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What are the side effects of bed rest in pregnancy?

Many!

Bed rest is when a pregnant woman’s activity is extremely restricted in the hopes of treating or preventing complications such as preterm birth, high blood pressure in pregnancy, fetal growth restriction, and being pregnant with twins or triplets. While there is no evidence that it works in any of these situations, we do know that there are many potential side effects:

  • Loss of muscle mass and muscle deconditioning (this starts as quickly as 6 hours after being put on bed rest!)
  • Increased bone loss
  • Weight loss (with lower infant birthweights)
  • Blood clots
  • Increased postpartum recovery
  • Psychiatric issues, such as depression, anxiety, and feeling of loss of control
  • Loss of jobs with subsequent financial stress
  • Family stress

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