Mamas on Bedrest: 4 Must Haves for Bed Rest

February 2nd, 2012

Recently I was contacted by a writer for the Huffington Post (yes, we’re headed for the big time, Mamas!!) and was asked,

“What would you consider essential for a mama on bed rest?”

I didn’t have to think very hard. Beyond a computer for internet access,  a tv and remote control and handy snacks, there are 4 things that I believe EVERY mama on bed rest needs. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, consider giving mama one of these “Must Haves” to better her bed rest.

Help. While issues such as bleeding and preterm labor can occur emergently, the bed rest prescription often comes out of the blue and as a complete surprise to mamas. A mama arrives at the OB for what she thinks is a routine office visit, a complication is noted and then she is either sent home on bed rest or admitted to the hospital. From that point on, she is in reaction mode. She has to deal with her job, make arrangements for childcare, make arrangements for household care….Mama needs help. If you can assist mama with childcare, house keeping, shopping, or managing any of her other myriad of obligations, you will be bringing mama much needed relief.

Body Pillow. Pillow support is a must for mamas on bed rest.  At any given time I had about 6 pillows wedged around me, including a full body pillow, my “main squeeze” at the time. (Didn’t leave much room for the husband, but I was comfy!!) Body pillows have come a long way since my pregnancies but one that I like is sold by Special Addition Maternity and Nursing Store called the Snoogle (R). This large c-shaped pillow is long enough so that mama can wrap herself around the pillow and support her knees, hips, belly and neck. It is reasonably priced and can be shipped just about anywhere. Covers for Snoogles are also available. For tips on how to best position yourself while on bed rest, check out our videoblog on the subject.

Massage. Contrary to popular belief, being on bed rest is not fun nor is it restful or comfortable. Even with a body pillow for support, mamas develop various aches, pains and stiffness. Additionally, since they are not very mobile, they don’t have their usual circulation and may develop distal extremity swelling. If at all possible, I recommend that mamas on bed rest have massages at least once a month-2 times  a month or even weekly if possible (but that can be pricey, I know!!). A skilled prenatal massage therapist can not only soothe mama’s sore and achey muscles, she can stimulate circulation so that blood is flowing back up towards the heart and reduce swelling-especially in mama’s lower legs and feet. A skilled massage therapist can also massage to stimulate lymphatic drainage, again moving fluid out of the distal extremities (hands and feet) where it tends to pool.

Bedrest Fitness. Mamas on bed rest, like all mamas need to move. The problem is they are on restricted activity so most mamas have no idea what they can do. When I was facing bed rest, this was one of my major concerns, especially since I was a prenatal fitness instructor. So I produced Bedrest Fitness, a set of modified prenatal exercises for women on prescribed bed rest. To see a sample of what Bedrest Fitness is all about, click here. You can purchase a copy here.

So those are the 4 “Must Haves” for Mamas on Bedrest. Of course there are other things that will only make her bed rest situation better, but the aforementioned items are the minimum. Mamas, what are your “Must Haves” for a better bed rest? Be the first to Share your comments below and receive a gift card. We’d love to hear from you and your suggestion may be just what another mama needs.

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