Being on bed rest with this pregnancy was one of the most challenging things I have ever dealt with (you can read more about my pregnancy journey here). I tried to keep myself occupied as much as possible to keep my mindset positive. If you or anyone you know ever has to deal with going through pregnancy bed rest, I put together some tips that I hope may help other women get through the experience as well.
- Read as much as possible. I read every book on pregnancy and childcare that the two nearest libraries had available. It helped me keep perspective on why I was going through such a long challenging period.
- Spend extra time in prayer and reading scripture every day. When our lives our busy, many people have a tendency to not make the time to devote much time each day to prayer and reading the Bible. When all you have is free time, it feels very rewarding to make good use of that time.
- Even if your appetite diminishes, be sure to keep eating on a regular schedule and have healthy snacks. The lack of activity killed my appetite, but I tried to keep on a schedule of three well rounded meals a day, with 2-3 healthy snacks in between. I focused on lots of fruits and veggies, and made sure I drank tons of water.
- Even if you are on strict bed rest and have to lie flat most of the day, be sure that you shift your weight around regularly. Once my symphysis pubis dysfunction (or SPD) symptoms kicked in, it got really difficult for me to keep shifting my weight throughout the day and I started getting some bad bed sores.
- If you do get bed sores, be sure to keep them as clean as possible. Some people are advised not to shower daily when on bed rest, but once the bed sores started showing up, I made sure I washed the sores a minimum of once per day. I also used some Burts Bees Baby non-petroleum all purpose ointment on them, and that really helped them heal up.
- A shower chair is your best friend, giving you a few extra minutes in the shower that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to have.
- Spend some time each day practicing relaxation techniques, guided meditation, and Lamaze style breathing. I went through a lot of pain while my uterus tried to stretch (and consequently got tiny tears in the tissue since my uterus is abnormal), and these techniques really helped me deal with the pain and the stress of the situation I was going through.
- Figure out who is in your strong support network, and talk to those people as much as needed to help you stay positive. Tune out and/or completely ignore people in your life who stress you out or can be a source of frustration.
- Do all of your baby gear research and registry planning online. While it is fun to go through and scan things in the stores, it is actually much more organized and efficient to take the time to do your research online. I feel confident that I made some really good choices for the gear that I chose for our baby. Read lots of reviews on the products you are considering. Even my very analytical husband was impressed with my choices when he went through and did his own research via Consumer Reports on the products I selected. :)
- Try to ignore the daily/weekly countdowns until your due date. Once I stopped looking at these, the time passed much faster for me.
- Get inspired to make a bunch of cute decorative items for your baby’s nursery! While it was really difficult to do craft projects while lying flat on my side, I found a way to make it work. I knitted a bunch of little hats and wraps for him, as well as tons of decorative projects for his room. You can see some sneak peeks of some of the projects I made below…full nursery tour coming soon!
- My favorite tip…get to know your baby! Sing and talk to him/her, and play little games with them! Our baby loves playing a back and forth tapping game through my skin. He also loves sticking his big feet up to the surface near my skin to get a foot massage. :)
- Most importantly, try to stay positive! Know that boredom is a normal part of what you are going through, and try not to get too hung up on it. If you can, make yourself a schedule that you stick to each day. That helps the time pass faster, even if it is just scheduling in your meals and nap times. Know that while you feel you are doing nothing, you are actually doing something incredibly important!
Below are a few sneak peeks of our nursery! I created all of the decor items shown while on strict bed rest, and we are in the process of getting all of my creations installed in the room now that I am free to walk around. Full tour of the baby’s room coming soon!