By, Suann Bidwell, Owner of The Bidwell Group.
You are pregnant! Whether you have been trying to get pregnant or it came as a surprise, it usually is a joyous time with great expectations! You are excited, will you have a boy or girl? Will the nursery be pink? Blue? Neutral? So many things to do and plan for. Then your doctor tells you, that you need to go on bed rest. What you say? Physicians prescribe bed rest for 1 in 5 pregnancies for the following reasons; active contractions, placenta pre via, bleeding, and ruptured membranes. You may be on bed rest for just a few weeks, or the entire pregnancy. So whether you have to stay in the hospital or stay put at home, here is a list of things to do and ways to cope while you are on that “forced vacation”!
- First some types of bed rest – There are several types of bed rest your physician may prescribe; anywhere from scheduled; when you physician may shorten your work day or restrict activities, to Modified; when you may be able get up to make a sandwich, take a quick shower, or if lucky go out once a week, but no stairs. Strict bed rest you may be able to get up for just the bathroom or brief shower, but otherwise you have to stay in bed. And then hospital bed rest if you need constant monitoring. Whatever your situation here are some ways to make it easier .
- Stay connected to the outside world – the first few days may feel like a dream vacation, but after that you may feel isolated. If you are home, make sure you have a laptop & a cell phone near you. You can research the web for all the things you will need for your baby; from nursery furniture to items for your baby shower registry to most popular names! Now the computer will get old too, so make sure you speak with friends, family, your best girl friends. Have people come over and visit as much as you feel comfortable with, you won’t believe how many people will want to help you, bring you dinners for your family, take your older kids (if you have them) out for play dates to help. If you are going to be on bed rest for a long time, try to set up a schedule with family and friends that are willing to help to get necessary things done. The key take away here is to Stay Connected!
- What if you are in the hospital for your bed rest? – Staying connected is still important, in the hospital you will have people around you, doctors, nurses, aids, possibly a roommate, so you may not feel isolated, but it’s not home. See if the hospital will let you make your room (or your part of it) feel more like home. Have someone bring in your favorite comforter/blanket, slippers, pi’s, your pillow, a favorite lamp to read by, that stack of books that you may have never had time to read! You have to think like you are going on vacation, what are those must haves that you would bring? This will make the stay at the hospital feel more like home, also make sure you have your cell phone and if allowed a laptop. Stay in touch with friends and family and welcome frequent visits if you are up to it. Also check with your hospital and see what they have in place to help make your stay more enjoyable.
- Get Pampered! – First check with your doctor, but if they give you the ok, have someone come to your house and give you the pampering you deserve, a manicure, pedicure, facial, or prenatal massage! Have some friends come over and have a spa party! The more the merrier!
- Bond with your family – when the baby comes you will be so busy and exhausted, use this time to bond with you husband, significant other, kids, etc. Have family movie night in your room, play board games, or just talk about the day, whatever your family likes to do that can be done with you in bed. This will bring you closer together as a family and keep your spirits high!
- Put yourself together – ok your thinking, what can I do? I am stuck in bed? It is easy to just lay there and put your hair in a pony tail! You will feel much better if you try to keep some of your normal routine. If you can, put on some makeup, comb your hair, put on pretty pj’s. If you can’t, have a friend or family member help, have a makeup & hair party with some girlfriends. We always feel better when we take care of ourselves, so do something for yourself! We spend our lives taking care of everyone else, now its time to take care of yourself and your baby!
- Organize – now that you have time, organize all those photo’s sitting in a box, get your baby shower list together, make a list of what you want for your nursery, things you need to buy for the baby, there are endless things to do when getting ready for baby, now is a great time to get organized!
- If you are crafty – now is a great time to knit a blanket, crochet a baby sweater, or learn to do this.
- Like to write? – Start a journal about your pregnancy experiences, write letters to your baby, or even write a book!