Will I Have to Go on Bed Rest During My Twin Pregnancy?

Answers to Questions About Twin Pregnancy

Bed Rest in Twin Pregnancy
Twin Pregnancy Bed Rest. Andrea Gomez / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Get the answers to frequently asked questions about pregnancy with twins and multiples. Have a question that isn't answered here? Ask a Question on Facebook .

Will I Have to Go on Bed Rest During My Twin Pregnancy?

Answer: A 1992 survey by the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs found that 70 percent of mothers of multiples experienced bed rest during her pregnancy with twins or more. However, in the years since, doctors have become less rigid about sentencing women to bed for the duration. More recently, a 2004 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology indicated less than half of surveyed physicians recommended prophylactic (precautionary) bed rest. 

Bed rest is prescribed in multiple pregnancy as a preventative tool. It can provide benefits for both mom and her babies, prolonging a pregnancy in danger of preterm labor or proving restoration to a woman whose body is under stress. Other benefits include increased blood flow to the placenta(s), reduced blood pressure, and potentially higher birth weights for the babies. 

However, bed rest also has its drawbacks, such as increased risk of blood clots and bone and muscle loss. Being on bed rest can be very stressful for expectant mothers, especially when it means that they can not fulfill their work and family commitments. The isolation, anxiety, and mental anguish can take a toll. 

If everything progresses normally during your twin pregnancy, you may not require bed rest. However, if there are complications or other conditions, your doctor may recommend bed rest. There are various levels of bed rest, from suggested daily naps to full confinement in a hospital. Individual circumstances will dictate which level of bed rest is advised. 

Bed rest is an important topic to discuss with your physician or medical caregiver, preferably before it is prescribed. Ask questions and find out what your doctor's philosophy is about bed rest in multiple pregnancy. If bed rest is recommended during your pregnancy, be sure you fully understand the purpose and goals that being on bed rest will accomplish. Be clear about the extent of the limitations, and be prepared to follow through on your doctor's instructions.

Bed rest may be a part of your twin pregnancy experience. However, most mothers of multiples will acknowledge that -- despite the stress and strain -- being on bed rest is worth the sacrifice when the end result is healthy babies. 

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  • Blickstein, I., and Keith, L. J. "Multiple Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Gestation, and Perinatal Outcome," CRC Press, 2005. Print.
  • Cleary-Goldman, J., Morgan, M. A., Robinson, J. N., D'Alton, M. E., and Schulkin, J. "Multiple pregnancy: knowledge and practice patterns of obstetricians and gynecologists." Obstetrics & Gynecology, August 2004, pg. 232.