Bed Rest Survival Guide


 

 

 

Bed Rest Babe - Getting close !

 

After six weeks on hospital bed rest and two weeks at home, I thought I would pass along a few tips which really saved me during a very trying time. Some of these simply helped to pass the hours, or relieve a bit of sadness. Others seem to have strengthened my resolve and helped to make our baby fit and strong. Please feel free to add your own tips or comments in the space below the post as they might help someone else going through this trying situation. 

Things I Did for Healing

Make friends with other women on the floor- this made me feel less alone, and helped me form a network of support. If you are not in a position to do this, you can look up blogs, chat rooms or reach out to friends. It’s important to have allies.

Sing to your baby- Every day I sang to my baby and spoke to him. This made me remember why I was doing this and made me feel connected to something much bigger than myself. I still sing the same song to him (a silly one that I made up). It’s our little secret.

Let GO- As hard as it is, recognize that there are somethings that you CAN control (like the foods you eat, your rest, your breathing) and some you CANNOT. You need to let go of those things you cannot control. Sometimes this means just letting others help you, or advise you with medical care. Other times it means keeping the faith and focussing on the goal. There were many twists and turns and unseen events during our time in hospital. Being flexible, open, and really discussing each challenge with my parter helped us to champion the situation.

Find an advocate- Even Rocky Balboa had a coach in his corner. You need people who will help you keep your wits about you on the days you might feel defeated. I used the Chaplain Services at the hospital, and became friends with the Lady Rabbi on staff. I also spoke to the Social worker, who is a fantastic therapist and specialized in working with families who had challenges similar to ours. The hospital also let me have acupuncture treatments, so my dear friend and acupuncturist was able to make house calls! I believe this did wonders for me and my baby.

Find someone who can be there for you and “fill your cup” when you are in need of support.

Celebrate milestones- My water broke at 28 weeks. It was very touch and go as we waited to see if the baby would deliver early. The Bear got me a big calendar, and each day that passed was a marked victory. I decorated the calendar with sayings and illustrations for my baby and we celebrated each friday (his gestational development date) as one more week of progress. Friends would visit on “Fabulous Friday’s” and we would celebrate the small but solemn victory.

Create a shrine of girl-power – No matter your faith, it’s essential to still celebrate your self and the spark that grows within you. I asked each of my friends to let me borrow something that reminded them of strength, hope, or healing. Something that was an empowering symbol for them. I created a “sacred space” on my window sill and derived great resolution from it. (It also made me realize the healing power of friendship).

Celebrate Children- hanging up the drawings or photographs of children in my life helped me connect with the child growing inside of me. It also inspired me to keep moving forward.

Exercise your brain– So you can’t get up and dance on cue, but you can do something for your psyche. This might be reading, crochet, scrapbooking, etc. I started a million projects which I never finished, but it helped me to pass the time. I also needed to permit myself some “mindless” time- as this helped me cope when I was overwhelmed (yes, I did fall in love with bad tv and went bonkers for the Kardashians, Boston Medical and “16 and Pregnant”).

Have the balls…. My husband and I realized that we needed to become immediate advocates for our unborn child. Listen to the advice of experts, but be willing to challenge recommendations if you feel uncomfortable about anything. ASK QUESTIONS! As hard as it might be at times, you have a voice and a vote in your treatment and care.

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The Basics

A dear friend, who had also been on hospital bed rest for a number of weeks supplied me with some ESSENTIALS that really made it easier:

Almonds- a natural way to relieve heartburn (and a healthy protein for you and baby).

A Camelback water bottle- very cute, and you can drink it when you are sideways in bed, without spilling a drop.

Dark Chocolate- you will be surprised how happy this will make you.

Other friends and family members provided these essentials:

Candied (or crystalized) ginger and ginger tea- again, for heartburn.

Tums- ditto.

A beautiful shawl- It’s amazing how bed rest toys with your self esteem. On the days when you have visitors, but can’t really buff and polish, a shawl can give you a little perk me up. (It’s also good when you are alone, and just need a hug).

Facial spritz or toner and foot lotion/muscle rub- just a little something to sooth you, especially if you are indoors all day.

Things from home- I brought my own pillow, blanket and a small stuffed doll. These really made the room feel warmer.

This lil guy made bed rest easier

 

I hope this helps…..Please add your comments and pass it along to anyone who might find this useful.

Hugs,

Shell

 

 

My belly at 34 weeks

 

Hospital food!

 

My fella

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I want to cry right now reading this post. I’m on day 25 of bedrest in the hospital and I’m just feeling down. I’ve been pretty happy just focusing on the health of my baby, but sometimes it’s just hard…

    Reply

  2. I did the same thing — created a calendar and crossed off days as I passed them. This is all great advice for anyone on bedrest. I tried to also just stop and take deep breaths and soak it in sometimes. Although it was a drag not to be moving around, I recognized that it was still my pregnancy and if I didn’t allow myself to be in the moment every once in a while I would miss it. I’m glad I did that — I think it also helped me focus on the baby and what a wonderful thing it was, all fears about his well-being aside, to be waiting for him.

    It’s been seven months since my baby arrived and the bed rest, which once seemed so stressful, seems like a long time ago….

    Congratulations!

    Reply

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