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Coping With Hospital Bedrest

What to pack and take with you

I spent 3 months on hospital bedrest and the best thing I had to stay comfortable was my own comforter and pillow. It made it feel more like my bed at home and it was nice to have my husband crawl into what space was left in that little bed and watch TV with me. Having pictures and stuff from home made it so much more appealing. I posted pictures all on the door in front of my bed and all around the room so when no matter what way I was laying...I could see my support team (family/friends). ~Audrey

I am 27 weeks pregnant and have been on hospital bedrest for 2 weeks now. I would have to say my laptop is my favorite thing. I can watch dvds and go on the internet. I also enjoy having someone bring in the weekly TV Guide because you don't want to miss a good show. It also meant a lot to have new comfy pj's, sweatsuits and slippers. Designating laundry pickup and drop off, walgreens runs, snack and food runs to different visitors was key. I also asked my husband to bring mail in . . . I have been up to date with all the bills and you now have the time for those lengthy phone calls and reading your mail carefully. ~Rebecca

I was on hospital bedrest for 4 weeks. I always made sure my room smelled great by using scented body lotions, potpourri etc. I hate hospital smell! Also it helped me to use meditations on my headphones. I found that the labor and delivery floor could get really noisy and make me feel very anxious. Hypnobabies has a great cd called 'baby stay in' it made me feel so relaxed. It also made me feel good to give little gifts to the nurses since they did so much for me, one time I ordered them a pizza! ~Clara

I spent 4 months on bedrest in the hospital with my last pregnancy. I had my mother bring in a quilt for my bed, a cd player with my cds, some of my favorite knick-knacks, a few faux plants, pictures of my friends and animals, a rug to go next to my bed, books, a VCR (it had to be approved), and all of my personal care items. She and my husband set my room up to look like a real bedroom. It felt comfy and cozy. The nurses really loved it. ~Katrina

I was on bedrest in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks, after two weeks in bed at home. Being in the hospital was for me infinitely easier. You could just ring and a nurse would bring you food and drink, or help you get to the bathroom--unlike being alone at home while my husband was at work and I was watching the house grow dirtier and dustier. Generally, the stuff I needed was not terribly different from what I needed at home. Except I wish I had had the eggcrate mattress at home (my hips got sooooo sore.)

1) I found my laptop computer and a pair of headphones invaluable. My hospital doesn't have semi-private rooms, so I had two different roomates. Since nobody gets along with everyone, the headphones were key. I could listen to music, watch movies and play games and a- I wouldn't disturb my roomate, b- she would know not to bother me.

2) Nice pajamas. Get the heck out of the hospital garb. My husband and his buddy got me some very cute sets. Old Navy has fun pajamas.

3) Slippers. You won't get up much, but when you do, the floor is awfully cold.

4) If the hospital bed table doesn't have a mirror in it, get a little makeup kit. I don't wear makeup on a regular basis, but I still like to brush my hair, put a clip in it, and apply a bit of blush and some lip balm. Makes you feel human and not like an invalid. Same as bedrest at home. ~Cara

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Suggestions for staying comfortable

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Purchase a foam pad to put on the hospital bed and bring your own pillows. These two things made my 2 month hospital stay much more comfortable. ~Mandee

If you are on bedrest in the hospital, have your husband bring in some posters, framed pictures and plants from home. It makes a world of difference in making you feel comfortable and at home. Talk to the staff about a schedule that fits you, not them (for meals, having your vitals taken etc). ~Tina

Try to remember that while it can seem annoying to constantly have nurses coming in and out of your room at all hours of the day and night, they are trying to take the best care of you and your unborn baby that they can. So while their schedule may not make you happy, appreciate them for what they are doing for you. ~Carly

I definitely agree with setting up a schedule in the hospital that fits your schedule instead of theirs. I was in the hospital on bedrest for two weeks (they said I would be there for six weeks) and every night right when I was going to sleep someone would come in to take my vitals. Then I could never go back to sleep. So annoying! The staff has got to be able to work with the patient on that because after all we are the ones living there for that period of time. ~Ginny

Have someone bring you extra pillows. Those hospital ones are horrible and they are stingy with them. ~Rachelle

For coping with hospital bedrest, try to think of it as taking most of the burden from your friends and family in your daily care, having immediate help for you and your baby on hand (no rush through traffic with a mind full of what-ifs) and an opportunity to see who really cares about you . . . your frequent visitors will usually be those who are your true friends and it also opens the doors for others you don't know well to come and get to know you. This kept me happy for my 3-month stay and I also made a point of getting to know my nurses and looking for ways to make their days easier, too! Gave me other people to think about, pray for and care about. Also, ask for any food you want, even if it isn't on the menu. They'll give you whatever you want whenever you want it. ~Erika

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Boredom and how to fix it

Have some of your family and friends come over for a few hours for a beauty day. Paint nails, have facials, color hair, try new make-up, wax legs and brows. Turn your day into a SPA day at the hospital with your family and friends. ~Katrina

While I spent six weeks on hospital bedrest I started to design different baby announcements that we could send to people after the baby was born. All we had to do was insert a picture of the baby. It really helped me to pass the time. Sometimes I would stay up all hours of the night working on them, as I was so excited to see them finished. It's a positive way to lift your spirits! Also, plan a girls' night. Ask friends over for pizza and a movie. ~Denice

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Personal hygiene and feeling good about yourself

I was lucky enough to have my mom stay with me while I was in the hospital. She helped me talk the nursing staff into rolling me on a gurney to the scrub sink in the OR for a good hair washing! I felt so good after words. I also had my mom rub scented lotion on my legs. ~Jennifer

Take time each morning to do your hair and makeup. It really helps you feel a little more upbeat. ~Mandee

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Staying connected with your family

I had two daughters and was placed on hospital bedrest for 93 days. My husband couldn't do hair so he would bring the girls once a week so I could do their hair and see their school work. Doing hair didn't require me getting out of bed and I remained active with the girls. Once a week my husband would hire a sitter for two hours and take me on a date. He would order food and we would have candlelit dinner for two on my bed. Sometimes we would simply cuddle with a movie for the two of us. ~Brac

It sounds like I'm on hospital bedrest for the duration of my third trimester. I've been brainstorming ideas for the showers people had planned and thought perhaps a mail-order shower where we could still send out fun announcements, and people could send back notes, suggestions, and good wishes with their gift, if they are so inclined. A friend also offered a "Sip and See" after the baby comes to enjoy seeing all my good friends that are already taking such good care of me. ~Kendra

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