This longitudinal study assessed change in gastrocnemius muscle metabolism across antepartum bed rest and recovery during the first 6 weeks postpartum as well as symptoms during recovery. The convenience sample consisted of 65 pregnant women, hospitalized on bed rest for a mean of 24.8 days (range 5–70 days). A dual wavelength hemoglobin/myoglobin spectrophotometer and ergometer assessed muscle reoxygenation times after plantar flexion exercise from hospital admission through 6 weeks postpartum. The Postpartum Symptom Checklist assessed symptoms of muscle deconditioning. The time for gastrocnemius muscle reoxygenation after exercise significantly increased across antepartum bed rest (t = −2.1, P < .05) and significantly decreased during the 6-week postpartum period (t = 1.83, P < .05). Women who were on bed rest prior to hospital admission had significantly higher reoxygenation scores upon enrollment (t = −8.6, P < .05). Symptoms of postpartum muscle soreness, deconditioning, and difficulty with mobility were reported. Postpartum assessment and rehabilitation are needed to facilitate recovery and prevent long-term injury.
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Musculoskeletal Issues| May 01 2002
Inactivity: Symptoms Associated With Gastrocnemius Muscle Disuse During Pregnancy
Judith A. Maloni, PhD, RN, FAAN;
From the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Maloni); and the School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Dr Schneider).
Reprint requests to Judith A. Maloni, PhD, RN, FAAN, Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Barbara St. Pierre Schneider, DNSc, RN
AACN Adv Crit Care (2002) 13 (2): 248–262.
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Judith A. Maloni, Barbara St. Pierre Schneider; Inactivity: Symptoms Associated With Gastrocnemius Muscle Disuse During Pregnancy. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 May 2002; 13 (2): 248–262. doi:
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