Mamas on Bedrest: 10 “Must Haves” for Your Hospital Bed Rest Bag

April 21st, 2014

Greetings Mamas!!
How is this Monday treating you??  If you are a part of our Facebook Community (and you really should be!!), you may recognize this post:

“Mamas Natalie is headed to the hospital for bed rest. She wants to know what to take?”

Pregnant woman in hospitalWell, the mamas really piped up and this is the list of  they came up with. If you are headed to the hospital on bed rest, these are the 10  ”must haves” for your hospital bag.

1. Clothes. This was far and away the number one thing mamas said to bring. The hospital gowns are ghastly; they neither keep you covered nor warm. Mamas recommended a robe, slippers, night gown, comfy sweats and underwear.

2. Lotion. According to Mamas on Bedrest, the air in hospitals is very dry. A very moisturizing body lotion is a must, and mamas also recommend that it is a favorite scent to lift your spirits.

3. Chapstick/lip gloss. Same reason as #2.

4. Shampoo, Bodywash. Mamas also recommended that you bring your own shampoo/bodywash. This is really refreshing (especially if it’s a favorite scent!). One mama had several hotel samples-which is handy for packing light.

5. Body Pillow. While the mamas had the aforementioned items as first line, I think bringing a body pillow to the hospital is an ABSOLUTE MUST!!! Although hospital beds are adjustable and allegedly more comfortable, I found that where they bent were that most uncomfortable places. Having a body pillow to support your body is an excellent way to be able to remain comfortable while adhering to bed rest.

6. Books/Magazine. The mamas highly recommend having plenty of reading material.

7. Laptop/Tablet. In order to stay connected, as well as to be able to download movies and television shows over the internet, a laptop computer or tablet is a must!

8. Craft items. Mama on Bedrest Megan taught herself to knit and crochet when she went on bed rest.

9. Cell Phone Charger.  Per Mama Angela, you’ll use your cell phone quite a bit so a charger is a must.

10. An Extension Cord. Per Mama Carrie, none of the extra plugs are close enough to plug in electronic devices. Those closest to the hospital bed are often taken by hospital equipment, so in order to access the other plugs in the room, an extension cord is a must.

Mamas, what other items are “Must Haves” for your hospital bed rest bag? Share your suggestions in the comment section below. And please share this post with other mamas, especially any mamas you know headed to the hospital for bed rest. If a mama is already in the hospital on bed rest, you may want to make her a care package with any one, some or all of the aforementioned items!

Mamas on Bedrest: “How Can I Help?” (Transcript)

April 18th, 2014

TGIF Mamas!!

I received a comment from Mama on Bedrest Tracy. She had viewed the vlog “How Can I Help” and wondered why I simply hadn’t written out the tips as it would have been easier to give to friends and family. Well Tracy, prior to starting vlogging (producing video blogs) I had mamas comment that it would be nice to simply be able to sit back and have information kind of “fed” to them. So I instituted the Video Wednesdays. But you are right.

When a mama goes on bed rest, the FAMILY goes on bedrest! Everything about the entire family dynamic shifts; it’s essentially thrown up in the air and the chips land where they may. The same can be said about the birth of a baby and most assuredly in the event that baby ends up in the NICU. In order to reclaim a bit of order amidst the chaos, friends and loved ones may want to help the family in need. But what should they do? So often when they ask, “How can I help?” their questions are met with vacant stares or, “Oh, anything is a great help.” or even, “Don’t worry about it. I couldn’t even tell you!” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to hand these well meaning loved ones a short list of tasks? Well, Here it is! A Transcript (not word for word, but a good approximation) of the information in that post. Hope it helps and that your family and friends are able to meet your needs!

My kids just days after the birth of my son. Any of the "helps" listed would have been a Godsend!

My kids just days after the birth of my son. Any of the “helps” listed would have been a Godsend!

Meals. When a mama goes on bed rest or delivers a baby, she obviously isn’t able to prepare meals for her family. Bringing over a meal, casserole or other prepared food will greatly help the family stay well fed and well nourished. Please don’t bring “elements” of the meal for them to cook. The family doesn’t have the time nor the energy. Bring the dish ready to heat in the oven or Microwave. If it’s a salad, bring the salad made with condiments such as croutons, raisins and nuts in separate containers and do include salad dressing!

Grocery Shop. The above being said, it would be an enormous help if you could stock the family up on such staples as bread, milk, toilet paper, paper towels, etc…Also, throw in some snacks for good measure; fresh fruits, chips, popcorn.

House Cleaning. As I said in the video, I hate cleaning my own home, so I wouldn’t really like to go and clean someone else’s home-although I would for any of my besties. But if cleaning really isn’t your thing, why not get together with a few folks and buy maid service? Professional house cleaning is a wonderful thing and if done well, will last a family a week or two.

Laundry. Now I personally don’t mind laundry, but it is time consuming and for a family with mama out of commission or a new baby in the NICU, finding time to do the laundry can be a challenge. These days, why not scoop up all the laundry, take it to a laundrymat and have it done? It’s really easy and usually just a couple of dollars per load! Laundromats will wash, dry and fold laundry usually within one  day! It’s a great service and a great gift to a family in transition.

Pets. Family upheavel is especially hard on pets. With all of the coming and going, sometimes pets get lost in the shuffle. So if you know the family in transition has a pet, make sure the pet has adequate food and water and the pee/poop is being addressed. They have a cat? Consider changing the litter box! They have a dog? Take the dog for a walk. If the family is completely overwhelmed, consider fostering the pet until the period of transition is over, pet daycare or a short stay at a pet hotel.

Those were my suggestions. Hope they are useful to you! Share what you liked most in the comments section below as well as any tips or suggestions. As always, you can send comments to

Mamas on Bedrest: Depression in Dads

April 16th, 2014

Greetings Mamas!

I have a question for you. Could your partner be depressed? A recent study has noted that as many as 5-10% of dads become depressed following the birth of their children and remain in a depressed state sometimes until the child goes into kindergarten! Even more alarming, young dads-men who become dads in their 20′s-are at increased risk of becoming depressed and have a 68% risk of increasing depression for the first 5 years following the birth of their children.

This is really sad to hear. At a time when we would expect joy, many men are experiencing sadness/depression. The researchers who are reporting this work in the May 2014 edition of Pediatrics, Craig Garfield, MD, Associate Professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Eric Lewandowski, PhD, Clinical Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychology at NYU Langone Medical Center, say that there is so little data upon which to draw that much more research needs to be done to figure out is this more prevalent in younger men because they feel ill equipped to be fathers? Are they stressed out about providing for their families? Are they worried about finances? The reasons are likely multifactorial and the truth is that we really don’t have any of these answers. We also don’t know if these rates hold for dads in their 30′s, 40′s or beyond. Again, much more research needs to be done.

I Wrote a blog several years ago about depression in dads and in that post shared some signs and symptoms of depression in Dads. It is critical that depression in dads be identified and treated as dads’ interaction (or lack there of) with their children can have long lasting developmental effects on the child.

Having a baby is a major life changing event and while the focus of this website is on mamas, we have to be aware of the fact that the birth of a child affects everyone-mamas, dads, siblings and even pets! The addition of a new family member completely alters the family dynamic such change needs to be acknowledged and supported for all family members.

So keep this information in your memory bank. I hope that you won’t need it, but if you do, I hope that it will help you to find the support and resources that you need to help the man that you love.

If this blog helps you, please be sure to let us know in the comments section below. If you have a resource to help dads, please share it in the comments section. If you have a question that you would like to submit privately, please send it to


Young Dads at Risk of Depressive Symptoms, Study Finds. MedlinePlus