|The Pregnancy Bed Rest PacketInformation, Resources, and Ideas for Volunteers and CaregiversBy Amy E. Tracy
Author, The Pregnancy Bed Rest Book and Founder, pregnancybedrest.com
Ideas for Supporting Moms (and Their Families) on Bed Rest
So you want to start a support group for bed-rest moms? Or maybe your group is growing and you're thinking about adding some new programs. Here are some ideas for your bed-rest program:
For hospitalized moms:
- Hold a weekly "tea party" with current and graduate bed-resters.
- Host a weekly gathering of bed-resters to scrapbook or do another craft project.
- Maintain a list of graduate bed-resters who are willing to talk to hospitalized moms-to-be. Try to pair up moms and dads with similar circumstances (e.g., pregnancy problem, other children, multiples, etc.).
- Create a lending library (see "Starting a Lending Library") and an activity cart (see "Sustaining an Activity Cart"
- Ask if bed-resters would like to talk to each other by visiting in each other's rooms or exchanging phone numbers.
- Start and maintain a list of volunteers to teach a skill or hobby (e.g., calligraphy or knitting) or take mom in a wheelchair outdoors or to the cafeteria (see "Finding Volunteer and Financial Help").
- Supply families with local resources (local library lending program, food-delivery services, and hair stylists who make hospital calls).
- Create gift baskets with donations (include toiletries, reading material, puzzle books, journals, etc.).
- Provide toys, coloring books and crayons, and books for siblings during visiting hours.
For at-home moms:
- Create bed-rest baskets with resources (e.g., brochures about Sidelines and local support groups) and small gifts (businesses may donate in exchange for advertising). Leave baskets with high-risk ob-gyns or provide doctors' offices with contact information.
- Create a lending library/video program (see "Starting a Lending Library").
- Pair current local bed-resters with graduate bed-resters for telephone or e-mail support, or connect them to Sidelines and other online support groups (see "Support Groups for Families on Bed Rest").
- Make a directory of local resources (e.g., parents of multiples clubs and childcare referral services), and businesses that provide home services.
- Maintain a referral list of local childbirth educators and doulas with experience in high-risk pregnancy.
- Research grant opportunities and write grant requests for funding of projects. Some may give monies for telephone calling cards, childcare, and other financial needs, too.
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Information, Resources, and Ideas for Volunteers and Caregivers:
• Finding Volunteer and Financial Help
• Ideas for Supporting Moms (and Their Families) on Bed Rest
• Resources for Caregivers
• Support Groups for Families on Bed Rest
• Starting a Lending Library
• Sustaining an Activity Cart