Mamas on Bedrest: Spreading the Word about Mamas on Bedrest

March 3rd, 2014

Greetings Mamas,

I was at an event this weekend and a speaker was speaking about “ecstatic birth”. She was relating her experiences of giving birth; the first, the conventional way in hospital with all sorts of monitoring. For her subsequent two births, she delivered at a birthing center “naturally.” It was a really interesting contrast and as always, I listened to her through the lens of Mamas on Bedrest.

For those of us who have had complications during our pregnancies or childbirths, these types of talks can be difficult to hear. As the speaker was talking about “trusting her body, her body knew what to do”,  what do those of us who had preterm labor say? “My body wanted to deliver my baby early (sometimes way too early!!) but it knew what to do?” I had tremendous feelings of inadequacy following the birth of my daughter. She arrived in respiratory distress and I hemorrhaged. Is that “my body knowing what is best”?

A woman was sitting next to me and we began talking. She asked me what I did and I shared with her about Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond. Her response, “Wow, I didn’t know so many women had such difficulty.” She really made my weekend! So many people are unaware that bed rest even exists-let alone why it is prescribed and what women who are placed on prescribed bed rest endure. And this woman was really receptive, so I was really able to share with her about bed rest and educate her about bed rest. What started out as a situation in which I could feel myself getting a bit “miffed” (because the inference was that all women’s bodies know what to do and will instinctively do it!) became an opportunity for me to share what I know about high risk pregnancy and what its like when things don’t go perfectly.

Mamas, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if given the choice, if we had our pregnancies to do over again, none of us would choose bedrest! None of us would choose to have complications that are potentially life-threatening to ourselves and/or our babies. But for some reason, we have all had to endure this particular journey. Me, I chose to start Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond because I wanted mamas to have a place to come and easily find information and support about high risk pregnancy. I also want to be a part of the solution, and more and more research and effort is being put towards finding ways to treat women with pregnancy complication using treatments besides bed rest.

But what about you? How will you use this experience? Mamas, you are in a unique position to help other women, other mamas, navigate this crazy thing we call bed rest. Only you can know exactly what another mama is talking about when she says, “I feel so scared and alone.”. You can comfort her like not even her partner can. And you have the skill and expertise-yes, EXPERTISE– to help guide researchers and policy makers about how best to serve Mamas on Bedrest.

We often have researchers ask for your input (Please respond to Dr. Laura Citrin’s survey on the psychological effects of bed rest if you have not already done so!!) and I will continue to present these opportunities for your input as they arise. Bed rest is not easy and yes, there is a lot of controversy in the medical realm as to whether or not physicians should even prescribe bed rest. To date, we know that there is no scientific evidence that bed rest makes a difference in birth outcomes. However, we won’t have anything else if we don’t participate in the studies, share our thoughts and give our input.

So Mamas on Bedrest, help us spread the word about bed rest. Post your comments and experiences in the comments section below. You are an invaluable resource. You are an expert. You very well hold the key to unlocking this bed rest mystery. Don’t turn your back on bed rest as soon as you have your baby. Be a resource-a guide, a support-to another woman coming along. Thank you for helping spread the word about bed rest and making the experience better for other mamas!


2 responses to “Mamas on Bedrest: Spreading the Word about Mamas on Bedrest”

  1. Cassandra says:

    So well said! It really turns me off when I hear women complain because they didn’t have the birth experience they wanted. I never had the pregnancy experience I wanted, but the only dwelling I do on the subject is thinking back with pride on how much we went through to bring our two miracles safely into this world.

  2. Darline says:

    Well said. Sometimes we have to look at the positive and not just the negative. Thanks for the reminder!!!

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