Mamas on Bedrest: How Do I Survive 6 Months on Bedrest???

August 25th, 2014

Pregnant woman in hospitalI received the following message from a new Mama on Bedrest:

“I was put on bedrest at 13 weeks because my cervix was opening and now come to find out I’ll be one with my bed until February. I’m not worried about my baby because I know he or she will be fine as this is my blessing child my first child and a fighter but I’m concerned about me. What do I do? How do I continue to ask for help everyday for 6 months? I can’t do anything but walk to the bathroom alone. I have to rely on everyone to make me food get me drinks clean up after me go shopping for me. I can’t take that. I just want to be happy and enjoy my baby but yet I feel so down. Please tell me someone can relate and can help me please.”

How many of us can relate to this message? How many of us at one time felt overjoyed to be pregnant, only soon after to feel sentenced to purgatory when bed rest was prescribed? This mama is facing a monumental task! She is going to be one with her bed for the next 6 MONTHS!! Who but another mama on bed rest can even begin to wrap her head around this? It’s half a year! But for years now, Mamas on Bedrest have defied the odds and conquered the beast known as bed rest! Mamas watch movies, read books, journal, paint, knit, crochet, scrapbook, talk to friends, some work and others simply grit through. And the vast majority of mamas go home with a healthy baby.

So what is the secret to surviving prolonged bed rest? After talking with hundreds of mamas, I present you with these recommendations based on their responses:

1. Take it one day at a time! If you look at the total amount of time you have to  be on bed rest, it can be overwhelming and quite frankly, depress you. Take each day as it comes, make the best of it, and with each day that passes, celebrate your victory! Do whatever it takes to keep a positive mental attitude. That is going to be your secret weapon as the days drag on. You are doing this for yourself and your baby. You can do this, Mama!

2. Set up a daily routine. This was the main recommendation given by mamas from our community in our book, “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”. (Available for immediate download from Amazon.com). Get up at the same time, have your morning routine, eat at scheduled times, have scheduled naps, etc…According to Mamas on Bedrest, the structure helps keep things in perspective and pass the time.

3. Ask for, and ACCEPT, help. This is by far the most difficult thing for Mamas on Bedrest. Like the mama who messaged me, most Mamas on Bedrest are very independent, pro-active people. Not only are they shell shocked to be sidelined from their lives, they are completely overwhelmed with the thought of “putting others out” and “having others completely care for them.” This is very difficult and very humbling. But if you can learn how to receive graciously in this situation, it will serve you well not only for your time on bed rest, but later in life as well. Your family needs continue despite your bed rest prescription and since you cannot fulfill your usual role, let others help by pitching in. You are not imposing. Most people want to help. The problem is, they don’t know how. Tell them exactly how  to help you NOW! Don’t ask for 6 months worth of help, ask for help with small, specific tasks that need to be done TODAY!  Graciously accept the help, and then later, when you need more help, ask again. It really is okay to ask for and to receive help-repeatedly! And it’s going to be your saving grace while you are on bed rest.

4. Engage with other Mamas on Bedrest! Most Mamas on Bedrest will tell you that the boredom and isolation are the worst parts of bed rest. As much as possible, don’t isolate! Welcome family and friends for visits. Call/write/text/e-mail friends. And don’t forget, your comrades Mamas on Bedrest! Our Facebook page has over 800 Mamas on Bedrest and “Bedrest Veterans” available 24/7 and they love chatting, sharing tips and resources and supporting one another. No question is to weird. No post too “whiney”. We all know where you are and have been there. Use us to help you get through this time.

 

Bed rest is not easy and it most certainly is not something you can do alone! You have to ask for and ACCEPT help from others. It’s truly a humbling experience, but for the sake of you and your baby, please reach out. For other tips and resources, Get a copy of our book, “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide To Surviving Bedrest”. It is available for immediate download from Amazon.com. Got a tip for Mamas on Bedrest? Share with us in the comments section of this post or via e-mail at info@mamasonbedrest.com

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