Out of one million pregnant women a year classified as "high-risk" or "at-risk," 70 percent will be put on bed rest by their health care provider. And bed rest is prescribed for about 20 percent of all pregnant women. Most often, doctors recommend it for various conditions, like preeclampsia or cervical incompetence, which could lead to premature birth. The rationale being that very minimal activity can take pressure off the cervix, reduce strain on the heart and improve blood flow to the kidneys, increase circulation to the uterus, and minimize the level of stress hormones that can trigger contractions.
But as helpful as that sounds and as excited as some expectant moms are to be prescribed chill-out time, others are skeptical that it's right for them -- and their baby. Especially when they've got a job, a household to run, and a few other kids to take care of. And it's not just moms who are unsure about bed rest; as it turns out, there's definitely a medical case against bed rest.