Bed rest in pregnancy sounds logical (in case your doctor has advised you) because obviously you care for your baby and don’t want anything to go wrong. Most doctors recommend bed rest during pregnancy in 70% of cases so that would-be mothers can avoid complications, have on-time delivery and a healthy baby.
There are certain other pros about having bed rest, including –
- It prevents early labour
- It prevents vaginal bleeding
- Cures hypertension
- Prevents miscarriage
- Prevents growth restrictions and weight loss of the baby
- Stops preterm birth
- Causes no side effects
- Prevents preeclampsia
- Prevents cervical effacement
However, there is no evidence that bed rest in pregnancy completely helps women against these complications.
Are there any chances of side effects then?
Well, studies have also suggested that bed rest could cause complicationsin some womenlike dizziness, weight loss for mother and baby, depression, anxiety, loss of muscle mass, and weakened bones.
If this article is causing even more stress in you, then relax.
Because, we will guide you to get the proper bed rest in pregnancy while maintaining you and your baby’s health.
So, which is better, simple bed rest or sleep?
Simply lying on bed throughout the day is not recommended but getting some good sleep is essential.Importance of rest during pregnancy is paramount but it has to be done in a specific way so that it doesn’t cause any complications.
Sleepingis vital during pregnancy but with all the increased urination, body aches, nausea, heartburn, leg cramps, etc., you may find it difficult to get. Just like “eating for two”, you should also provide importance to “sleeping for two”.
Studies suggest that inadequate sleep during the gestation period can make a woman feel exhausted, irritated and havebad concentration during the daytime. Another study found that women sleeping lesser than 6 hours have an average labour length of 10 hours or even longer and are 4.5 times likely to get a C-Section.
To help you get through your pregnancy and all the complications, we have prepared the following guide.This will show you what you can expect and how you can tackle them by getting some good bed rest in pregnancy.
- First Trimester –
What causes sleep disturbances?
Progesterone, a steroid hormone occurring naturally in the body, provides a supportive environment for the foetus. Heightened level of progesterone in the first trimester can create nausea and increased urination* with pain or burning.
*The hormones that lead to the bladder become inactive which increases the production of urine.
Other symptoms arising during this time are vaginal discharge, itching, body aches, and other physical discomforts. Growing metabolic rate can also increase your body temperature during sleeping.
What to Do?
During this period,a solid sleep between 2 pm and 4 pm is recommended so that you don’t have trouble falling asleep during nights. If you still feel sleepy, then take a small nap of 30 minutes instead of 1 or 2 hours.
Take the required fluids (water, juices, etc.) throughout the day but decrease them after 6 pm to prevent frequent urination.
Minor exercises during themorning, afternoon, and evening can also help you to get some good sleep.
- Second Trimester –
The hormonal changes that occurred at first semester subside in the second semester.
Few complications in the 2ndtrimester include muscle cramps, respiratory problems, body aches, etc. Leg cramps and restless leg syndrome after sitting or lying for a while are alsocommon occurrencesduring this period.
Heartburn is another common symptom that is causedby the hormonal changes in the body.
What to Do?
During this time, the body takes longer to digest theconsumed food. So, lying down immediately after eating is not at all recommended. Instead, sit straight for about 4 hours after a meal.
Avoid eating fast foods like spicy foods, coffee, soft drinks, etc.
Engage in yoga, meditation or other activities that can keep you relaxed and ensure a sound sleep.
- Third Trimester –
Numerous women find it difficult to sleep during the third trimester along with suffering from sleep deprivation and then waking up early morning.
The third trimester also brings in back ache, fatigue, frequent urination, heartburn, nausea, constipation, vomiting,dizziness,shortage of breath, increased weight, swollen ankles and face.
Another importance of rest during pregnancy is to curb heartburn which also occurs during this period.
Some women even have strange and bizarre dreams at this time.
Snoring, a common symptomarises from nasal congestion. A study found that women who started snoring during pregnancy have ahigher chance of hypertension and preeclampsia.
What to Do?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends women to sleep on their left side. Keep your knees bent while putting a pillow under your belly and between your legs. Women can also place another pillow behind their back. Additionally,they can sleep in any position they want to as long as it is not on their back.
Again, stop taking any fluids before 2 hours of going to bed to prevent frequent urination.
Few women may also find it helpful to elevate their head with some extra pillows while sleeping.
To prevent snoring, you can use nasal strips which areeasily available atlocal pharmacies.
Some activities that are not recommended during pregnancy:
- Heavy lifting
- Sitting and watching TV for hours (Watching TV while eating is a strict no).
- Using mobile phones for longer
Minor activities that are recommended during pregnancy:
- Short walks
- Limited stair climbing
Hence, bed rest in pregnancy can be beneficial if followed the right eating and sleeping habits. There’s no fixed period of sleeping during pregnancy; women must have the freedom of resting whenever they feel like.
If your gynaecologistrecommends bed rest then be sure to question him/her every details mentioned above.Some other relevant questions to ask – Why should I take rest? How is it going to help in my case?etc.
One final suggestion – if insomnia is troubling you, don’t pop in any OTC sleep aid; rather if you are living in Delhi then consult with one of the best maternity doctor Dr. Yashica Gudesar, in Dwarka, West Delhi for all type of your Pregnacy Realated Problems