Expecting Moms: How to Keep Your Sanity During Bed Rest
If you are at risk for complications during pregnancy, your healthcare provider may prescribe bed rest. This can mean different things in different situations. For some pregnancies, bed rest may simply mean that you must decrease your overall activity level, but it can also mean that mom must stay sitting or lying down—you may even be advised to not get up to shower or go to the bathroom.
Staying at home with a decreased activity level can be difficult for many women during pregnancy, and you may have to rely on your spouse, family and friends to keep your spirits up and to get daily tasks done.
Here are some tips for you and your support system on how to stay sane and keep the household running:
- Ask for help. It can be hard to admit that we need help, especially if you’re used to running the show. However, you want your baby to be healthy. So, that means sticking with bed rest. It’s likely that you will have to let go of some activities. Enlist help from others if you need it—older children who feel uneasy about their mom being stuck in bed may be eager to help, your spouse, or even your friends. Know your support system and call on them when you need them.
- Make a list of chores and tasks. If you cannot do light chores, ask your support system to be a set of helping hands. Tasks like cleaning, grocery shopping, getting the mail, mowing the lawn and setting up the baby’s crib may fall to them. Put these tasks on paper so you and your support system can track the progress around them.
- Arrange childcare. If you have older children, you will need to coordinate picking the kids up and dropping them off at school or daycare—get aunts, uncles and grandparents to help. Be sure to ask caregivers to keep noisy or rambunctious play away from you as you rest. It may also be helpful to talk to the children about their feelings—many children feel upset by the change in circumstances, but may not know how to express it.
- Keep entertained. So, a little rest might seem like a luxury at first. But, soon boredom can set in. Make sure that you have books, magazines, electronic devices, the television remote, snacks and water within easy reach. Spend some time talking to your family—the isolation of being at home can take an emotional toll. Ask your support system if you can vent to them or share your concerns. Also, ask about their day. So, you can stay in touch with what they are thinking and feeling.
- Maintain muscle tone and joint flexibility. Exercise during pregnancy can be a challenge, but it is particularly important to maintain muscle tone and joint flexibility when on bed rest.