Here’s how to cope with pregnancy bed rest without going stir crazy in the process.
Don’t be hard on yourself
You should feel zero guilt about being on pregnancy bed rest. In fact, you should consider yourself super mama of the year -- pregnancy can be challenging enough when you’re allowed to walk around and live life normally. Having a major restriction put on your regular activities is a sacrifice and following your doctor’s orders means you’re doing right by your new baby.
“Your number one job is keeping your baby safe, so don’t hesitate to ask friends and family to pitch in with household tasks or errands,” says Angela Davids, founder of KeepEmCookin, an educational organization that offers bed rest support.
Four ways to survive pregnancy bed rest
It’s easy for pregnancy bed rest to quickly become pregnancy stress. “It’s enjoyable for about three days, at most,” Davids says. So when you’ve caught up on reality TV and gossip rags, Davids recommends the following survival skills:
- Get social. Social media, that is. Create a support team through online pregnancy groups, Twitter or Facebook. Connect with other women in your situation to stay positive and focused.
- Get connected. You don’t have to turn into a recluse. Interact with others whenever possible. Invite your BFF over for a slumber party, call a long-lost pal and get your partner to stock the weekends with funny movies and good company.
- Get to work. Holding on to even a handful of your normal work responsibilities can prevent you from feeling useless. Ask your employer about telecommuting (doctor permitting) and continue to work if you can.
- Get vocal. There’s a good chance your partner is freaked out about this pregnancy bed rest, too. Keep the lines of communication open and let him or her know exactly what you need, from hugs to chocolate.
“Being on bed rest, especially the second time for four months, was so frustrating. I wanted to help care for my four-year-old son, my husband and our daily lives, but I had to put my life on hold to keep our baby inside me. It was an enormous responsibility,” says Heather M., mom of two and two-time bed rest survivor. “I felt that, if I went into labor early, it would be my fault entirely. So I took everything the high-risk doctors told me to do very seriously. Although I kept contracting and dilating, we made it to full term. She was so worth it!”
Every single day on bed rest counts -- celebrate each one!