Study Questions Whether Bed Rest Prevents Premature Births

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2013)—A new study on bed rest for troubled pregnancies has some specialists calling on doctors to reconsider the conventional wisdom that taking it easy can't hurt a pregnant woman.

Doctors have known for years that there's no good evidence in favor of bed rest and the latest research suggests that not only does bed rest not prevent premature birth in troubled pregnancies, but also that it may make things worse.

Nearly 40 percent of the 646 pregnant women enrolled in the latest study were prescribed some type of activity restriction.

Some 37 percent of women who took the precautions had premature babies, compared with just 17 percent of the women who didn't scale back.

The research, which appeared in Obstetrics & Gynecology, spurred a call for strict studies to finally settle the controversy.

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