Are you getting the nutrition you need? As many of you settle into your bed rest routines, it can be very easy to skip meals (especially breakfast! Don’t do it!!!), snack a lot and give into many of those crazy cravings as a way to soothe your “sorrow” over your bed rest experience. I want to reiterate, this is no time to be slack with your nutrition! Mamas on Bedrest are at increased risk of insufficient weight gain and low birth weight infants. Because Mamas on Bedrest are physically inactive and confined to bed, they are less apt to take in some essential nutrients like Vitamin D (Vitamin D is manufactured in your body by converting the suns rays along with Cholesterol into the vitamin) and they may require additional Calcium to not only support the pregnancy, but to support mama’s bones as she is not able to do any weight bearing exercise (even walking with a light grocery bag is load bearing exercise!) during pregnancy.
As always, it is best to receive necessary nutrients from a well balanced, nutrient dense diet. Karimums, an Australian support website for mamas, has provided the following infographic which outlines the necessary nutrients and amounts needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy. The infographic also shows the foods that can help meet these nutritional needs. Here is a copy of the info graphic:
And while this infographic is a great reminder of the nutritional needs of pregnant mamas, it also shows that it may be difficult to consume enough foods to take in the necessary nutrients. Hence, I want to reiterate the vital importance of prenatal vitamins. This is always a controversial topic, but one of vital importance. One look at this infographic and a mama on bedrest may say to herself, “There is no way that I can eat 18 cups of raw spinach a day! While this may be true (and we don’t want to discourage mama from eating spinach at all!!) mama still needs the folic acid, and taking a pharmaceutical grade prenatal vitamin will enable mama to get the vital nutrition she and her baby need without having to consume an entire spinach garden daily!
I want to add a note about prenatal nutrition here. Nature has designed it so that when a woman becomes pregnant, the first nutrients that are available to her body are directed towards the baby for its growth and development. Ideally, a woman is taking in enough nutrient foods to support herself and her baby. But if mama happens to be deficient, let’s say, in calcium, when her body takes in calcium it is first directed to the growing baby and any left over is then used to sustain mama. So if a woman is calcium deficient or not taking in enough calcium to sustain both herself and her baby, she will suffer. To this end, I have personally seen women develop cavities during pregnancy (Calcium aids in good dental health!) and in an extreme case, a woman was osteopenic (had low bone mass density) after her pregnancy.
Mamas, eat well. Use the infographic above to fortify your diet. If you are not already taking a high grade prenatal vitamin, discuss with your health care provider if you need prenatal vitamins and which ones might be best for you. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share with you pharmaceutical grade prenatal vitamins that will supply the nutrients your body needs to serve you and your baby! Also, check out “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest” as we have an entire section dedicated to prenatal nutrition and vitamins! Download your copy now from Amazon.com!
“I was put on bedrest at 13 weeks because my cervix was opening and now come to find out I’ll be one with my bed until February. I’m not worried about my baby because I know he or she will be fine as this is my blessing child my first child and a fighter but I’m concerned about me. What do I do? How do I continue to ask for help everyday for 6 months? I can’t do anything but walk to the bathroom alone. I have to rely on everyone to make me food get me drinks clean up after me go shopping for me. I can’t take that. I just want to be happy and enjoy my baby but yet I feel so down. Please tell me someone can relate and can help me please.”
How many of us can relate to this message? How many of us at one time felt overjoyed to be pregnant, only soon after to feel sentenced to purgatory when bed rest was prescribed? This mama is facing a monumental task! She is going to be one with her bed for the next 6 MONTHS!! Who but another mama on bed rest can even begin to wrap her head around this? It’s half a year! But for years now, Mamas on Bedrest have defied the odds and conquered the beast known as bed rest! Mamas watch movies, read books, journal, paint, knit, crochet, scrapbook, talk to friends, some work and others simply grit through. And the vast majority of mamas go home with a healthy baby.
So what is the secret to surviving prolonged bed rest? After talking with hundreds of mamas, I present you with these recommendations based on their responses:
1. Take it one day at a time! If you look at the total amount of time you have to be on bed rest, it can be overwhelming and quite frankly, depress you. Take each day as it comes, make the best of it, and with each day that passes, celebrate your victory! Do whatever it takes to keep a positive mental attitude. That is going to be your secret weapon as the days drag on. You are doing this for yourself and your baby. You can do this, Mama!
2. Set up a daily routine. This was the main recommendation given by mamas from our community in our book, “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”. (Available for immediate download from Amazon.com). Get up at the same time, have your morning routine, eat at scheduled times, have scheduled naps, etc…According to Mamas on Bedrest, the structure helps keep things in perspective and pass the time.
3. Ask for, and ACCEPT, help. This is by far the most difficult thing for Mamas on Bedrest. Like the mama who messaged me, most Mamas on Bedrest are very independent, pro-active people. Not only are they shell shocked to be sidelined from their lives, they are completely overwhelmed with the thought of “putting others out” and “having others completely care for them.” This is very difficult and very humbling. But if you can learn how to receive graciously in this situation, it will serve you well not only for your time on bed rest, but later in life as well. Your family needs continue despite your bed rest prescription and since you cannot fulfill your usual role, let others help by pitching in. You are not imposing. Most people want to help. The problem is, they don’t know how. Tell them exactly how to help you NOW! Don’t ask for 6 months worth of help, ask for help with small, specific tasks that need to be done TODAY! Graciously accept the help, and then later, when you need more help, ask again. It really is okay to ask for and to receive help-repeatedly! And it’s going to be your saving grace while you are on bed rest.
4. Engage with other Mamas on Bedrest! Most Mamas on Bedrest will tell you that the boredom and isolation are the worst parts of bed rest. As much as possible, don’t isolate! Welcome family and friends for visits. Call/write/text/e-mail friends. And don’t forget, your comrades Mamas on Bedrest! Our Facebook page has over 800 Mamas on Bedrest and “Bedrest Veterans” available 24/7 and they love chatting, sharing tips and resources and supporting one another. No question is to weird. No post too “whiney”. We all know where you are and have been there. Use us to help you get through this time.
Bed rest is not easy and it most certainly is not something you can do alone! You have to ask for and ACCEPT help from others. It’s truly a humbling experience, but for the sake of you and your baby, please reach out. For other tips and resources, Get a copy of our book, “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide To Surviving Bedrest”. It is available for immediate download from Amazon.com. Got a tip for Mamas on Bedrest? Share with us in the comments section of this post or via e-mail at email@example.com
We all know that Bedrest is difficult, but did you know that certain complications that cause mamas to be put on bed rest can also put mamas at risk for heart health problems later in life?
In today’s post, I am sharing with you an info graphic from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) which outlines the potential cardiovascular (heart) risks that Mamas on Bedrest are exposed to as a result of certain pregnancy complications. The purpose of sharing this info graphic is not to scare you, depress you about being on bed rest or to add more stress to an already difficult situation. Rather, my motive is to make you aware of future health risks, to educate you and share information with you so that you can take the best care of yourselves now, during your pregnancies, and throughout the rest of your lives.
The CMQCC infographic specifically names Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, Pre-Eclampsia, HELLP Syndrome, Gestational Diabetes and Preterm Births all as increasing a mama’s risk of developing heart disease later in life. We know this because of information shared in previous blog posts on Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, Pre-Eclampsia, and Gestational Diabetes.
But I really like this infographic because it gives a lot of information in a neat, concise and readable fashion. I think the infographic is easy to follow and mamas can get all the information that they need at a glance. Then if mamas desire more information, they can read the additional resources provided in this post and in the resources in the infographic at their leisure.
This is great information, Mamas. Do take the time to read it. Got Questions? Ask them on our live Free Q & A teleseminar this Thursday! I, Bedrest Coach Darline Turner, will be answering all bed rest related questions, including those related to this infographic. While I can’t offer specific medical advice, I can steer you in the right directions to get all the information you need to make wise health care choices!