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5 Tips for Surviving Bed Rest

by Dr Prem Community Writer
Surviving Bed Rest

Does the idea of lying in bed all day catching up on your favorite television shows and having friends and family at your beck and call sound appealing? It might be — for the first few days. But the truth is, expecting mothers put on bed rest endure a lot of stress, both mentally and physically. If you’ve recently been placed on bed rest for medical safety, these survival tips will help you keep your sanity and reduce stress levels during this difficult time. You may even find ways to make the best of a seemingly bad situation. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Use This Time for Nesting

Use This Time for NestingHave you been meaning to design the nursery? Always wanted to take up knitting or crocheting? Now’s the time to head online and order those adorable matching lamps, sheets, and wall decor or knit that bonnet and blanket. Nesting is a natural urge for pregnant women to prepare their home and space for the new baby. From buying and sanitizing bottles to decorating the nursery and cleaning, nesting is a natural part of pregnancy. But if you’re a mother on bed rest, you need to be careful about your nesting routines.

Leave household chores like cleaning, painting, or moving of furniture to your partner, friends, and family.You can happily supervise and direct from the comfort of your bedroom! But that doesn’t mean you have to be left out of the process. Order all of the items online and have them shipped to your home. Have friends do the shopping for you and do a little “fashion show” in your bedroom. They can return the things you don’t like and help stock your nursery with the items you love. You can also read books on motherhood and what to expect. Just be sure to leave any laborious activities to others.

2. Listen to the Doctor’s Orders

Ask any mother on bed rest and she’ll admit that it’s tempting to disobey the doctor’s strict orders regarding activity. You might find yourself thinking, “How bad could it really be to get a bowl of ice cream from the kitchen?” or “I can shower by myself!” The struggle to obey the doctor’s orders can be very difficult for expecting moms, but its imperative you do for the safety of both yourself and your unborn child.

The purpose of bed rest is to increase blood flow to the placenta. Bed rest is also believed to prevent premature labor and miscarriage. Don’t take it upon yourself to change the doctor’s treatment plan. Based on your current medical condition (and that of the baby) the doctor will recommend limited movement and activity. While this might feel like torture, it’s in your best interest. Plus, it’s a good excuse to take advantage of food delivery services and even prescription delivery! You can shop here for popular medications.

3. Make Sure Visitors Understand Your Limitations

tired pregnant womanWhile it’s nice to have visitors, it can also be overwhelming and sometimes stressful. This is especially true if friends and family don’t understand your limitations or encourage you to act differently than what your doctor recommended. Does your mom believe you’re well enough to cook dinner or do laundry?

Don’t let her pressure you into performing tasks you know are unsafe. On the flipside, if your doctor has approved you to shower yourself, get dressed, or do other light activities, don’t let others put you down. Those who care about you most might insist on performing these jobs for you and force you to stay immobile. The truth is, if the doctor has approved these activities, it’s best that you do them! It helps you (and your baby) remain active, strong, and healthy during your pregnancy.

Make sure all visitors understand your specific treatment plan. Another golden rule to remember is that it’s okay to decline company or visitors. If you’re having a particularly rough day, are feeling tired, or just don’t want anyone around, it’s okay to say so! Just be sure that these moments don’t last for more than a few days or else it may be signs of depression, another common and unpleasant side effect of bed rest.

4. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Speaking of feeling depressed, keeping an eye on your emotions throughout the bed rest process is important for mental and emotional well-being. Being on bed rest can be difficult. Again, while it may sound promising at first, the novelty will quickly wear off. Many expecting others describe feelings of isolation, helplessness, and extreme fatigue during bed rest. After all, you’re limited to very few activities (if any).

This means no opportunity to leave the house, get fresh air, interact with others, or simply take care of yourself. It’s also important to note that your hormones are already imbalanced due to pregnancy. Bed rest can add another level of stress and strong emotions to the mix.

Ifyour feelings become too much to handle, then talk to your friends, familyand most importantly, your doctor. Are you having negative thoughts about yourself or the baby? Have you considered hurting yourself or thought about terminating the pregnancy? These are all very serious emotions that need to be addressed immediately.

5. Be Mindful of Your Diet

Be Mindful of Your DietFor many women, pregnancy is the time to indulge in all those delicious foods you once denied yourself. From pizza and ice cream to fast food, some expecting mothers overindulge in an unhealthy way. While it’s okay to give into your cravings and indulge a little, it’s important to do so in moderation. All pregnant women should maintain a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water. A prenatal vitamin is also recommended to help your baby develop in the best way possible! But this is especially true for mothers on bed rest.

Why? Their inactivity makes it difficult to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. While it’s natural for pregnant women to gain weight during pregnancy, the amount of weight is determined by the woman’s health prior to becoming pregnant. If you’re on bed rest, your doctor might recommend a low-calorie diet that still offers plenty of nutrients for both you and your unborn child. But that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in dessert or a few favorite snacks. Just be sure to check with your doctor and keep portion control in mind.

To summarize

Bed rest, while necessary in some situations, can be an extremely difficult diagnosis for some mothers. Weeks stuck in bed can be mind numbingly boring and lead to other physical complications including back pain and stiff or tight muscles. Do your research on how to stay healthy while on bed rest and be honest with both yourself and your doctor about the thoughts and feelings you’re having. And above all else, think of the safety of your baby when following the doctor’s orders!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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