It’s one of the most dreaded words to hear during pregnancy bedrest. But it’s not a prison sentence. There are ways to survive. You will need outside help, but you can do it.
I know firsthand that this isn’t really fun. My first baby “dropped” at just 18 weeks. My doctor threw me on bedrest faster than I could say, “Huh?” When I became too active after that (Yes, I was bad and didn’t obey all the time), I experienced preterm labor. But I learned how to cope after a bit. Here are some tips from a “been there, done that” mommy.
Make sure your meds and vitamins are next to your bed, along with water. Have your husband put a cooler next to your side of the bed with some fresh, cold water and a few snacks. When my mom was almost fully bedridden from cancer, I found one of those tiny portable refrigerators for her. My dad would put a glass of milk in it and a bowl of dry cereal next to it each morning before he left for work. When the nurse or one of us arrived in the morning, we were able to help her get her day started from that point and she wasn’t famished. You could do the same thing.
Choose your trips out of bed wisely. Do several things at a time when you are sentenced to pregnancy bedrest. Go to the bathroom, brush your teeth, take your quick shower (depending on doctor’s orders) and get dressed. Rest for a couple of hours. Go to the fridge, grab your lunch, hit the bathroom, pick up a few magazines, a newspaper or a book to read, settle down on the couch for the afternoon. Rest a few hours more. Toss a prepared dinner in the oven and visit the restroom again, since during the resting periods you should be drinking lots of water!
If you currently have children, have your husband or someone else help teach them how to climb up in bed and help you. Depending upon their age, they can fetch things throughout the day for you. For toddlers, keep puzzles, books, crayons, etc. next to the bedside to keep them occupied with you. Keep their food, drinks, diapers and wipes with you, as well.
Now, obviously, this cannot all be accomplished by yourself. You will need to rely on the help of friends and family. Maybe a neighbor, co-worker, church member or relative could arrange for meals to be brought in for your family a few times a week. You will need someone to arrange for some of the housework to be done. Someone will need to come help take care of your small children, too.
But during the quiet rest times, think up things to do that you enjoy and work on them. Start knitting or crocheting that afghan you’ve wanted to make. Finish the cross-stitch you started for your mom. Work on your pregnancy journal. If you have a laptop, you can surf the web, email friends, complete your baby registry and shop for your baby’s nursery. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure. If you play the violin, this is a great time to do it. Catch up with your friends by having a game or movie night. If you are in a bible study or a book club, ask the other members if they can meet at your home while you’re on bedrest. Just try to relax and enjoy your favorite quiet hobbies now while you have time.
Try not to dwell on the negative aspects of what you’re experiencing. Finding the positive aspects may be difficult. But at least you are doing what is needed to take care of your precious baby. This will give him or her the best chance towards a healthy life. Look at it this way, youll be well rested when that sweet little bundle arrives!