Reasons to stay off your feet when expecting

There are several conditions that can cause the need for bed rest during pregnancy. Bed rest may actually mean lying down in bed or it may just mean being off your feet. Chances are this is being done to help you to carry your baby to full term.

One condition that requires full bed rest is placenta previa. What this means is that the placenta is attached low in the uterus. It may be fully or partially covering the cervix. This results in excessive bleeding. This is very hard on the mother and the baby. Blood transfusion may be required. Placenta previa will also necessitate a c-section but the doctors will try to allow the baby to grow big enough that it has a good chance outside the womb.

Pre-eclampsia, also called toxemia is hypertension (high blood pressure) which also results in a high protein level in the urine. The high protein level may be caused by dehydration but if it is present along with the high blood pressure then it has to be treated. The causes are unknown but may be the result of diet, being over 40 or under 20, having a pre-existing kidney condition or high blood pressure. The symptoms may include swelling of the feet and hands, headache, nausea and vomiting. Bed rest is one of the treatments along with monitoring the blood pressure and if it gets too high then an early delivery is called for.

Gestational diabetes is when a pregnant woman has a high blood sugar level during pregnancy that she didn’t have before. Though the exact causes are not known there is some thought that the placenta may be secreting hormones that block the production of insulin in some women. Gestational diabetes is a serious condition that can affect the health of both the mother and the baby. It needs to be closely monitored and the mother needs to control food intake, measure blood sugar and take insulin as needed. Exercise is an important part of treatment but in some cases bed rest is called for.

If you are expecting twins or more you can almost be guaranteed that you will be placed on bed rest. The larger the babies get the greater the pressure on the cervix. Gravity is working against you and getting off your feet can relieve some of the pressure.

A weak cervix is a heartbreaking condition that may result in late term miscarriages and spontaneous abortions. The cervix may dilate painlessly or the water may break way too early. A stitch may be put in the cervix and then bed rest is called for, again to get the pressure off of the cervix.

Bed rest is a common prescription for pregnant woman and considering how much running around they will be doing all too soon, it is a good chance to enjoy a good night’s sleep or an afternoon nap. What ever the reason, following your doctor’s orders is a must and in the end, you and your baby will be glad that you did.