Maternal activity restriction to reduce preterm birth: Time to put this fallacy to bed

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2020 Oct;60(5):813-815. doi: 10.1111/ajo.13212. Epub 2020 Jul 20.


Activity restriction has traditionally been recommended to pregnant women, especially high-risk patients, to reduce preterm birth. However, there is no scientific evidence that bed-rest reduces preterm birth and, in many studies, women on bed-rest had higher rates of delivering preterm. Bed-rest in pregnancy is associated with significant physiological and psychosocial sequelae and reduced neonatal birth weight and be cannot be endorsed, even in women with a short cervix. The practice of prescribing bed-rest in pregnancy is outdated and should be abandoned.

Keywords: activity; bed-rest; preterm.

MeSH terms

  • Bed Rest
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth* / prevention & control