Expectant management is the close monitoring of a pregnancy for complications. It may involve some bedrest 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 bedrest).
There is no evidence that long-term bedrest lowers the risk of preterm delivery.footnote 1 Studies have shown that strict bedrest for 3 days or more may raise your risk of getting a blood clot in the legs or lungs.footnote 2 Strict bedrest is no longer used to prevent preterm labour. But your doctor may recommend expectant management with some bedrest (partial bedrest).
If you are prescribed partial bedrest
If your doctor or midwife suggests expectant management for preventing preterm labour, 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.
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer William M. Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Current as ofNovember 21, 2017
Current as of: November 21, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William M. Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology