Bed rest worries

pregnant lady
pregnant lady

One million women are prescribed bed rest at the end of their pregnancies every year. And for no clinically proven reason.

There is no evidence that bed rest is effective (or detrimental) yet doctors use it as their go to prescription more and more frequently. Judith Maloni, professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, has conducted a comprehensive review of more than 70 evidence-based research articles and she is challenging the preconceived notion that bed rest is healthy for either the mother or the baby.

The research is printed in the special women’s health issue of Biological Research for Nursing. She raises concerns, particularly about hospital bed rest, regarding the physical and emotional impact on bedridden mothers. Maloni points out that hospital stays deny mothers to be the comfort of resting in their own beds in their own homes surrounded by the things that make them confident and comfortable. It also separates them from the father of the baby and other family members at a time when pre-delivery stress runs high.

Maloni has been specializing in this type of research since 1989. Her current research incorporates data from aerospace, nursing, medicine, psychology, social science and biological sciences. Aerospace has contributed to the data regarding a body at rest and the physiological adjustments to a non weight bearing position. “Over time, remaining in a resting position can lead to bone loss and muscle atrophy,” Maloni said. Something of particular concern to a woman on three months or more of bed rest.

Depression can also be an issue. Women, left mostly alone throughout the day, will worry about the pregnancy and delivery. That in itself could bring about a pre-term birth.

More research is needed and hopefully Maloni’s latest report will provide motivation for it.

Source: Case Western Reserve University, ScienceDaily


 
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