Your Complete Guide to Bed Rest

What Are the Risks of Bed Rest?

Bed Rest

Kaysh Shinn

The prescription is not without drawbacks: being immobile causes muscles to weaken and bones to lose mass, says bed rest researcher Judy Maloni, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University's Bolton School of Nursing, in Cleveland. And women lose weight, or stop gaining, because the body eliminates excess fluids so they don't collect in the chest or head. But bed rest's biggest risk is the aforementioned blood clots that can form in the legs and travel to the lungs, where they can be fatal.

As to bed rest's effect on childbirth, doctors say decreased body conditioning could make you tire more easily, but no studies have been done showing whether that increases the incidence of c-section or other medical interventions. Each woman should discuss these factors with her doctor, and weigh the risks and the benefits.

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