Lauder J, Sciscione A, Biggio J, Osmundson S. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Consult Series #50: The role of activity restriction in obstetric management: (Replaces Consult Number 33, August 2014). American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 2020 Dec;223(223). B2-B10. PMID: 32360110 [PubMed]
Despite current recommendations against its use, activity restriction remains a common intervention used to prevent preterm birth in multiple clinical settings. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm premature rupture of membranes, multiple gestations, vaginal bleeding, short cervical length, placenta previa, and fetal growth restriction are also common reasons for antepartum hospital admission and frequently lead to a recommendation for activity restriction. However, numerous reports have shown that activity restriction does not prevent adverse obstetrical outcomes but does confer significant physical and psychosocial risks. This consult reviews the current literature on activity restriction and examines the evidence regarding its use in obstetrical management. The recommendations by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine are as follows: (1) we recommend against the routine use of any type of activity restriction in pregnant women at risk of preterm birth based on preterm labor symptoms, arrested preterm labor, or shortened cervix (GRADE 1B); (2) we recommend against the use of routine inpatient hospitalization and activity restriction for the prevention of preterm birth in women with multiple gestations (GRADE 1A); and (3) given the lack of data definitively demonstrating that activity restriction improves perinatal outcome in pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction, preterm premature rupture of membranes, or hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, coupled with evidence of adverse effects of activity restriction, we suggest that activity restriction not be prescribed for the treatment of pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction, preterm premature rupture of membranes, or hypertensive disease (GRADE 2B).