Bed Rest and Twin Pregnancies
Many women who are pregnant with twins may be asked by their doctor to go on bed rest. In fact, some doctors will insist that a woman who is pregnant with twins go on bed rest. Other doctors do not. There are a number of reasons for this, but the bottom line is that a twin or multiple pregnancy poses a number of different risks to a woman, and bed rest is often one of the ways that you can minimize some of those risks.
The first area of risk for a pregnant woman who is going to have twins is the risk of premature labor and birth. Women who are pregnant with twins or multiples actually have about twice the chances of going into preterm labor as women who are only pregnant with one baby. This is a serious concern, as having a preterm birth can cause several different sorts of health concerns for your babies. Some doctors will put a pregnant woman who is going to have twins on bed rest as early as the 24th week of pregnancy. This is thought to take pressure off of the cervix, help prevent contractions, and make sure that your babies get a proper flow of nutrients.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is another concern with twin pregnancy, and one of the reasons most often cited for placing a woman on bed rest. Severe hypertension is known as preeclampsia, and it’s an extremely serious condition. This is also treated, in part, with bed rest. Being on bed rest reduces the amount of strain that’s put on your heart and your circulatory system. It also reduces the risks of complications from the high blood pressure. After your babies are born, your blood pressure will usually return to normal.
Being put on bed rest because you’re pregnant with twins isn’t easy and it isn’t fun. Still, the fact of the matter is that it’s often the best thing for both you and for your babies. Anything you can do to increase the odds of your babies being born happy and healthy is worth it.