6 Things You Can Do On Bed Rest While Pregnant — Outside Of Your Bed

Ad failed to load

Whenever I hear of someone who has been put on bed rest, my first reaction is something along the lines of, I would go crazy lying in bed for days on end. Well, as it turns out, not all bed rest prescriptions are created equal. For some women, bed rest might be a little more flexible term than others. If you've never been on bed rest, you're probably wondering about what things you can do on bed rest — outside of your bed.

As it turns out, bed rest can involve many more things than just, well, resting in bed, but it depends on the severity of your condition. In fact, the benefits of very strict and limited bed rest are starting to be questioned, according to Adrienne Zertuche, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Atlanta Women's Healthcare Specialists. She explains, "In the past, many obstetricians recommended bed rest for women with preterm contractions (early labor), elevated blood pressures (e.g. preeclampsia), and other complications of pregnancy. However, more recently, we have learned that bedrest is in fact not in the best interest of the mother."

Dr. Zertuche went on to elaborate that while having pregnant women rest "may improve blood flow to the baby and therefore increase birth weight, there is no evidence that it decreases the likelihood of preterm delivery." In addition, bed rest can actually cause other problems, such as blood clots and depression. "Bedrest may also lead a mother to be deconditioned; losing fitness and muscle mass can decrease effectiveness of pushing when in labor and can make it harder to care for her newborn and herself."

Ad failed to load

And that's exactly why many women can actually do more than anticipated while on bed rest. Of course you'll need to check with your doctor for specific instructions, but it's very possible that your doctor will still allow, maybe even encourage, you to enjoy a few of these activities.

Ad failed to load

1Take A Walk


Dr. Zertuche says that taking a leisurely, 20 minute walk can actually help reduce the likelihood of blood clots and keep fit enough to push that baby out when bed rest is over.

2Climb Stairs

Likewise, Dr. Zertuche explained to us that climbing a few flights of stairs each day can keep you conditioned for birth.


Unfortunately, or fortunately, work is still on the cards for some women on bed rest. The Ohio State University Medical Center said that in the most basic level of bed rest, you're still able to work but are encouraged to rest for "one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon," in both cases lying on your left side for optimal blood flow to the baby.

Ad failed to load

4Light Chores


The Mayo Clinic outlined that bed rest, when the pregnant woman is still at home and not hospitalized, can involve light activity around the house, "You might be free to move about the house, as long as you avoid lifting children and doing heavy housework," they explained.

5Go To A Movie

If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to leave the house, find out exactly what is off limits. Going to a see a movie, or another activity that allows you to sit down instead of walk around, might be the perfect distraction.

6Make Out With Your Partner

While sex might be off limits for some women on bed rest (and you should ask your doctor whether this will affect you if she is prescribing bed rest for you), making out with your partner isn't! Bed rest that is designed to limit preterm contractions means you shouldn't be having sex because contractions could be re-started, but you can engage in other intimate activities, so long as they don't involve "nipple or breast preparation" or becoming "sexually stimulated," according to the University of Washington Medical Center.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger