Mothers Can Be Placed On Bed Rest
This reduces a woman's ability to work, care for other children, or even complete basic tasks. While some people might imagine bed rest to be a casual diagnosis, wherein a woman is simply "taking it easy" for a while, that is often not the case. Some women put on bed rest are so debilitated that they can barely get up from bed to get a drink of water.
Being placed on bed rest is a relatively common occurrence during pregnancy and can result from a variety of conditions. High blood pressure, cervical changes, vaginal bleeding, premature labor, poor fetal development, gestational diabetes, and placenta complications are just a few of the conditions that may lead to a woman being placed on bed rest for as long as several months. Bed rest is prescribed to thousands of women each year. Its severity can range from simply taking it easy to literally limiting women to their beds for months on end. This is done in the goal of reducing the risk of a premature birth or a miscarriage. It is often prescribed to women with hypertension or who have a history of preeclampsia. The consequences on women and their families can be severe, however. One woman, for instance, was put on bed rest for several months when she already had a 3-year-old daughter. Her husband was forced to quit his full-time job in order to take care of them both, drastically reducing their income just as they needed it more than ever. Confined to the couch or the bed, the woman told NPR: "I wouldn't even get my own glasses of water. So I like to say that 'I was on bed rest, and he was on house arrest,' because he really couldn't leave either." The effectiveness of bed rest continues to be debated, all while the practice itself carries its own risks. Some recent studies have claimed to find that bed rest can be riskier for some women than simply continuing on with normal activities. Doctors claim it can even be fatal in certain cases. "One of the most dangerous things that can happen when a woman is on bed rest is having a blood clot," said Anne Drapkin Lyerly, an OB-GYN and professor of bioethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "You can have blood clots in your legs or in your pelvis. And if those clots travel to your lungs, it's life threatening."