Mamas on Bedrest: What to do when you’ve done all you can do?

June 6th, 2012

I’m reaching the end of my rope. I am here in Boston preparing for what I intend to be a relocation for my family here.  I’m checking out schools, neighborhoods, extracurriculars for the kids…It’s a lot and totally worth it. But I’m tired.

It’s been a great experience and at the same time a frustrating one. There are so many unknown elements that it’s hard to be able to make firm decisions. Do I find the school that I like best first and then the home or vice versa? What of our home in Texas (not yet listed)? The job situation is great, many great opportunities, yet still not sure which is the best option. For profit or non-profit? The public or private health sector??  I’m becoming overwhelmed with all of the variables and yet, decisions need to be made. People have been more than generous with their time and resources and in many ways, I feel no closer to firm decisions than when I started.

This time so reminds me of when I was having my children. Each time I faithfully attended my prenatal visits, followed my OBs instructions, and then I’d just wait. It was all that I could do. With my daughter, I was so nervous. I had had several “scares” and with each flutter or twinge I worried that something else was going wrong. Although she came at 36 weeks and 6 days, it was somewhat of a relief to finally see her, hold her, to know that she made it and that it all turned out okay. I felt similarly with my son. I was a mama very relieved to have her kiddos on the outside, safe, healthy and where I could see and touch them. Everything wrapped up all nice and neat, all my ducks in a row.

But sometimes life just isn’t neat and tidy and we have to take each day at a time on faith-one step at a time. I am the first to admit that these times completely “wig out” this list making, uber planning, got it all under control mama. I don’t like surprises. I don’t like the unknown. I have been known to take risks, but to be sure, these risks are very calculated and for the most part, with predictable outcomes. So being here in Boston now, with no idea where I am going to live, no idea which school my children will attend in the fall, no idea in what direction I will take my busines has got my hair standing on end.

So what do you do when you’ve done all you can do?

We all handle stress in different ways, but the operative phrase is “handle it”. For mamas on bedrest, the stressors may be myriad, but they must be handled so that you can relax and grow your baby. Below are 5 common issues that arise when a mama is on bed rest and here are a few things that you can do if you don’t know what to do.

1. For Isolation, get thee plugged into a bed rest community. While friends and family are great, nothing really takes the place of communing with folks who really know what you are talking about and going through. I cannot recommend the forum on www.keepemcookin.com enough. You can communicate with other mamas on bed rest If you are a more private person, I recommend the individual support of www.sidelines.org and www.betterbedrest.org

2. Got anxiety? Speak with a health care professional. Mamas on Bedrest are up to 8 times more likely to develop perinatal mood disorders such as worry, anxiety and depression. While worry and anxiety are not uncommon, it is not necessarily normal and it most certainly isn’t good for mamas on bed rest. If you find yourself consumed with worry, anxiety or feeling depressed, tell your health care provider and get a referral to a mental health professional. Early intervention can prevent more serious problems later on.

3. Body aching? Get a massage! I’ve said it before, I believe that regular massages should be mandatory for pregnant women-on bed rest or not!. Massage eases many of the common aches and pains of pregnancy, relaxes mama and stimulates circulation improving lymphatic drainage and blood flow while also helping to reduce swelling. 

4. Explore Childcare Options. One thing that I learned early on is that the best/popular pre-schools and childcare facilities have really long waiting lists. While you are on bed rest and contemplating your work/childcare situation, this is a great time to check out child care options, make calls and get on waiting lists.

5. Make long term arrangements. This is also a great time to set up college funds, living wills and trusts. This is a great time speak to friends and family members and discuss your wishes for your child.

I’m hanging in there, doing my best to gather all the necessary information in order to make the best possible decisions. But in the end, it’s going to be much like it was when I was pregnant. I’ll do all that I can do and then, I’ll just have to wait. And trust.

2 responses to “Mamas on Bedrest: What to do when you’ve done all you can do?”

  1. andrea says:

    Just so you know, both .org sites you posted don’t exist

  2. Darline says:

    Rechecked the links, made adjustments and they should direct you properly now. Thanks so much for alerting me to this error. Hope you are able to access the information that you need.

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