Mamas on Bedrest: The Bedrest “Sucker Punch”!

August 26th, 2013

Good Morning Mamas!

Have you ever has a situation “gob smack” you from out of nowhere? Many mamas tell me that the bed rest prescription is just that. It is that “right hook” that comes from nowhere and catches you so off guard that it sends you reeling and seeing stars before your eyes.

For some mamas, bed rest knocks the wind out of them and renders them powerless for a time. They feel helpless, vulnerable and many slip into depression. Most mamas will eventually emerge from the situation, but for some, it’s a mighty steep climb. For other mamas, bed rest is a call to action, a time to “gird their loins” and face the situation head on. There is no right or wrong, and one approach is not better than the other.

When faced with the prospect of bed rest, I think it’s important that mamas remember first and foremost, this isn’t their fault!! So many mamas carry such guilt and feelings of “there must be something wrong with me” because they are prescribed bed rest. This is not the case! Sometimes “life happens” and we can’t control the events taking place. Especially for first time mamas who may be prescribed bed rest. If you’ve never been pregnant before, how are you to know how your body will react to pregnancy? It’s a crap shoot at best. I’m here to tell you, your body will react differently not only from other women’s bodies (your mom’s, your sister’s, your friend’s, etc…) but your body will react differently from pregnancy to pregnancy!  Factors such as age, having been pregnant before, environmental changes (new locations, new jobs, changes in marital status, etc..) all contribute to the inner pregnancy environment. Quite frankly, we really don’t know why some pregnancies are smooth sailing and others are fraught with complications. What is known is that 9 times out of 10, maternal behavior has nothing to do with the complications.

So how is a mama to cope with these “unknowns”? It really is unnerving to think that you are going along on your merry way and “blammo”! your are smacked with a complication. But how can you keep from slipping into an emotional abyss?

1. Learn all that you can about your situation; potential causes (if there are any!), what is the expected course and what is the expected outcome. For example, Does your OB anticipate you delivering early? If so, prepare yourself with information for parents of preemies. Align yourself with preemie organizations and support. The best defense is an offense. Prepare as much as you can in advance, know what resources are available to you and reach out to those resources so that in the event you need them, they are readily at hand.

2. Enlist the help and support of friends, family and community. This is where so many mamas falter. They feel like they are “imposing” if they ask for help. Believe me, so many of your loved ones would LOVE to help your. They just don’t know how. If you can provide them with some specific things that they can do, my experience has been that they are more than happy to help out.

3. Get plugged in. The worst thing that you can do is isolate yourself. Your mind then goes to all sorts of “dark places” and you will start blaming yourself, beating yourself up and generally feeling badly. This does no good-for you or your baby. Get support. Join a supportive community such as this one and let yourself become immersed in the news and tales of the other mamas, their journeys, their tips and successes as well as their pitfalls. You will find that your situation may become less overwhelming and even if it isn’t, you’re not dealing with it on your own.

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