Surviving bed rest

Mamas on Bedrest: You Are Perfect!

March 9th, 2015
Vanessa2daysold

My daughter 1 day old in NICU.

I never get tired of looking at babies.

Babies of all sorts are the most miraculous creatures to me, but of course, my favorites are human babies. Whenever I look at a newborn, look at the tiny fingers and toes all perfectly formed, the fingernails, eyelashes, tiny little nostrils…all I see is perfection. It never ceases to amaze me that this tiny little being has all that it needs to inhabit this earth for the next several decades, and in the case of little girl babies, to create other human beings!

Mamas, let’s not forget that we all started out as “little girl babies” and as such, we too have everything that we need to create a little life within us and to bring that life forth. It breaks my heart when I hear Mamas on Bedrest, time and time again, disparage their bodies. I know that having a pregnancy complication is scary. I know all too well how disappointing it is to have all your pregnancy plans, hopes and dreams shattered when the Bedrest prescription is issued. Yet, when I witness women’s discontent and disappointment with statements such as,

“My body is broken”

“My Body has let me (and my husband, baby and family) down.”

“I feel like such a failure”

“I’m less than” or “Not as much of a woman as other women I know”

I’m deeply saddened. Mamas, bed rest or not, you are perfect!

My kids just days after the birth of my son.

My kids just days after the birth of my son.

Mamas, It’s time we reclaim our “divine feminine”. Our culture would like us to believe that our value is in our appearance, in establishing perfect careers, creating perfect families and bringing forth our children via transcendent, medication and complication fee vaginal births. While I am sure that we all strive to look and be our best, and we’d all love to have uncomplicated, spontaneous vaginal births, sometimes life happens. Sometimes life is just downright messy. But does that make it any less good? And because we are not exactly like everyone else, does that really make us less than?? Heck, it takes a lot of strength and fortitude to endure week after week of bed rest and I know plenty of women who would cave. You are stronger than you realize. Remember that! Besides, would you disparage and chastise a diabetic for being diabetic, for not being able to metabolize and utilize sugars?? Do you feel that a diabetic is somehow broken, less than? What about people with heart disease? Autoimmune diseases? Each and everyone of us is on a journey and comparing one person’s journey to another typically results in disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. I say, just don’t do it!

Mamas, I want to invite you to take a deep breath, let it out, and take this in: There is nothing wrong with you. That’s right, I’m saying it, “THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, YOU ARE PERFECT!!!” Your body has a different way of reacting to THIS PREGNANCY. It needs some assistance and for now, the treatments that your obstetrician is providing, including bed rest is that assistance. You may never have pregnancy complications ever again or you may be prescribed bed rest with each of your pregnancies. That is your “normal”. That is your perfection! No it isn’t like the vast majority. But why not be an original?? No it isn’t fun. But that doesn’t make you wrong, or broken or somehow less than other women. You are you, perfect in every way!!

The elder women in my family always say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, and that the reason you have trials is so that you can overcome and bless someone else”. So mamas, as you are on bed rest, preparing for your beautiful bundle of joy, consider reframing this experience. Instead of disparaging yourself and seeing all the negatives, ask yourself, “How can I use this experience in later life for good?” Believe me, it’s a game changer. Of that I know firsthand.

So what did you come up with? What positives could come from this experience? Share those in the comments section below. Just can’t get there? Still feeling overwhelmed? Lost? Let’s talk about it in a free 3o minute Bedrest Breakthrough session! Simply e-mail info@mamasonbedrest.com and we’ll get you scheduled

Mamas on Bedrest: Will it Ever End??

March 2nd, 2015
Photo of Tommy's Winter Deck

The view of my cousin’s deck.

This winter has definitely been one for the books. Each time that I call my parents who live just outside of Boston, there is a similar refrain, “Will it ever end??”

Sound familiar?

Much of the United States has had a record breaking winter either because of freezing temperatures or because of record snow fall. Just when folks think they have seen the last, the mercury drops another few degrees or another 8-12 inches of snow falls.

When I speak with folks back home all they say is “Will this ever end? Will I ever be able to freely walk out of my home? Will the roads ever clear so that more than one care can pass at a time? When will life get back to “normal”?

Sound Familiar??

Bedrest is like a long, cold, winter. It’s here and you really can’t do a thing about it, yet on the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that long at all! Think of it this way. If you and your baby each live to be 80 years old in your respective lives, out of that cumulative 160 years of living, bedrest will account for no more than about 20 weeks. Now I know that 20 weeks is a long time, especially when you are on bed rest, but when placed beside 80 or even 160 years, it’s but a blip in time. Perspective is everything!

Bedrest, like winter isn’t immediately going away, so what can you do to make it more comfortable?

1. Extra Comfort in Bed. I highly recommend a body pillow if you don’t already have one. I also recommend one of those cylinder pillows for under your knees/calves. These pillows properly positioned will provide your spine and hips with support to alleviate pressure and avoid bed sores and body aches.

2. Good Food. By this I don’t only mean tasty food, but nutritious food. It is soo easy to reach for candy and cookies and other snacks when you are “laying around doing nothing” (hardly). But pregnancy and Bedrest both actually alter your metabolism and you don’t want to overload your system. Pregnancy slows digestion so that your body can remove the maximum nutrients from foods for you and the baby. This often results in feeling bloated and sometimes constipation.

In terms of your overall metabolism, because you are not moving about, your cardiac (amount of blood your heart is pumping) output changes and you may note swelling in your hands and feet because the heart is not circulating your blood as efficiently as if you were moving about. So to offset these and other changes, it’s really important that you drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and to keep your body systems moving (especially heart and kidneys) and eat nutrient dense-but not calorically dense-foods. Lean cuts of meat, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains will nourish you and your growing baby.

3. Books, Magazines and Movies. You’ll have lots of time to catch up on your reading, so gather up all those books you’ve been meaning to read and have at it! Also, if you have a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader, you can purchase and even rent e-books to pass the time. (Why not get your copy of “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”? It’s available for immediate download on Amazon.com and has even more tips for Bedrest Success.)

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can also download movies, television series and other videos. Some require a small fee, yet many are free. If you don’t like the selection on Amazon.com, There is Netflix and Hulu as well as innumerable music websites.

4. Computer/Tablet. Today there is absolutely no reason to be completely isolated while on bed rest. There are numerous online communities (Join Us, Mamas on Bedrest on Facebook!!) as well as online websites with tools, tips and all the baby gear you could possibly want! Best of all, with a few simple key strokes, you are fully in the mix!

5. Phone A Friend. Your phone will most definitely be your friend and a major means of communication so be sure that it is within easy reach. Yes the internet is probably top contender for communication these days, what with SKYPE and FaceTime and other visual means of communication. However, there is still nothing better than hearing a loving voice on the other end of the line reminding you that you are loved and supported (especially if those folks are like my mom and not on line!).

Funny how the list of things that make for a Better Bedrest are also many of the same things that are making this winter bearable for my New England family! Winter will soon be over and so will Bedrest and come this spring, many of you will sit on your respective porches, decks and balconies, babies in arms, and marvel at the lovely flowers that poked through the once frozen ground. It really is amazing how life goes on!

 

Get even more tips on surviving Bedrest in our e-book guide, “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”

How are you “weathering” Bedrest? What are YOUR essentials? Share in our comments section below

Mamas on Bedrest: Beating Back Bedrest Stress-An Interview with Parijat Deshpande

February 9th, 2015

Hello Mamas,

Today we have another powerhouse podcast. Our guest expert is Parijat Deshpande, a Health and Wellness Counselor and Clinical Psychologist. While Parijat’s expertise spans marriage and family counseling, fertility counseling and stress management, she also comes to us as a former Mama on Bedrest and contributor to “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Suriving Bedrest”. Today Parijat is sharing tips and tools to beat back bedrest stress.

Parijat is well versed in stress management and shares a wealth of information on this podcast. Tell us what you think in the comments section below and if you have a question, post it and we’ll get it to her for a response. And don’t forget to read Parijat’s story about her preterm infant in “From Mamas to Mamas: The Essential Guide to Surviving Bedrest”.