At my last midwife appointment, I found out I was already dilated to a 2 and 0% effaced at 33 weeks. Now at 34 weeks I am dilated to a 3 or possibly more and in the neighborhood of 50-80% effaced. I lost my mucus plug and have been having some bloody discharge as well as strong contractions that sometimes last all day, yet sometimes only come every few hours. My midwife wisely suggested that I listen to my body and when I’m feeling tired or having a lot of regular contractions, I should lay down, relax, and focus on getting the surges to slow down or stop. I have used these hypnobirthing tracks to help me refocus my mind, and relax. They have been immensely helpful.
What are some pregnancy bed rest causes?
Age: I am over 35, so I have that risk factor
Dilating Cervix: Another risk factor
Other history of preterm labor: Another risk facor
Placenta Previa: Nope, don’t have that… luckily
Sheesh! What’s a girl to do? Is bed rest really the answer? I did some research and asked some questions and here’s what I found out.
Well, I followed my midwife’s advice and listened to my body went on bed rest for a week (I also had an allergic reaction to a bee sting and my foot swelled up huge and I couldn’t walk on it so that helped me stay in bed!). The contractions mostly stopped, but I started to have really bizarre things happen to my body.
I started getting really fatigued. I was in bed all day and could sleep whenever I wanted and while I was extremely tired, I just couldn’t get to sleep and was very restless. Because I didn’t feel like doing anything in bed, I got really bored which then led to a bit of depression about my situation.
I also started to get really bad muscle aches. I wasn’t moving around much and my back, shoulders, and legs began to get extremely sore and weak. I started to worry about going into labor and being able to handle the rigors of doing a natural birth being so fatigued and sore.
Another symptom was impaired digestion. I wasn’t moving around at all, so my intestines stayed stagnant. I felt like I couldn’t pee and the food in my intestines would just stay there or come up as acid reflux. It was horrible because I couldn’t rest because of these symptoms.
I finally decided that my body was telling me that bed rest was making things worse for me and I decided to get up and do light work around the house and go for a drive as well as sit outside for a while and get some fresh air. This did an immense amount of good for me and I didn’t have many contractions as I let go of the stressors and big things that needed to get done.
I also found this article written by respected author Henci Goer about the possible harms of bed rest. Statistics do not show that extreme and full bed rest is a good idea for the same side effects I experienced. You can see the article here. It’s quite compelling and goes along nicely with the advice my midwife (Richelle Jolley) gave me.
Are you on pregnancy bed rest? If so, please leave a comment and let us know how you’re doing and if it helped you or not.