What is 'Pelvic Rest' to a Surrogate?
You may be aware of the concept of “bed rest”, but "pelvic rest" may be new to you if you're considering surrogacy.
For those considering surrogacy to help bring a family together, you should be aware of the importance of pelvic rest during the period leading up to implantation. The concept of pelvic rest involves avoiding specific kinds of sexual activity for a pre-determined amount of time.
Pelvic rest might not restrict all sexual activity--there are some situations where a surrogate can be on pelvic rest and still enjoy certain types of sex. However, a surrogate should consult their medical practitioner to make an informed decision about how to safely carry out sex while on pelvic rest. Some activities may be safe, while others may peril the surrogate's pregnancy.
Pelvic rest often begins on the day of the embryo transfer and surrogates are typically asked to remain on pelvic rest for at least four weeks.
What Should I Know About Pelvic Rest?
Let’s say that you are told that your doctor prescribes pelvic rest - there’s nothing wrong with getting more details about the situation. In fact, it’s encouraged.
How long do you have to abstain from sex? Is the pelvic rest temporary, or should it last for the entirety of the surrogate's pregnancy?
There are also other questions about what is allowed during pelvic rest. For example, can you have non-penetrative sex? Some women may want to know if they can use a vibrator while on pelvic rest or whether oral sex is allowed. It’s natural and healthy to be curious and ask these questions.
What is the point of pelvic rest anyways, you might be asking yourself? Being placed on pelvic rest helps to minimize risks in your pregnancy to a successful childbirth. Women who are at risk for premature labor are placed on pelvic rest to avoid complications during implantation, contractions, or other aspects of the pregnancy.
Exercising While on Pelvic Rest
Of course, pelvic rest is about more than just sex. In general, a surrogate will want to avoid putting pressure on the pelvis. For those looking to exercise exercise, you should consult your doctor about which strenuous lower body exercises are allowed.
What are some everyday activities that may not be allowed if you are on pelvic rest? They might include brisk walking, squatting, or other strenuous lower body activities (yoga might be an example of something that is not allowed).
Reasons for Pelvic Rest
There are many reasons why you might be placed on pelvic rest. First, some women are placed on pelvic rest because they are experiencing bleeding during pregnancy. Other women may be experiencing signs of preterm labor or have a history of preterm labor - this is a common reason doctors insist on pelvic rest.
While uncommon, a woman can develop a hernia before their pregnancy or develop one while they are pregnant. A hernia could potentially mean an increased risk of preterm labor. In this case, pelvic rest may be recommended.
If other cases, where there are cervical complications of any kind, pelvic rest may make sense. Some women have a shortened or “incompetent” cervix that may lead to doctors taking extra precautions. If you are experiencing cervical dilation, then doctors are very likely to recommend pelvic rest. In this situation, a cervix is opening up as if ready to give birth, without the surrogate ever realizing it is happening.
Pelvic rest is also a typical recommendation for surrogates who suffer from placenta previa. If a surrogate is suffering from placenta previa, then the placenta is covering some or all of the cervix. Placenta previa affects one in every 200 women, and it can be a serious health condition.
Surrogates must adjust their physical activity routines in any of these cases, and taking pelvic rest is a logical recommendation.
Symptoms Deserving Emergency Attention
Pelvic rest can be a great tool to reduce risks during pregnancy, but it doesn’t reduce that risk to 0. What are some situations where you may be on pelvic rest but realize that it might be time to contact a doctor? What symptoms should you be looking out for?
Firstly, you should contact a medical professional if you notice any blood or unusual fluid leaking from the vagina. Second, you should contact your doctor immediately if you begin to experience intense back pain or contractions at any premature point in your pregnancy.
Lastly, if you meet any of the medical criteria described above and you break the pelvic rest, it is recommended that you contact your doctor immediately. For the safety of you and the unborn child, it is best to follow the doctors guidance!
Taking Pelvic Rest Is For Your Health!
It’s natural to become stressed or frustrated if you require pelvic rest, but the truth is that this isn’t something that you should panic about. You should concentrate on remaining active and healthy during your pregnancy, and speak to your medical practitioner about activities that make sense during this time.
In many cases, doctors choose to keep you on pelvic rest for a shorter period of time. You'll be back to normal after no time!
Ready to start your surrogacy journey? Contact us to find out if you qualify to become a surrogate!