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The Holidays Are Still a Time of Fun and Cheer--Even on Prescribed Bedrest
by Darline Turner-Lee

Most women give little thought to the fact that they may end up on prescribed bed rest during their pregnancies, and even less thought to what it means to be on bed rest during the holiday season. Prescribed bed rest needn't isolate expectant mothers in their bedrooms or to one easy chair in the family room. With a little creativity, moms on prescribed bed rest can add meaning and joy to the holiday season not only for themselves but also for friends, family and the new little one on the way.

The following 5 ideas are ways that moms on bed rest can add meaning to their holidays, take part in the festivities and, maybe even start new holiday traditions.

TAKE TIME TO STUDY THE TRUE MEANING OF YOUR HOLIDAY
Over the next several weeks people will celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The emphasis on retail sales has shifted most of the focus of the holidays to shopping and away from the celebration of the holidays themselves. Since you have the time, reacquaint yourself with the history of the holiday that you celebrate.

If you have older children find activities that you can do together to learn more about the history and traditions that go with your holiday. You can do daily projects such as create pictures that become advent calendars. Have special ceremonies for lighting the Menorah candles. Or for each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, do daily activities that highlight each principle.

DECORATE
By all means decorate, especially the area where you spend most of your time. If you are on strict bed rest, have family members help put decorations around your room (a small menorah or Christmas tree on a table, garland or lights around the windows, candles for Kwanzaa) so that you can have holiday cheer all around you. If you are able to move around a bit, oversee the household decorations from the sofa or recliner.

CREATE DECORATIONS
What a perfect time to let your creativity run wild! From your bed or chair you can string popcorn, make cards, ornaments and decorate holiday cookies. Let your creative juices flow and you just may find yourself making holiday gifts as well!

CREATE HOLIDAY MEMORIES
This is your baby's first holiday season. Make a record of it to show him or her when they are older. Take pictures and create a scrapbook, keep a journal or diary of all of the events taking place and sharing special feelings and hopes for your child. If you are really ambitious and technologically savvy, use a webcam to make a DVD.

Most children wonder what it was like when you were pregnant. They like to see pictures of themselves in "mommy's tummy". As your children get older, this is a great way to share special times reminiscing about them and what was happening as they were on their way into the world.

You can also share your experiences with family and friends. Create a newsletter that you can send via mail or e-mail. If you want to go global, create a blog or podcast of your holiday experience and share it with the world.

THROW A HOLIDAY PARTY
Why not??? Invite friends over to help you decorate your space or to share new holiday traditions. Invite guests bring a special memory from their holiday traditions, i.e. an ornament for the tree, a special family Dradle or Kwanzaa feast dish.

If you are making a scrapbook, have each guest create a page and share what the holidays mean to them. They may even want to share a special sentiment with the baby if the scrapbook is for the baby. If you are making a DVD, have all the guests that visit over the holidays say a message on camera. Other ideas include having a caroling party or even a secret Santa Gift Swap.

No one wants to spend the holidays on bed rest. However, you need not miss out on all of the holiday events and cheer. Use a little imagination and creativity and this may very well be one of your best holidays ever!

About the Author:
Darline Turner-Lee B.S, M.H.S, PA-C is a physician assistant, ACSM exercise specialist and certified perinatal fitness instructor. As the founder and principle of Next Step Fitness, Inc., she strives to raise awareness about the myriad of healthcare options available, conventional as well as alternative, and to encourage women to be more proactive in their personal healthcare. She is a frequent speaker to professional and civic groups and a published health care columnist. She has written an e-book called "Planning for Pregnancy", and has recently produced Bedrest Fitness, a DVD exercise program for pregnant women on prescribed bed rest. For more information, visit www.nextstepfitness.com.

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