Bed Rest as an Intervention In Labor

"Bed rest as a therapy can be traced back to Hippocrates and has been used for many types of illnesses since then. It is still commonly used as an intervention in pregnancy despite known physiological and psychological side effects."

Some of the most innovative medical advances have been made in the last 50 years, despite these advances, interventions have become the routine in regular obstetrical care. Used appropriately they save lives, however with routine use and without validity they can transform the normality of labor and childbirth into a medical or surgical procedure. Every intervention that is introduced compounds the possible need and lead to the next intervention. Unexpected and unintended interventions create an environment of fear for the mother and her family support, which leads to her complete dependence upon her healthcare provider for every option and choice she could and should have the ability to make. The freedom of choice and the right to informed decision making becomes less and less common and for those women who would stand up and take back that right, it becomes a fight. With money being the driving force behind obstetrics we see choices being offered and made by a healthcare provider driven and ruled by a governing organization looking to profit. What happened to “first do no harm” and the Hippocratic oath. Has the medical community traded its integrity for this well oiled machine that is causing harm, fear, and destruction to America's families? Have we replaced our natural instincts that would create a natural physiological and physiologically birth experience for a numbing, choice-less, dictate that may have impact on our families for decades? Has this choice changed the way we bond with our children and in turn created a rift in America's families, babies born by medicine instead of babies born by a nurturing environment?

As women we have the ability, the right, and responsibility to stand up and take back our birth rite. Women need to make the choice to be active participant in their care. Women have the right to educate themselves and inform themselves on the basic principles of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care. In the hospital setting, in home birth, in birth center birth, they should have every opportunity to make their own choices, to have a voice. It starts with one family, one mother, taking a stand. One at a time we will change a culture. It is time for a revolution and overhaul in maternity care.

Image from "Bed Rest as an Intervention in Labor" Jansen, L., Gibson, M., Bowles, B. C., & Leach, J

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2004 Sep-Oct;33(5):542-9.(2013).childbirth.fr

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