Health: When Bed Rest Isn't Best

Bed rest is prescribed for more than 700,000 pregnant women each year to treat complications and delay premature delivery. Although some situations may demand it, the doctor's orders are often more harmful than helpful, according to a study of women with high-risk pregnancies reported in Biological Research for Nursing. Bed rest's downside for both mom and baby is that it contributes to weight loss in the mother in the later stages of pregnancy, just when weight gain is so important. That can translate into a lower birth weight for the baby. Moms who took to bed had more headaches, backaches, soreness,...

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