Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Surviving Bed Rest

It's not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe bed rest to help prevent complications in pregnancy.  At first, the thought of putting the business of life on hold doesn't sound so bad.  In fact, it may even be a welcomed break from real life. You get to relax while someone else takes care you — but then bed rest reality sets in. You can't go to work, shop, cook or even have a simple night out.   If you're on complete bed rest, you may not even be able to shower or eat sitting up.  So how does one prepare and cope with laying flat for weeks or even months on end? 
Guest blogger and mom-to-be Melissa Hinnant shares her experiences firsthand and some helpful tips on surviving bed rest.
"After suddenly spending 2 weeks in strict hospital bed rest with my last pregnancy,  I was *slightly* prepared when we received the news that I would be on strict home bed rest starting "now" this pregnancy.  However, what I wasn't prepared for is,  2 months...yes 60 days, 8 weeks and 4 days or 1,440 hrs later I'm still here, horizontal.

Here are some tips that I have found a huge help with surviving bed rest:

1) Get a calendar, one you can hang on your wall next to you and each night cross off a day.  It truly helps to see the time progressing and knowing that baby is still growing in there safe and sound.

2) ASK for help!  Do not try to do things on your own.  Try to find someone to cook/bring meals or set up a meal rotation, help with groceries, laundry, cleaning, etc.  Friends and family are generally willing to help, but they need to know what you need help with.  Do not be afraid to ask.

3) Schedule your days.  I have found it very helpful to have a routine that breaks up your day and helps it to go by faster. For example, 8am-11:30am wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, read, send emails and browse the internet.  12pm-3pm eat lunch, lay outside (if your doctor allows) and do some crafting. 3pm-5pm (this often feels the longest stretch) more internet, crafting again and see some visitors.  6pm-10pm - eat dinner, watch television or a movie, shower, read and go to bed.

4)  Take up a hobby.  Some examples are crafting, scrapbooking, knitting or crocheting.  I've learned to crochet - I've made baby girl a blanket, and now I'm making little teeny bows and headbands.  I've also made an online recipe book by entering all of my recipes at  Photobooks are another great idea as they make the time pass quickly too.  As soon as I can sit up I'll be working on a quilt for my little one.

5)  Be mindful of what you are eating.  Remember, your body is not moving so your metabolism and digestion are very slow.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and make sure to have some "healthy" snacks throughout the day.  Drink a lot of water!  I drink about 80-90oz a day (which is more than I ever have in my life), but it's very beneficial during pregnancy.

Bed rest, especially a lengthy one, is not easy.  A HUGE revelation that came to me (one that will make or break your bed rest) is, it's all about how you set your perspective.  You can mope, stress and dredge your way through it or you can choose to make the most of it.  The Italians have a popular phrase "La Dolcezza di Fare Niente", which means "the sweetness of doing nothing".  They have really grasped this concept, and it's time us Americans do too!  Remember, this bed rest season will not last forever, and the next time you have a chance to rest like this will probably be in 21 years from now."

Follow Melissa's story on Rick and Melissa Plus 1.


cab company in kingston said...

Great! Creative contented source! As I totally agree with you that bed rest is really the best way to survive for pregnant women. I have found the large criteria about care of this condition. Thanks for sharing, It's truly knowledgeable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you soo much for this! I am on bed rest for 8 weeks and I am finding it soo hard to cope.. but its all for my baby boy