At any time during pregnancy complications can confine you to your bed for days, weeks, even months. While the occasional mother may welcome this doctor-mandated time off her feet, for most women all rest and no work or play is not a vacation. Complications that banish a pregnant woman to bed in the first half of pregnancy are unexplained bleeding and the threat of an impending miscarriage; in the second half of pregnancy the most common reason for bed rest is the threat of preterm labor. Other reasons for prescribed bed rest later in pregnancy are high blood pressure, preeclampsia, incompetent cervix, premature rupture of membranes, and chronic heart disease. Doctors prescribe bed rest for problem pregnancies for a number of reasons. The less active mother is likely to have a less active uterus. Bed rest decreases the pressure of baby on the cervix, thus reducing the likelihood of premature cervical stretching and contractions. Rest increases blood flow to the placenta, and thus improves the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to baby. Rest is likely to reduce a mother’s high blood pressure. Around 20 percent of mothers are confined to a week or more in bed at some time during their pregnancy. In many cases, being ordered to bed comes as a shock neither a woman nor her employer is prepared for. Following a visit or call to your doctor, your whole agenda is put on hold for days, weeks, or months. Even if you are in the middle of a household move or a big project at work, you go to bed because the stakes are so high.