Pre-term Labor and Bedrest

Updated on February 18, 2008
A.G. asks from APO, AE
19 answers

Hello ladies!

I am currently 27 weeks with boy, girl fraternal twins. I was taken to the ER the other night due to major contractions @ 3 mins. apart, not painful but frequent. The ER Dr. has me on bedrest 'til I see my Dr. on Monday. My concern is if anyone has been on bedrest, if bedrest has proven to help stop labor, and if there is any possibility or what are other major signs that I should be on the lookout for preceding labor?

My husband is away for 6 weeks training, and I am alone trying to take it easy.

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So What Happened?

Ladies,

Thank you so much for the advice. At the time I first wrote I had no idea what I was in for but now I do and I am coping the best I can. I am on Terbutaline which made me nuts at first but I can handle it now. This has been the 3rd week now and my cervix has not changed so my rest and meds I assume are working. I feel good sometimes and sometimes I don't.

The countdown is on and my DH will be home in 4 weeks and I am trying hard to keep them in, so he will not miss anything from then on. I appreciate your advice and I will keep posted.

Thank you,

A.

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C.B.

answers from Phoenix on

I have two kids - both preterm. I just can't seem to go the whole 9 months. I too had the same contractions - frequent, not necessarily in any pattern and not painful. Looking back, I do remember that everytime I went to use the bathroom, I felt very "heavy" in my pelvis and felt as if everything "was right there" laying so low. I would definitely do the bedrest. I was able to hold off to 36 weeks with my first on bedrest and my second was born at 31 weeks. Both are healthy. My older one is fine and my younger one has some developmental delays, but nothing serious. Drink a ton of water and relax (as best you can) Good Luck!

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K.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Lord help you! I was on bedrest with my son starting at 24 weeks for preterm contractions. As difficult as it was I did notice a differecnce when I was being good and following doctors orders from when I was not. Before someone tells you to not do anything you think it would sound nice, but when it happens to you it stinks. Espescially if you don't FEEL like you should be resting. I felt fine and I had a 6 year old son and I couldn't do things with him I normally do. But trust me hang in there. Before you know it you will wish someone was telling you to slow down. When you have TWO beautifull babies to take care of you will have very limited free time to relax. So sit back, and enjoy it, TRUST ME.
-K.

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T.C.

answers from Phoenix on

http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/bedrest/a/pregbedrest.htm

HI A.,
I am a mother of 4 and had to go on bed rest for the last 6 weeks of my 2nd pregnancy. It is hard but worth it- to keep your twins safe as long as you can carry them. I just recently adopted a baby boy who was about 4 weeks premature & I saw little ones that were fighting battles due to low birth weight. Please do what you can to stick to your Dr.s orders. I have attached a link that I found on a great pregnancy web site. I also have relatives in the Army and my cousin gave birth to her baby while hubby was away. Get support for your local army wives they can help you so much and rally around you because you are all in the same situation.

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A.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Yes, bedrest does help stop the contraction. I'm now at about 35 weeks pregnant but when I was 5 months I also was in the hospital for contractions. If you go there they give you a shot to control the contractions (with terrible side-effects!). My doctor has consistently told me to drink water and lay down as soon as I feel anything. The water is supposed to help a lot. Last weekend I was having contractions, quite strong and frequent - painful too. I did what the dr said - stayed in bed and drank a lot of water - and after about 30 min they subsided. I know you'll feel a lot better after seeing your doc today. Congrats on the twins!

A.

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C.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Yes it does help stop labor pains so listen to what the doctor says. I was pregnant with my son and had to be on bed-rest when I was 6 months along due to complications. I was not to lift a finger to do housework of any kind, but was allowed to get up to go to the bathroom only. After months of this one night I went with my next door neighbor to take her husband and mine a sandwich, the ride was a little bumpy and by the time we got back I went into full labor, thankfully I was only a week away from my due date. So please pay attention to the doctor even tho it does seem to take forever for the day to come to deliver the baby. By the way my son is now 38 and very healthy but once a mother always a mother.

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S.F.

answers from Eugene on

I've done bedrest with four pregnancies. Although there is a lot of speculation on whether bedrest does help, I believe that taking the pressure off the uterus helped me. Drinking lots of water and relaxing (no stress, even tv shows) will help keep from going into contractions. Oh, and watch out for essential oils and cooking herbs, some start contractions! Everyone is different, but I could tell contractions by a slight tightening feeling, and sometimes I could get them to stop on my own. I am known to get up and get into trouble! Hope that helps... =)

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S.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I competely agree that bedrest helps. I was on bedrest from 30 weeks until the delivery of my first daughter. I ws allowed to go out once a week though :) just to lunch with my mom and back home to bed. Its hard but just remember those babies growing inside of you need you to take good care of their mommy! :) Good Luck!
Serena

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S.W.

answers from Phoenix on

A.,
Bed rest hasn't been proven to stop labor, improve pregnancy outcomes or keep a woman from miscarrying if that's where the pregnancy is going. Bedrest in general is a bad idea for a pregnant woman. Your body, your uterus, your baby need oxygen, which won't be served by you being horizontal and immobile -- you need to move around, walk, get your blood moving. That does NOT mean do housework, vaccuum, move furniture, lift heavy grocery bags.... be sure to get all the help you need so you don't strain yourself.

The important thing is to find out why you are contracting so early. The things over which you have control are: nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress reduction, emotional peace. I hope you are getting the right nutrition in this pregnancy, and PLENTY of fresh water. Your caloric and nutritional needs are greater with twins. You need AT LEAST 100 grams of quality protein per day and I always recommend only 10 percent of that come from cow's milk sources of any kind (and go easy on fish). You should be eating a ton of fresh organic vegetables, lots of vitamin C-rich foods (kiwis!), eating some raw food daily, and taking a decent cal/mag supplement like the one by Apex. You should be eating every two hours. If you are not eating properly, start now. Reduce your stress and maintain a positive, calm home atmosphere. Eliminate toxins from your food and environment. Drink Pregnancy Tea or red raspberry leaf tea every day. Get a good chiropractor to adjust you. And pray.

As for whether you are actually in labor, there are no guaranteed predictors, but if you have "bloody show" (blood-tinged mucousy discharge), low persistent backache, and contractions that don't stop when you change something (lie down, walk, drink water, eat, etc.) and become harder, longer and closer together, you might be in labor. If not, you might be experiencing some wicked Braxton-Hicks contractions. See what happens when you change what you're doing when they come on to see if they stop or slow down.

As for the advice you're getting that "twins usually come early," you should know that this is NOT normal -- twins tend to come early in this country due to insufficient nutrition and doctor intervention more than anything. I have a good friend who is also a birth doula and childbirth educator who gave birth to twins, one a footling breach, at home unattended and they were both around 8 lbs and she did it all on a vegan diet, blowing a hole in about four myths about twins. However, if you lie around on your back, get no exercise, eat poorly, consume sugar subsitutes, radically reduce salt, fail to hydrate properly or get enough quality protein, and allow the doctors to perform any of a number of interventions, you are likely going to have a very hard time. But you'll be in good company, as this is becoming the common pregnancy experience in this country.

You should know, I'm not a "listen to your doctor" kind of gal when it comes to pregnancy. You might want to get the advice of a qualified midwife, preferably one with home-birth experience as opposed to a "med-wife." Be careful about that "shot" the doc might give you -- it's probably Terbutaline, which is an asthma medication and not approved for use in pregnancy. It might stop the contractions, but it can also cause heart complications in the babies and problems for you. I would try just about anything else first.

In the end, you have to do what you believe is right to give your babies their best chance. But it's your responsibility to educate yourself and do all that is in your power. The rest is up to God, and no, He's not the one in the white coat.

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K.C.

answers from Provo on

Hello Darling,
Yes, I have been on bedrest. Not with twins though. I had massive bleeding issues with my 2nd. He was born at 29 weeks. Bedrest will keep your body calm, and let it focus on getting those babies formed.

I wasn't entirely cavalier about it, but I would walk around some, drive a little, or maybe clean house more than I ought to have. Learn from my mistake. Because when you see a little baby, with tubes, and needles, in an incubator where you're not supposed to touch them (their nerves are too close to the surface), you realize that there was NOTHING more important than letting them develop unharmed.

My son went blue in my arms in the NICU. I regretted sorely that I had done too much on bedrest, and wished that I had just laid there (yes, like a lonely, bored, slug) than to have had to see that.

Try and aim for 34 weeks. And if you need some company, I'm here in Gilbert. I can bring you a cross stitch project, or help you with the laundry. Maybe hang a picture or two so you're not so bored. Perhaps bring you a novel or two from Jane Austin.

After your babies are here, you won't regret one minute that you stayed on bed rest. I totally promise.
###-###-####. I'm K.. :D

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A.F.

answers from Phoenix on

I was also pregnant with twins last year and I was put on bedrest around 27 weeks. It wasn't because of pre-term labor but for my blood pressure. You should try to relax as much as possible and watch for any vaginal leaking,&contractions. Bedrest became very boring after awhile (I was on it for the duration of my pregnancy), but I carried my twins to 34 weeks, and they were healthy! Good luck

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S.S.

answers from Tucson on

I was on bed rest with my second son from 4 months to term. It absolutely worked. I didn't enjoy it, my hips spread as a result, but I gave birth at home to a beautiful, healthy little boy!

The way it worked best was for me was to ask for help. Friends brought food, and video's and magazines. I decided to look at it as my rest before the birth.
Good Luck

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K.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Keep your bottom in bed! Yes, bed rest does help reduce the frequency of contractions. I know - I've been there. My preterm labor started at 24 weeks with girl/girl fraternal twins. I was admitted to the hospital for one month then sent home on bed rest. My girls were born at 30 weeks. Believe me, you don't want your twins born early if you can prevent it. Good luck at your doctor appointment today (Monday). Your Dr. might put you on medication to curb your contractions. I was on trebutaline while at home. If your Dr. does put you on medication don't think the meds will keep your contractions at bay and run errands. Stay rested! You can contact me directly for advice or an ear [email protected]____.com. I volunteer with the March of Dimes so I've heard other mom stories about their preterm labor experiences and can share a lot of information with you. Or you can go to the MOD website for information. www.MarchofDimes.com.

Good luck! K.

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M.J.

answers from Tucson on

Hi

I was put on bedrest with both of my children. At 34 weeks with my son I was 2cm and 50% effaced with slight contractions. With my daughter at 32 weeks I was 3 cm and 75% with mild contractions. I was on bedrest both times until 36 weeks My labor did not progress at all. My son was born 11days before his due date and my daughter was born 18 days before hers.

I am not an expert and everyones body is different. It is important to follow the doctors orders even if you are normally an active person. Especially with twins, most women with twins go early.

Get some good movies, books, and a tv in your bedroom. Enjoy the rest because once those two babies arrive you wont get much time to yourself. Invite your friends and family to come join you in bed for games, dinner, or movies. Ask if they can help around the house for your and make sure your hospital bag is packed.

God bless
ladybug j

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K.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

Hi A.! I just had my first--at age 35, she is now 11mos. and I am 36. I had first trimester bleeding, literally my sweatpants were drenched when I awoke one A.M.
I didn't heed the warning when they confined me to bedrest. I thought to myself, this is not going to be like Little House on the Prairie, with me in bed all day, and a ceramic bowl of water next to my bed with warm water and washclothes--but it is. I began bleeding again just bending over to get OJ out of the fridge. THEY mean it. I worked from my bed on a laptop as a sales consultant--and even that caused bleeding. I just got my W2 for last year, I made 30,000 less then I did the year before, but you know what,it was worth it. I can't even imagine how I could live without my daughter, or even breathe! And I was someone that thought I would never want kids!! I was just thinking yesterday how much my life would have been different if I finally didn't take it seriously. Your first pregnancy comes with so much worry, especially now, you have come so far and are in your final stretch. I think you will be fine--but there are greater risks for twins--you have to listen and literally--stay in bed, try not to sneeze, cough to hard, move--just be present in the moment and enjoy what is to come--just relax. I made it, with severe bleeding--you will be okay. Hugs. Kor

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J.W.

answers from Phoenix on

You have my sympathy.I carried my fraternal twins to 34 weeks only because I obeyed my doctor until they couldn't keep them in anymore.I spent 2 months in the hospital,flat on my back,on drugs that made me feel miserable.If you can avoid that option by staying in bed for awhile,you will be much happier.It is so mundane to lay in the hospital day after day and can't get up.If you think the babies won't have problems coming early, even six weeks early you are probably wrong. My babies had to stay in the NICU,they were both over 5lbs but their bodies were not developed.I learned to crochet and cross stitch while I was down and made Christmas gifts.The medical risks to have premature babies is not worth it.Stay with someone who can help,support you, and lift your spirits while you do your job.

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S.P.

answers from Albuquerque on

I know bedrest does help keep labor at bay; from what Ive read not personal experience. Let me know if you need a meal...would love to bring it by. I know how hard it is to rest when you still need to feed yourself. [email protected]____.com

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S.P.

answers from Phoenix on

A.,
I was on bedrest with my second son due to pre-term labor. I was in and out of the hospital around 7 times. At my doctor's advice, I stayed in bed as much as I could and it helped me to get to the full term and delivery without any more complications. Your body will be darn sure to let you know when the labor is real because it will hurt like a demon! I was in pain and frequent contractions. I think the thing that helped the most with the bedrest was drinking prenty of water and staying hydrated. Lack of hydration will actually lead to preterm labor. Just feel blessed that you can take the time now to get some rest... twins will not be easy and rest will be like gold! I think the thing that helped me the most was having a network of friends who would help around the house. I didn't allow myself to feel guilty for not doing my housework realizing that the greatest work I could be doing was keeping my baby safe. HELLO--MAKING A PERSON IS HARD ENOUGH!!! Allow yourself to really rest. Doctors don't say bedrest if they don't think it will help. Good luck

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K.F.

answers from Tucson on

Bed rest does help. although you are seeing the doc today, when I had my twins, I was on bed rest for 3 weeks during my pregnancy....I could not wait to get out of bed but it was worth it... To see the tiny faces... Just remember to be patient and loving with yourself and if they tell you bed rest until your 36 week then do so...
Good luck and keep us informed..
K.

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S.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear A.,

As a doula, childbirth educator & student midwife, I've helped many Moms with twins. If you want to discuss your situation more fully and explore your options give me a call. I'd be happy to share studies with you and get you in touch with local resources that can assist you in making these last few weeks of pregnancy as safe and healthy as possible for you and your babies.

You can reach me on my cell phone at ###-###-####.

Thanks,
S.

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