Mamas on Bedrest: Survey Says….

May 6th, 2010

At the beginning of April I sent out a survey to see just what do Mamas on bed rest need? I wanted to survey women who are on bed rest as well as “veterans” who have moved past bed rest into motherhood to see if the products and services that Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond are offering are what mamas really wanted.

First and foremost, A huge THANK YOU to everyone who responded to the survey. Your answers are greatly appreciated.  I will use the information make improvements to the website and to seek out services and alliances with other providers and to make sure that when women on bed rest come to my website or seek services, they can get exactly what they need and don’t need to look any further.

The survey consisted of 6 (actually 5 questions. The last question was for their name and e-mail address to follow up) questions ranging from what sort of physical problems women are having to what one thing made being on bed rest better. While many of the responses were expected, there were a few that were a surprise. Below are the questions and the tabulated responses.

1. What has been the hardest part of being on prescribed bed rest?

By far the most difficult thing for mamas on bed rest was not being able to care for their existing children, not being involved in their day to day care and having to surrender that care to someone else. This was followed closely by boredom and a feeling of isolation. Other common worries were:

  • inability to care for themselves, being dependent on others to care for them
  • inability to care for their homes and families
  • not knowing if being on bed rest would help-prolong the pregnancy or keep baby safe/healthy.
  • Loss of muscle tone/body aches/becoming deconditioned

Inability to work or to prepare for being out of work, worrying about what would happen with the pregnancy and anger/frustration at husband who was able to go about freely and work were each felt by one women.

Interestingly, most of the mamas in this survey were strong ladies and were not spending time worrying but just focusing on making it through and having a healthy baby.

2.  What are your biggest physical challenges (body aches, stiffness, weakness,etc…) being on bed rest?

Pain and stiffness in the back, hips/butt and legs was by far the greatest physical challenge reported by two thirds of the respondents. The next most common problems were:

  • Inability to sleep comfortably/insomnia from laying around all day
  • generalized fatigue
  • shortness of breath.

The shortness of breath at first surprised me, but given that women on bed rest more than 2 weeks become quite decondititoned, and when one is on prolonged bed rest, one doesn’t take deep breaths to expand the lungs, I’m not surprised shortness of breath became an issue. Cervical pressure, a rash and chest pain all received one vote.

3. What is your greatest fear about being on bed rest?

The greatest fear of being on bed rest is that in the long run, it wouldn’t help. By nearly 2:1 over the next most common answer, mamas were mostly afraid that even being on bed rest would not be enough to have a healthy, term infant.  The second most common concern, was losing their baby and/or dying themselves! The next most common worries:

  • Being too weak to care for their babies post partum
  • Being too weak to have a normal vaginal birth
  • Excessive weight gain
  • A long post partum recovery

4. What is THE ONE THING that if you had it/knew it beforehand/could do right now would make bed rest infinitely more bearable?

In this age of technology, having cable tv/NetFlix was the number one way women passed the time. This was very closely followed by having a computer or smart phone to surf the web and to watch movies. Other must haves:

  • Housekeeper and support services like a chef/meal planner
  • Exercises/Physical therapy
  • Visits from friends and family

I was happy to see that one participant would have liked to have seen/toured the NICU. This was something that I had wished I could have done given that my daughter ended up there for 10 days. I think this participant is right in that there should be some sort of video available to help prepare parents. Another interesting response was that one respondent felt that being on bed rest at home would have been better than being on bed rest in the hospital. We’ll have to investigate that!

Women also noted that doing projects/crafts, keeping a positive attitude, remembering that bed rest is a finite situation and being comfortable (one woman recommended a bed rest pillow while another recommended getting a recliner) made bed rest bearable.

5. What can Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond do (better) to help?

This had to be the most gratifying section for me. The number one response was having the Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond website!(Honestly, I didn’t pay anyone for their responses!) It beat out all the other answers 5:1!

Interestingly, when I started this business I was sure that women would want support services; massages, laundry, housekeeping services, errands, etc… But that’s not what mamas want. Here’s what I have found in business and now from this survey:

  • They want their existing children well cared for
  • They want activities to pass the time
  • They want support – They want visits from friends and relatives.  They want to interact with other women going through the same process (I highly recommend the KeepEmCookin’ forum for this!). They need reassurance that it’s all going to be okay.
  • They want to learn more about bed rest; indications, how effective it is, what are alternatives and what they can do to be at their best when their bed rest journey is over. They also want to hear from women who have made it through the bed rest journey successfully.

This was HIGHLY informative to me. As the owner and founder on Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond, my mission, my goal and my passion is to serve women on bed rest and to make sure that they have all that they need to get survive bed rest, transition safely and healthily to motherhood and to remain strong-physically and emotionally. In the coming months I’ll be integrating the suggestions from this survey into products, services and resources on the website.

In the meantime, As per request, please share your bed rest testimonials. Women need to hear that you can go on bed rest and have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby. They also need to hear that even if things don’t go as planned, it’s still okay. Please share your bed rest survival stories at info@mamasonbedrest.com.

One response to “Mamas on Bedrest: Survey Says….”

  1. LampStore says:

    Hi everybody! glad to meet you here!

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