For a busy mom, lying in bed and relaxing may sound appealing, but a mom who has experienced bed rest will tell you it is not all she had dreamed it would be. I spent five weeks on bed rest prior to the birth of our triplets and it was an emotionally exhausting and humbling experience. If you happen to find yourself in the same situation, here are some tips for surviving bed rest.
1 Keep Your Focus
There are many reasons a mom will be put on bed rest, but most often it is because of the risk of preterm labor. Focus on the goal, which is allowing your baby to grow as long as possible. Reminding yourself of this will help keep you going each day.
2 Keep a Record
Many moms find that writing in a journal or starting a blog is therapeutic. Record your thoughts and feelings about pregnancy, as well as what is going on that day. Take pictures to document the pregnancy. After the birth, you will have a record to look back on.
3 Keep Entertained
Many hospitals are equipped with free wi-fi for patients to use. This comes in extra handy while on bed rest. Catch up on your TV shows, read books or magazines, watch movies, do some Internet shopping, play games on your phone or tablet, scroll through Facebook or Pinterest, and research the best car seat for your baby. Utilize any form of entertainment to pass the time.
4 Keep Resting
Inevitably, some well-wisher will say it: “Enjoy sleeping now, because when the baby comes you will wish you could sleep more.” That’s very hard for most moms to hear when they are forced into bed rest. However, it’s a common saying because it’s true. Rest is best for the baby and the mom. Try to make the most of it while you can.
5 Keep Comfortable
Create a comfortable space wherever you are resting. At home, keep snacks, water, books and other items close at hand so you don’t have to be up and about during the day. Bring the comforts from home to the hospital. Items like blankets and pillows, pictures of family and any favorites that make you feel more comfortable will ease the time you spend at the hospital.
6 Keep Busy
This is the time to catch up on the things you never have time to do. Try beauty maintenance, such as painting your fingernails or plucking your eyebrows. Teach yourself a new skill like learning to knit or crochet using free tutorial videos online. Finish the thank you cards from your baby shower. Do anything to pass the time.
7 Keep a Routine
Wake up at approximately the same time daily, shower, get dressed, eat meals at the same times and do basically the same activities each day. Keeping a simple daily routine will help time pass and help create a sense of normalcy. If you are working, get a laptop and keep up with your work from your home or the hospital bed.
8 Keep a Positive Perspective
It is hard not to get down when you see the same four walls day in and day out, sometimes for weeks on end. Keep telling yourself, “You can do it!” Take each day as it comes, and keep pushing yourself forward until your goal. Remind yourself this is temporary and will be worth it when you hold your baby in your arms. Someday this will all be a distant memory.
9 Keep a Support System
A strong support system is key to surviving bed rest. Encourage friends and family to visit as much as possible. Having people around to talk to does wonders to raise spirits for a mom on bed rest. If family and friends offer to help by bringing meals, caring for older children or doing housework, accept the help.
The main thing to remember while on bed rest is that it will end. Take one day at a time, and try to remain positive. Soon enough, you will be holding your baby in your arms.
Sarah Lyons survived five weeks on bed rest prior to the birth of her triplets in 2014.