Professor Sarah Bilston reveals, in a New York Times op-ed, that bed rest isn't just an antiquated, sexist way of "curing" women, but a real form of therapy in the US.
"Dr. Maloni's investigations reveal that obstetricians in the United States tend to discount both the side effects of bed rest and to believe in its value in the face of evidence to the contrary. (Although bed rest continues to be prescribed almost routinely by some doctors for mothers of multiples at 24 to 28 weeks gestation, a study in 2000 conducted by a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Adelaide in Australia linked hospitalized bed rest to higher rates of preterm delivery in mothers of twins.) Dr. Maloni hypothesizes that fear of lawsuits may also play a part in its widespread prescription. Bed rest convinces patients and doctors alike that everything possible is being done to sustain a difficult pregnancy. And it is, after all, cheap to prescribe."