There are a number of reasons why women are prescribed bed rest during pregnancy. It may sound drastic, but it is sometimes the best way to protect both mother and baby from complications. The idea of a duvet day may be appealing, but the reality of bed rest can be quite different. You may soon find yourself feeling bored and frustrated. If you have been put on bed rest, you may be wondering how you will cope (and stay sane) until the birth.
Here are some survival tips for mothers on bed rest:
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #1: Be Prepared
There are different levels of bed rest. Some women are advised only to get up to use the bathroom, whereas others may be advised to spend most of the day in bed, but be ok to move around in the house for a change of scenery. Find out what your doctor recommends for you, and prepare yourself for it. If you won’t be able to get up for snacks, make sure you have enough food within easy reach of your bed.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #2: Stay Comfortable
Lying in bed all day can quickly become uncomfortable. Make sure you are wearing comfortable clothes, the right duvet for the season, and that the room doesn’t get too hot or cold during the day. If you find that you are suffering from numb or sore limbs, ask your healthcare provider about exercises or movements you can perform in bed to keep the blood flowing. Massage is a great way to relieve aches and pains, ask your healthcare provider if massage would be a suitable option for you.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #3: Accept Offers of Help
You will be inundated with offers of help from friends and family. Instead of brushing these aside as polite offers, accept them. You and your partner need all the help you can get. While you are stuck in bed, your partner has taken over your share of the household chores, and is probably feeling exhausted. Accept whatever help you are offered – cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, and any offers to look after your older children for an hour or two. If you can afford it, now might be the perfect time to hire a cleaner.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #4: Stay Connected
You may not feel like socialising from bed, but it’s important to stay connected to the outside world. Invite friends and family over to keep you entertained. Try to arrange a visitor each day to give you something to look forward to. If you have friends or family far away, now is the perfect time to arrange that long-awaited video call.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #5: Be Honest
It’s ok to feel angry about being stuck in bed. It’s ok to cry because you feel lonely, and to secretly hate your healthcare provider for putting you on bed rest. It’s ok to admit that pregnancy isn’t the amazing multi-coloured Hollywood movie scene you were expecting. Bed rest is hard, and it’s ok to say that out loud.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #6: Get Creative
This is the perfect time to make a present for your growing baby. Whether you want to crochet a blanket, put together a scrapbook, start blogging about your experiences, or paint a picture for the nursery, you finally have enough time to get started. Just make sure you have everything you need within reach at the start of the day, and you’ll be able to keep busy making something for your baby. This will not only help to distract you, but will also help you to feel focused on the baby.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #7: Work As A Team
Some women find themselves experiencing feelings of anger whilst on bed rest. Your partner may be the only person you see some days, and so it’s safe to assume he will bear the brunt of your bad mood. Try to remember that bed rest isn’t easy for him either. Not only is he having to see you feeling so unhappy, but he’s probably also using all of his energy taking care of things both at home and work. Try not to take your anger out on him, and remember instead that he is experiencing this with you even if he does have the freedom to leave the house whenever he wants.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #8: Get Some Entertainment
You will be spending a lot of time in your bedroom, so make sure it offers the best in entertainment. You will need a television, some DVD box sets, a collection of books and magazines, a laptop, pen and paper, and plenty more besides. Ask your friends for recommendations for television box sets, films and books to keep you entertained.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #9: Get Into A Routine
Try to organise a loose routine for your day, this will help the days to seem more manageable. Have set activities that you do each day – such as have lunch, speak to a friend or watch your favourite television show. You may find you fall into a routine without even trying.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #10: Pamper Yourself
This one might seem superficial, but feeling good on the outside can help you to feel better on the inside too. It’s tempting to wear the same pyjamas, avoid the shower and let your roots get to shoulder length because, well, who’s going to see it anyway? But you may find that you feel more like yourself, if you still look like you. Book an appointment with a mobile hairdresser, paint your nails and keep on top of your normal beauty regime. You could even organise a regular pamper night with your friends, as a way of staying social too.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #11: Go Online
You may feel like the only person locked in a prison of their own bedroom, but in reality, there are thousands of other pregnant women on bed rest right now. There are online forums and support groups where you can interact with other women in the same boat. You may find it comforting to hear other people’s experiences, and may even get advice for how to stay occupied whilst on bed rest.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #12: Try Not To Worry
You probably rolled your eyes when you read that. Ofcourse you are worried about the health of your baby, and, unfortunately, you have a lot of time to worry about all the things that could go wrong. But don’t. Try not to focus on the risks and what ifs, and instead try to think positively about the pregnancy.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #13: Focus On The End Goal
The hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy is a handful even without bed rest, so you can be forgiven for getting a little irrational at times. Whenever you are experiencing feelings of anger, sadness, guilt or loneliness, try to focus on the end goal. Keep your scan pictures nearby so that you can remind yourself why you are doing this. Count down each day and week as they pass, and remember that this will be all be over soon.
Bed Rest In Pregnancy #14: Bond With Your Baby
Bed rest gives you the perfect opportunity to bond with your baby. Talk to your baby throughout the day, listen to music together, and spend time responding to his kicks. You will be able to really focus on your baby during his wakeful periods, and this may help you to bond. Though you may feel worried about the pregnancy, remember that most women go on to have healthy babies.