Bed Rest Has Proven Risks, So Why Is It Still Prescribed?

Thousands of pregnant women are being placed on "bed rest" even though there is no scientific evidence proving that it will help.

Throughout pregnancy, many women find themselves in situations where they might be at higher risk for a premature baby, or a miscarriage. Often, doctors respond to a woman with a "high-risk" pregnancy by telling them they should go on bed rest. One mother, Margaret Siebers, was half-way through her pregnancy when she was deemed "high-risk." Her doctor immediately responded to the risk by placing her on "bed rest." In response to her doctor's recommendation, Siebers' husband quit his job to take care of his wife. Siebers had to lay on the couch every single day and she wasn't even "allowed" to stand up for a drink of water. She relied completely on her husband. She said that she was on bed-rest and her husband was under house arrest.

CONTINUE READING: 12 Medical Reasons Bed Rest During Pregnancy Is Actually Dangerous AF

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1026"] Via Baby Center[/caption]

Although Siebers was on bed rest because she was trying to do the best for her baby, there is actually no hard evidence proving that bed rest will help protect the baby. In fact, many studies have suggested that idleness and lack of movement during pregnancy has many consequences for both the mother and the baby. So, why are doctors STILL suggesting pregnant women go on bed rest?

Anne Drapkin Lyerly, an OB-GYN, and professor of bioethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is baffled by the common suggestion from doctors. Lyerly is concerned that many doctors are telling their patients to stay in bed because they aren't quite sure what else to do. However, there is no evidence backing up the bed rest theory. However, many studies showing the many side effects of bed rest; such as emotional, physical and psychological.

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Lyerly believes that many doctors might still recommend bed rest just because of the good outcomes that some women have had. For example, Siebers ended up being able to carry her child to full term. She had two previous miscarriages and with her most recent pregnancy, the doctors made the suggestion to stay in bed. After being in bed for over half of her pregnancy she was able to deliver a healthy baby. Siebers' doctor and midwife are associating her bed rest with her healthy baby, even though there is no proof that her bed rest had anything to do with the full term delivery.

We are not here to tell you whether or not you should be on bed rest. We are not doctors. We don't know what is best for you and your baby. However, we will tell you that if your doctor tells you that you "have" to be on bed rest, or your baby might not make it then you might want to do your own research. Sitting in bed and doing nothing for multiple months is very taxing on your body. Make sure that through your pregnancy you do what you think is best for your baby.

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