How to survive bedrest when pregnant. Tips to save your sanity when you are stuck in bed and also take care of your family.
Bed rest is one of those things that sounds nice in theory (maybe even heavenly!), and can be nice…for a couple of hours. Then it becomes pretty much torturous–especially if you have children to take care of. There are ways to survive this period. Here are my ideas, your ideas, and ideas of my friends.
1-Entertainment for Mama
Whether you have children or not, you will likely get bored sitting in bed all day every day for however long it lasts. My friend Serra pointed out that it is a great time to work on those things you never seem to have time for. A trick I find is remembering all of those things when the opportunity arises. Here are some ideas on what you can do for entertainment while in bed.
- Books to read
- Crafts (like knitting, crochet, jewelry making, needlepoint…Hey even coloring can work)
- Movies to watch
- My friend Melissa chose to watch all movies nominated for Best Picture in the previous Academy Awards
- My cousin-in-law Shelly suggested choosing a new series to watch on Netflix–what a great idea!
- Entertain yourself with your smart phone or tablet
- Write in your journal
- Family history
- Games–My friend Garity said she had her children bring a table over by her and they would play games.
- Organize files on your computer–pictures, documents, videos, iTunes, etc.
- Work on a degree online (this was really done!)
- My friend Bree said she chose a new skill to learn and work on, so don’t think things like, “I can’t crochet so that is out!” You can learn how! It is easy to find tutorials to do things on Pinterest and on YouTube.
- Carla (author of Mom’s Notes) had great advice (not surprisingly so). She said she scheduled her time and had a plan. So she broke it up into TV time, kid time, hubby time, rest time, phone time with friends and scrapbook time.
- Stay with the family. If you are able to move around at all, stay with your family when you can. With me being an extrovert, being locked in my room alone was pretty much torture. I would crawl down the stairs (literally) so I could join the family in the evenings and be part of what was going on.
2-Entertainment for Children
One of the hardest parts of bed rest when you have children is keeping them entertained and occupied while you are stuck in bed. It will be easier to “couch parent” (parent while sitting on your behind) if you have worked to have your child respect and obey your voice. I wrote more on this here. Here are some ideas to keep them occupied.
- TV/Movies for children. I am not a huge fan of the television, but sometimes we have to do things to survive what we are going through. When you are stuck in bed all day is an excellent time if I ever saw one to allow for some extra television. Just be prepared for the detox session that is sure to come once you are back to yourself. I allowed McKenna more screen time than I normally would while I was laid up with my foot last month. She had a rough few days coming off of that, but we both survived 🙂
- Books. Read books with your children! Children love to be read to. When else will you have all day long to sit and read books to your kids? McKenna loved sitting in bed next to me and getting all snuggly while we read books.
- Fashion shows. My cousin Stephanie said she had her children do fashion shows for her when she was on bed rest. What a fun idea!
- Play with toys. Your children can bring all sorts of toys to you to play with while you sit in bed or on the couch. How about dolls, cars, or picnic?
- Maintain your schedule. You will be so glad you have things like nap time, rest time, and independent playtime. Don’t let things become a free for all. Stick to a schedule. Have older children help get younger children where they need to be. Have help come when naptime starts or ends to get kids in and out of bed. Have Independent Play be a bit longer than normal if your child will do so. Even if you add more TV time than normal, still have it scheduled into the rest of the day.
3-Comfort for Mama
Another hard facet of bed rest is getting uncomfortable. Bed sores are a real thing. Here are some ideas to keep you comfortable.
- Nice smells (like wax melting)
- doTerra oils
- Nice blanket
- Comfortable PJs
- Warm showers
- Massages–my friend Garity said many massage technicians will come to your house
4-Help from Others
When people offer help, accept it. My friend Garity said, “Rule #1 that took forever for me to learn was to accept help when it was offered!!! Don’t be afraid to ask for company just to come over and talk and don’t worry about what the house looks like when they do come over to visit.” If you know someone on bed rest, here are some ideas of ways you can help:
- Take meals to the family. There are websites you can use to organize meals. You can take a meal and organize a system to help get meals to the family from other friends and family.
- Take the children. Have the children come over for a playdate.
- Go over and help.
- Do some light cleaning.
- Get a group of friends together and pitch in to have a cleaning lady go do a good cleaning.
- Visit. Call or go in and visit. My friend Lynette said that when she was on bed rest, one visitor a day made the time fly. And she was on bed rest for 6 months, so if she thinks so, I have to believe her!
Words of Encouragement/Advice
People shared lots of words of encouragement. Bed rest, plain and simple, sucks. It is very hard to be a woman who is accustomed to managing her home and watch it all come apart around her. No matter how awesome your husband is, your kids are, and your help is, they are all volunteers who are trying to step in when they can and fill a role you put all of your effort into all day long. No one is super-human enough to cover what they already do plus what you do. So things will slide.
In other words, let it go. Let the cleaning go, let the “ideal” go…just realize things will not be how you want them for a while and that is okay.
Here are some encouraging words people shared:
“I remember being down because I wanted to take care of my kids and I got to the point I just wanted the baby to get here….I was so tempted to stop the meds and get up then I felt guilty for thinking it. I think everyone should know it’s normal to go through this.”Stephanie
Geneva said, “For me the hardest part was feeling like I was bothering people who had to help with my other child. Since Tyler is self employed he doesn’t really have the option to take off a lot of work, so I had to rely on others for help.I felt very guilty about not being able to take care of my family. I think it’s hard for women to be taken care of instead of being the ones taking care of others.”
“You give up, no really. You have to let go what your think should be happening around you and just realize for a short time you have a new normal. Play dates for kids, take out meals and asking people to help bring dinners. I was on bedrest with my last pregnancy and had a 3 year old and 1 year old.” Tiffany
Do you have advice for surviving bed rest?
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