Q&A: What Exactly Does "Going on Bed Rest" Mean?

What does “going on bed rest” really mean? How much can I move around/what exactly can I do?
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By Karen Moise, RN, Registered Nurse
Updated January 30, 2017
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Being told to go on bed rest can be a dreaded order for any active mom-to-be, but it doesn’t have to mean your life is totally on hold! The definition of bed rest isn’t the same for every expectant mother, and the key is to find out from your doctor what your specific limitations are first by asking relevant questions. Some bed rest orders may be very strict, meaning your doctor doesn’t want you to sit on the couch or get up to grab a quick bite – or even to shower. But for others, bed rest has a broader definition, so it may be safe to be up for short periods of time after all or even drive to the doctor’s office.

Make sure to talk with your doc about what specifically you can and can’t do while on bed rest, so you know just how active you’re allowed to be. It’s also a good idea to find out if there’s a particular position you should be lying in while resting that’s best for your baby’s health.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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