A prospective study was made to evaluate whether bedrest in hospital is beneficial in pregnancies where intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR) was suspected. Diagnosis was based on routine fetometry at 32 weeks of gestation, in conjunction with general ultrasound screening. 107 patients with suspected IUGR-pregnancies were divided into two groups, 49 in a hospital bedrest group and 58 in an 'out-patient' group. Fifteen women in the bedrest group refused hospitalization, and 8 women in the out-patient group had to be hospitalized for medical reasons other than suspected growth retardation, leaving 79% of the women in their allocated group. The women in the bedrest group were hospitalized for a mean duration of 29.2 days (range 5-54). The results suggest that bedrest in hospital is not beneficial, either to fetal growth or to pregnancy outcome.