Bed rest makes pregnancy feel even longer than nine months. You can’t do the things you want to do, shop and decorate for baby the way you want to, and you’re stuck in the same four walls for a long time.
If your doctor or midwife prescribes you bed rest during your pregnancy, however, it’s best to follow the advice. So here’s our advice for how to understand bed rest and tips for how to pass the time.
Why are you on bed rest?
Your doctor may have put you on bed rest for a variety of reasons. It could be because you have a preexisting condition that puts your pregnancy into the high-risk category.
It could be because you are carrying multiples or because you have been diagnosed with a pregnancy complication.
What is pregnancy bed rest?
Bed rest can mean a lot of different things, depending on the circumstances. For some women, bed rest just means to take it easy and spend a certain number of hours a day resting.
For other women, it means staying in bed 24/7 except for bathroom breaks and quick showers.
For some women, bed rest means a hospital stay where the pregnancy can be monitored by professionals.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your healthcare provider means by “bed rest.” Find out which kinds of activities (light housework, driving, sexual intercourse, etc.) are okay and which are not. Your doctor may also want you to rest in a certain position such as on your side or with your legs elevated.
Pregnancy bed rest tips
Even though the whole point of bed rest is…well rest, it doesn’t have to be boring or unproductive. Fortunately, we don’t live in the 1800s. Reading books and writing letters are great, but today you have many more choices. You can have the internet, your cell phone, DVD player, MP3 player, and more all at your bedside. Here are some tips for surviving your pregnancy bed rest:
Get Ready for Baby
- Get out that laptop and start shopping. Baby clothes, diapers, furniture, blankets, toys, and books can all be found on the internet. You might also want to order a breast pump and some cream to minimize those stretch marks.
- Do you knit or crochet? If not, now is a great time to learn. Baby needs booties, blankets, hats, and sweaters.
- Have you picked a name yet? Now is a great time to check out internet name sites or thumb through baby name books.
- Now is also a good time to change your will, fill out health insurance forms, and take care of any other paperwork related to baby.
- Bed rest gives you a great opportunity to learn everything you can about becoming a parent. One place to start is breastmilk.com, which features dozens of articles about breastfeeding. Check out parenting sites and order parenting books from Amazon or your local library.
Use Your Network
Now is a great time to catch up with family and friends. Invite friends to visit. Don’t worry if the house is a mess because you are stuck in bed—they’ll understand.
Write thank you notes for baby shower gifts, update your contacts and calendar, add to your Facebook page. You might also want to check out bed rest discussions and chats online and make some new friends!
This is a great time to organize photos, either online or in albums. You might also want to start a pregnancy journal or blog, or how about researching your genealogy to share with your baby when he or she is older?
Catch up on Movies and TV
Unless you have hundreds of channels, don’t rely on what’s on TV for entertainment. DVDs or programs you can download from the internet let you control what and when you watch. Consider rewatching a favorite series or trying one you never had time for.
Have a mini-film festival. Watch every movie your favorite star has made, or watch chick-flicks with your best friend.
Be careful about what you choose at this time, though. Violent, disturbing, or bloody shows are probably not a good choice right now.
Give your Eyes a Break
Reading can get tiring. However, a wide variety of books come on CDs, cassette tapes, and downloadable MP3s. Listening to a book allows you to multitask – you can listen and knit or organize photos. For free downloads and books on CD or tape, check out your local library. There are also websites for downloading audio books. In addition, you can find podcasts on almost any topic as well as many radio shows.