Ante-partum bed rest moms get active in new study

July 29, 2008,

After weeks of bed rest during pregnancy, new mothers need to rebuild muscles and strengthen their stamina. Now a group of women will test new interventions in aiding that recovery during a pilot study at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

"Putting people in bed is not a benign kind of thing," says Judith Maloni, a professor of nursing at the Bolton School. She has been studying the effects of bed rest for nearly two decades and aerospace research studies conducted by NASA have shown that bed rest changes every major organ system in the body and its function.

During her study, "Rebound: A Self-Management Intervention for Recovery from Ante-partum Bed Rest," Maloni will test a set of exercises and educational programs that help women learn to manage their recovery after both bed rest and birth.

The study is supported by the Bolton School's Center for Excellence for Self-Management Advancement through Research and Translation (SMART). It is among four projects the center is piloting to learn more about teaching individuals how to manage their own health care.

Nearly 1 million pregnant women annually are sent to bed near the end of their pregnancies to prevent preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, placenta previa, incompetent cervix or placental abruption.

According to Maloni, many women leave the hospital and cannot understand why they suffer back problems and muscle aches and are fatigued while other new mothers seem to bounce back after giving birth.

Maloni said she would like bed-rest moms to understand that what they are experiencing is normal for women who have been on bed rest.

They may need physical therapy and other interventions to regain the strength to do normal activities like taking care of other children, doing household tasks or participating in activities in the community or with friends, said Maloni.

Following delivery, these women must overcome the long-term effects of bed rest. Other research has found these effects can be bone loss; decreases in body mass, fluid loss and plasma; depression; and muscle weakness.

Maloni will recruit 80 women who have had good physical and mental health and had at least 21 days or more of bed rest prior to their baby's birth.

These women will be evaluated two days into the study with follow-ups after two months and three months. At the end of testing, Maloni will offer the new intervention to the women in the control group.

The new intervention is a set of cardiovascular and strength exercises developed for the elderly, who, like new mothers, may be in a state of physical deterioration.

Women in this group will be tested for their physical capabilities during a six-minute walk, 30 seconds of sit-stands and two minutes of stepping in place.

In a prior study on the ability of bed-rest mothers to function after childbirth, Maloni reported that women who were given the exercises from the Rikkli Jones Senior Fitness Test walked an average of 217 feet in 4.8 minutes. This was the same level of performance as women in the 70-75 age group.

Maloni has studied the postpartum conditions of bed-rest moms until six weeks and found that many of them are still fatigued. By following the women to the third month, she hopes to discover if longer intervention is need to help women regain lost strength and stamina.

Source: Case Western Reserve University

Explore further: Breast cancer treatment link to chronic disease

Related Stories

Breast cancer treatment link to chronic disease

January 16, 2018
Women who have undergone hormonal therapy for breast cancer are at increased risk of developing chronic conditions later in life, according to new research.

Specialist explains why age 13 to 15 is ideal for the first gynecologist visit

January 17, 2018
Most parents are well-versed in schedules for their kids. They know to schedule an annual physical—or else the school nurse will call, or their child can't join the soccer team. They know when their kids need to start dental ...

With wrist-worn gadget, researchers capture real-life sleep for the first time

December 28, 2017
To measure a person's sleep, researchers have always relied on costly and time-consuming approaches that could only be used in a sleep lab. But now researchers reporting in Current Biology on December 28 have found a way ...

Consensus grows that bed rest could hurt pregnant women

September 16, 2014
For much of his 20-year career as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Anthony J. Sciscione has been criticizing something obstetricians routinely prescribe to try to prevent premature birth: bed rest.

Study questions if bed rest prevents prematurity

May 14, 2013
New research is raising fresh concern that an age-old treatment for troubled pregnancies—bed rest—doesn't seem to prevent premature birth, and might even increase that risk.

New paper on activity restriction in pregnancy

September 2, 2014
In a new guideline, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine has recommended against the routine use of bed rest in pregnancy.

Recommended for you

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

Electronic health records don't reduce administrative costs

February 21, 2018
The federal government thought that adopting certified electronic health record systems (EHR) would reduce administrative costs for physicians in a variety of specialties. However, a major new study conducted by researchers ...

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

Tobacco kills, no matter how it's smoked: study

February 20, 2018
(HealthDay)—Smokers who think cigars or pipes are somehow safer than cigarettes may want to think again, new research indicates.

Just a few minutes of light intensity exercise linked to lower death risk in older men

February 19, 2018
Clocking up just a few minutes at a time of any level of physical activity, including of light intensity, is linked to a lower risk of death in older men, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Sports ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.