Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Bed Rest for Preterm Labor
Expectant management is the close monitoring of a
pregnancy for complications. It may involve some bed rest at home or in the
hospital. Being on expectant management may mean you are advised to stop
working, reduce your activity level, or possibly spend a lot of time resting
(partial bed rest).
There is no evidence that long-term bed rest
lowers the risk of preterm delivery.1 Studies have
shown that strict bed rest for 3 days or more may raise your risk of getting a
blood clot in the legs or lungs.2 Strict bed rest is no longer used to prevent preterm labor.
But your doctor may recommend expectant management with some bed rest (partial
doctor or nurse-midwife suggests expectant management for preventing preterm
labor, discuss the benefits and risks in light of your condition.
When you are resting or sleeping during late pregnancy, try to lie on
your side. This is thought to improve blood flow to the uterus and fetus(es).
Dehydration can trigger contractions, so be sure to drink plenty
of fluids each day.
When you are lying down, remember to flex your
feet, stretch, and move your legs as much as possible.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
(2012). Management of preterm labor. ACOG Practice Bulletin
No. 127. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 119(6):
Cunningham FG, et al., eds. (2010). Preterm birth. In
Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ed., pp. 804–831. New York:
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.