hospital stay during pregnancyActivity restriction during pregnancy may increase the risk of bone fractures, according to a study published in the journal Biological Research for Nursing.

The study, completed at the University of Western Ontario, utilized data collected from women hospitalized for a minimum of 16 days during the third trimester of pregnancy. Women were asked to wear a pedometer for seven days during hospitalization. The average step count for activity-restricted women was 1,504 steps (+/– 1,377 steps). Bone stiffness differed between ambulatory and activity-restricted participants leading researchers to ascertain an increased risk of bone fracture.

Conclusion: Women who are hospitalized for at least 16 days during the latter stages of pregnancy may be at increased risk of bone fracture due to differences in bone stiffness. Researchers note a larger study with increased participant volume needs to be conducted to verify study results.

Source: Brandao KL, Mottola MF, Gratton R, Maloni J. Bone status in activity-restricted pregnant women assessed using calcaneal quantitative ultrasound. Biol Res Nurs. 2013 Apr;15(2):205-12. doi: 10.1177/1099800411423807. Epub 2011 Oct 13.