Objective: To identify the effects of antepartum bed rest upon the family.
Design: Descriptive, retrospective survey.
Participants: A national random selection of 89 women who had been prescribed antepartum bed rest in the hospital or at home and who contacted a high-risk pregnancy support group for information.
Main outcome measure: An open-ended questionnaire.
Results: Families experienced difficulty assuming maternal responsibilities, anxiety about maternalfetal outcomes, and adverse emotional effects on the children. Child care was managed by various people across time. Child care problems included negative reactions from the children, concern about the quality of the provider, and maternal worry about care. Families also experienced financial difficulties, the majority of which were not compensated by insurance or work benefits. Almost all, 96.6%, families received some type of support during bed rest. Instrumental support was the most commonly received; however, emotional support was considered the most helpful. The least helpful type of support was that which was unreliable. The primary providers of support to the family were parents and family, followed by friends. The women reported that health care providers offered minimal support to the family.
Conclusion: Despite support, antepartum bed rest creates difficulties that affect the entire family and its finances.