Q&A: What Is Bed Rest?

Help! I have to go on bed rest. What does that really mean?
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By Karen Moise, RN, Registered Nurse
Updated March 2, 2017
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Bed rest can be a dreaded term for a mama-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 ask your doctor about your specific limitations. They’ll depend on the reason why you’re on bed rest. Some bed rest can be very strict—the doctor may not even want you to sit up, let alone get up to grab a snack. For others, it may be safe to walk for short periods of time (like to the bathroom or kitchen) or to drive to a doctor’s appointment. Make sure you ask your doc plenty of questions so you’ll know which activities you can and can’t do. It’s a good idea to ask her if there’s a particular position you should be lying in while you rest. Also important: not to cheat. Hang in there!

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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