take bed rest. If you are diagnosed with cervical effacement where your cervix gradually softens, shortens, and becomes thinner, bed rest is very important.

Incompetent cervix is a condition where your cervix begins to open or dilate before the little one in the womb is even ready to be born. This condition could lead to miscarriage, rupture of membranes, or premature birth. Bed rest will prevent you from these problems and takes the pressure off the cervix.

Gestational Diabetes

This diabetes is short-lived and a type which occurs during pregnancy. When your body doesn’t generate sufficient amount of insulin during pregnancy, it leads to gestational diabetes. Proper bed rest and care during pregnancy will help you deliver a healthy baby. This condition goes off right after your baby is born, but in some cases, it might become a life-long condition.


Toxemia or preeclampsia is often precluded by pregnancy-induced hypertension. A harmful condition which is due to an elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swollen face/feet. Bed rest is very important and constant monitoring during pregnancy is needed to avoid any complications. If proper care is not given, the risk of placental abruption, intrauterine growth restriction, and preterm delivery might result. Bed rest will bring down the blood pressure.