Bedrest Must Haves

Mamas on Bedrest: Will it Ever End??

March 2nd, 2015
Photo of Tommy's Winter Deck

The view of my cousin’s deck.

This winter has definitely been one for the books. Each time that I call my parents who live just outside of Boston, there is a similar refrain, “Will it ever end??”

Sound familiar?

Much of the United States has had a record breaking winter either because of freezing temperatures or because of record snow fall. Just when folks think they have seen the last, the mercury drops another few degrees or another 8-12 inches of snow falls.

When I speak with folks back home all they say is “Will this ever end? Will I ever be able to freely walk out of my home? Will the roads ever clear so that more than one care can pass at a time? When will life get back to “normal”?

Sound Familiar??

Bedrest is like a long, cold, winter. It’s here and you really can’t do a thing about it, yet on the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that long at all! Think of it this way. If you and your baby each live to be 80 years old in your respective lives, out of that cumulative 160 years of living, bedrest will account for no more than about 20 weeks. Now I know that 20 weeks is a long time, especially when you are on bed rest, but when placed beside 80 or even 160 years, it’s but a blip in time. Perspective is everything!

Bedrest, like winter isn’t immediately going away, so what can you do to make it more comfortable?

1. Extra Comfort in Bed. I highly recommend a body pillow if you don’t already have one. I also recommend one of those cylinder pillows for under your knees/calves. These pillows properly positioned will provide your spine and hips with support to alleviate pressure and avoid bed sores and body aches.

2. Good Food. By this I don’t only mean tasty food, but nutritious food. It is soo easy to reach for candy and cookies and other snacks when you are “laying around doing nothing” (hardly). But pregnancy and Bedrest both actually alter your metabolism and you don’t want to overload your system. Pregnancy slows digestion so that your body can remove the maximum nutrients from foods for you and the baby. This often results in feeling bloated and sometimes constipation.

In terms of your overall metabolism, because you are not moving about, your cardiac (amount of blood your heart is pumping) output changes and you may note swelling in your hands and feet because the heart is not circulating your blood as efficiently as if you were moving about. So to offset these and other changes, it’s really important that you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and to keep your body systems moving (especially heart and kidneys) and eat nutrient dense-but not calorically dense-foods. Lean cuts of meat, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains will nourish you and your growing baby.

3. Books, Magazines and Movies. You’ll have lots of time to catch up on your reading, so gather up all those books you’ve been meaning to read and have at it! Also, if you have a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader, you can purchase and even rent e-books to pass the time. (Why not get your copy of “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”? It’s available for immediate download on Amazon.com and has even more tips for Bedrest Success.)

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can also download movies, television series and other videos. Some require a small fee, yet many are free. If you don’t like the selection on Amazon.com, There is Netflix and Hulu as well as innumerable music websites.

4. Computer/Tablet. Today there is absolutely no reason to be completely isolated while on bed rest. There are numerous online communities (Join Us, Mamas on Bedrest on Facebook!!) as well as online websites with tools, tips and all the baby gear you could possibly want! Best of all, with a few simple key strokes, you are fully in the mix!

5. Phone A Friend. Your phone will most definitely be your friend and a major means of communication so be sure that it is within easy reach. Yes the internet is probably top contender for communication these days, what with SKYPE and FaceTime and other visual means of communication. However, there is still nothing better than hearing a loving voice on the other end of the line reminding you that you are loved and supported (especially if those folks are like my mom and not on line!).

Funny how the list of things that make for a Better Bedrest are also many of the same things that are making this winter bearable for my New England family! Winter will soon be over and so will Bedrest and come this spring, many of you will sit on your respective porches, decks and balconies, babies in arms, and marvel at the lovely flowers that poked through the once frozen ground. It really is amazing how life goes on!

 

Get even more tips on surviving Bedrest in our e-book guide, “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”

How are you “weathering” Bedrest? What are YOUR essentials? Share in our comments section below