Many pregnant women find themselves quite unexpectedly on bed rest for various medical reasons. The health complications leading to bed rest bring anxiety which is only heightened when forced to abstain from normal activities. Whether bed rest lasts a few weeks a few months, or the entire pregnancy, it is no fun at all for the mom to be and coping with bed rest can be very difficult.
Understand You Doctors Instructions
The most important thing is to understand your doctor’s instructions clearly. What does your doctor mean by bed rest? It may be mean not working and limited time on your feet, it may mean doing as little as possible, or it may even mean spending as much time as possible laying down. You don’t want to be doing too much but there is no reason to do go beyond your doctors instructions either. Along with activity level, there will be instructions about medications, diet, and drinking extra water. Some type of exercise may be appropriate and important. Take the time to do research about medications and treatments for your condition. It will help you to make more informed decisions and ask better questions. questions of anything your unsure about and don’t be afraid to call the office as you have more questions.
Set Up Your Nest
You’ll want to set up the area you’ll be spending most of your time so that you have access to all that you need at the stretch of your arm. You don’t want to be tempted to go pillaging through a closet looking for a special item. A large bottle of water and healthy snacks are important to have on hand. A mini-fridge can be helpful if you live in two-story house. Extra pillows and blankets will keep you comfy. Keep a cordless phone nearby along with your doctor’s phone number. If you need something you don’t have, wait till someone to get if for you. A stash of stuff to keep you busy is a must, which leads us to the next section.
The idea of being busy when I bed rest probably sounds crazy, but keeping your days full will help pass the time. Laying in bed watching television all day will get old fast.
Send someone to the library to get you a stack of good books. You can dive in to the latest fiction or educate yourself with the latest pregnancy and parenting books. A magazine subscription or two can be fun. Try Mothering if your looking for a general magazine for families or the yearly issue of Sidelines, a magazine for pregnant mothers on bed rest.
Bed rest is a great time to learn crafts that will keep your hands busy. Knitting, crocheting, and embroidery are all great options. Hip new books and patterns make these timeless crafts even more appealing. Stitch and Bitch and Sublime Stitching are perfect even for those with no experience. A local yarn or craft store could get you started with everything you need for a first project too. Create something special for the little one you are expecting or something just for you.
A laptop and wireless internet access allow you many possibilities from entertainment to making money. A membership to rent movies by mail form places such as Blockbuster or Netflix allow you access to the latest and classic flicks without ever leaving home. Now is a great time to catch up with old friends and family. Give them a phone call or use old fashioned pen and paper.
Stay In Touch and Connected
A pregnant mother on bed rest can often feel isolated. Do your best to stay involved and connected with family life and the rest of the world. Choose a central location such as the living room sofa for your location rather than away in a bedroom. Get creative so you can help with normal daily tasks. Clean laundry can be brought to you for folding and vegetables for dinner can be chopped sitting down. Take advantage of being forced to slow down and spend quality time with you husband, kids, and friends while their around during the day. Play games and read together. Email and make phone calls to stay up to date. Make in home dates to spend social time with others.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Speak up and ask for help whether your need is big and small. Often others want to help, but don’t know how. Let them know what you need whether is a glass of water or someone to catch up on all the laundry. Make lists of things that need to be done to have ready to go. Don’t be afraid to be specific, it will help those who want to help you.
Take a Deep Breath and…
Take a deep breath and remember this won’t last forever. You are doing the best thing for your health and the health of your unborn baby by following your doctor’s orders. It can be hard in the midst of bed rest to keep perspective, but this will pass.