Rest can be relative or absolute. In most cases, relative rest is recommended, in which it is sufficient to lead a quiet life, avoiding exertion, but it is possible to walk around the house and engage in low-intensity activity.
On the other hand, when absolute rest is prescribed, the expectant mother should remain at home lying down or sitting, getting up at the most and, if possible, to wash herself or go to the bathroom.
Some of the reasons for recommending rest in pregnancy are as follows:
- Vaginal bleeding
- when heavy bleeding occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy (threatened miscarriage), it is usual to prescribe absolute rest. When the bleeding subsides until it becomes very scarce, relative rest can be started, increasing activity until normal life can be resumed. In cases of bleeding in more advanced stages of pregnancy caused by placenta previa, for example, it is usual to recommend strict rest.
- Threatened preterm labor
- the appearance of contractions before their time is a frequent cause for recommending rest. Depending on the intensity of the contractions, the number of weeks of pregnancy and whether or not the cervix has changed (shortening of its length), rest will be more or less rigorous. In cases of multiple pregnancies, the need for rest at some point during pregnancy is not uncommon, in most cases due to uterine contractions.
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- when the baby is not growing properly due to placental problems, rest may help the baby gain weight.
- Medical procedures such as cerclage or amniocentesis, or chorionic villus samplin
- usually require absolute rest for a few days until the patient has fully recovered.
- Preeclampsia or hypertension in pregnancy
- in mild cases that do not require more severe measures, relative rest is usually beneficial.
- Amniotic fluid leakage
- rupture or fissure of the amniotic sac and fluid loss, especially in pregnancies below 34 weeks, require absolute rest to reduce fluid loss and promote fluid recovery.
- Maternal diseases
- some previous illnesses such as asthma or heart problems may require more or less rest during pregnancy.