When doing "anything for this baby" means doing nothing.
More than 700,000 moms-to-be per year in the U.S. are put on some level of bed rest, experts say. While bed rest during pregnancy is one of the most often prescribed interventions, it is also one of the least studied. Women are highly motivated, obviously, because their biggest concern is their unborn children.
Such is the case of Melina Watts. In a moving essay in The New York Times, this California mom shares her experience of spending two months "on strict and anxious bed rest" while pregnant with her third child, a son.
In the Times piece, she talks about how humbling it is to ask for help. She has a career, two other children and a household to run. But Watts says it took everything inside of her to have the strength to hand-off all of these duties to someone else—all while, as she puts it, "I lie here."
The good news is that her son is now home after two months in NICU and doing well.
Remember, each case of bed rest differs from woman to woman, so follow your OB-GYN's directions and advice closely. Bed rest may be prescribed for such factors as threatened preterm labor, spotting, bleeding, hypertension and, frequently, carrying twins or more. In most cases, bed rest helps your body rest and de-stress.
Bed rest does have its downsides for your mind and body. But researchers say it could also have an upside. And our experts say that there are safe exercises you can do while on bed rest. Take a look at our Bed Rest Workout for moves you can do on your couch or bed to help stay in shape, both physically and emotionally.