Surviving Bed Rest during Pregnancy

When my first daughter attempted to make an early entrance into the world, months before her scheduled arrival, I found myself banished to my bed with lots of time and very little to do. Laying around all day was novel at first. I’m not ashamed to admit that I do love daytime television – however even the most die hard fan can grow weary of boardroom to bedroom drama. Bed rest survival is also more about keeping yourself busy.

If you’re facing a sentence of bed rest there are some things you can gather around you to make your time pass more pleasantly. I’m not very good at sitting still and doing nothing – my hands have to be moving. The first thing I did was pick up a new craft. I had my husband pick up some yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles and easy to follow instruction booklets on crocheting and knitting. By the time my daughter was born I had crocheted a crib size blanket and knitted several pairs of adorable booties. Another great craft that is easy to start is cross-stitching. There are numerous kits available that include everything from the cloth to the floss to the needle.

If you have the means getting a lap top computer is a great idea. Chat rooms, instant messengers, interesting web sites – all of these can keep you occupied. Netflix has a new subscription program where you can rent movies and watch them immediately on your computer so there’s no need to get someone to pick up movies at the store or even trudge out to the mailbox for those mail-in subscriptions.

Now this may appeal more to guys then to bedridden expectant moms but there’s something to be said about those game stations. We had an old Playstation that I hauled out and had my husband rent games for me. If that’s your thing there is no better time to do nothing but play games all day. Along the same lines – crossword books, Sudoku books, logic puzzles and games for one player can keep you busy and keep your brain working. Nintendo DS has a game called Brain Age that will not only keep your mind sharp, but it can sharpen it up a bit more.

The atmosphere of your room is just as important as the activities that keep your mind occupied. During the day make sure you’re getting as much natural light as possible. Pull back the curtains and open the blinds. Depending on the season you should try and get some fresh air in your room every day. Try to keep fresh flowers or potted plants around you to prevent the air from stagnating. Mums are a great potted flower that are known to clean the air. Keep a small trash can next to your bed that gets emptied every day so you don’t have tissues or anything else accumulating around you.

Your comfort is important and you may be inclined to remain in your nightgown all day. Do yourself a favor and get up each morning, shower, get comfortably dressed and have your bed made. If you’re going to survive days, weeks or even months of bed rest you will need to distinguish between day and night or it will all become one of the longest days of your life. Your sleep is effected by the fact that you’re carrying a baby anyway – don’t make it worse by not letting your mind and body know the difference between daytime and nighttime. Your mood will be better if you don’t truly feel bedridden. Getting dressed and making your bed is a small thing but goes a long way in keeping your body clock close to normal.

Everyone has small projects that they can probably tackle from their bed. Take on a new craft or learn a new skill. Catch up on your trashy romantic novels – the library is free! Organize a photo album. There’s got to be something you can do or learn, but remember to keep your space light and cheery. Keep the curtains open during the day and keep the air clean with either flowers or open windows. And remember to get your rest – you’re going to be losing sleep soon enough!