Your health care provider may recommend specific activity restrictions during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. Activity restriction may require that you limit activities that take a lot of effort, such as exercise, lifting, or sex.
The type of activity restriction will vary depending on your risk or the problems you are having. Activity restriction may be recommended for a period of time until your baby is delivered.
Why are activity restrictions recommended?
Your placenta is partially or completely covering the opening of your cervix (placenta previa).
There is bleeding between the wall of the uterus and the amniotic sac in the first trimester of pregnancy (subchorionic hemorrhage).
You went into labor too early (preterm labor).
You have a history of miscarriage.
You have a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia or eclampsia).
You are pregnant with more than one baby.
Your baby is not growing well.
What are the risks?
Loss of muscle conditioning from not moving.
Loss of income.
Talk with your health care team about activity restriction to decide if it is best for you and your baby. Even if you are having problems during your pregnancy, you may be able to continue with normal levels of activity with careful monitoring by your health care provider.
Follow these instructions at home:
Avoiding activities that take a lot of effort.
Not lifting or straining. You may have to avoid lifting. Ask your health care provider how much you can safely lift.
Resting in a sitting position or lying down for periods of time during the day.
Do not have sex or an orgasm. Do not use sexual stimulators.
Do not use tampons. Do not douche. Do not put anything into your vagina.
Avoid any activity in which your pelvic muscles could become strained, such as squatting or vigorous lower body exercises.
Questions to ask your health care provider
Why is my activity being limited?
How will activity restrictions affect my body?
Why is rest helpful for me and my baby?
What activities can I do?
When can I return to normal activities?
Get help right away if:
- You have pain. This includes:
Cramping in your lower abdomen.
Pain in your upper abdomen.
A low, dull backache.
Severe headache that does not get better with pain medicine.
You have regular contractions.
You felt your water break (membranes rupture).
- You have other concerning symptoms such as:
Blurry vision, or seeing spots or flashing lights.
Noticing that your baby is not moving as much as usual, or you are not feeling any movement.
Redness, pain, or swelling in an arm or leg.
Dizziness or feeling like you will faint.
You have vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding.
You have thoughts of hurting yourself.
Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away.
Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or 988. This is open 24 hours a day.
Text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Your health care provider may recommend specific activity restrictions during pregnancy for a variety of reasons.
Activity restriction may require that you limit activities such as exercise, lifting, sex, or any other activity that requires a lot of effort.
Discuss the risks and benefits of activity restriction with your health care team to decide if it is best for you and your baby.
Contact your health care provider right away if you think you are having contractions or you notice vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.