Bed Rest for Preterm Labor
Expectant management is the close monitoring of a pregnancy for complications. It may involve some bed rest at home or in the hospital. Being on expectant management may mean you are advised to stop working, reduce your activity level, or possibly spend a lot of time resting (partial bed rest).
There is no evidence that long-term bed rest lowers the risk of preterm delivery. footnote 1Studies have shown that strict bed rest for 3 days or more may raise your risk of getting a blood clot in the legs or lungs.footnote 2 Strict bed rest is no longer used to prevent preterm labor. But your doctor may recommend expectant management with some bed rest (partial bed rest).
If you are prescribed partial bed rest
If your doctor or nurse-midwife suggests expectant management for preventing preterm labor, discuss the benefits and risks in light of your condition.
When you are resting or sleeping during late pregnancy, try to lie on your side. This is thought to improve blood flow to the uterus and fetus(es).
Dehydration can trigger contractions, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids each day.
When you are lying down, remember to flex your feet, stretch, and move your legs as much as possible.
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Current as ofNovember 21, 2017
Current as of: November 21, 2017