Bed rest is a common recommendation by doctors for pregnant mothers to avoid an alleviate certain complications of pregnancy. While some women have already anticipated it du to their past medical histories or experience with past pregnancies, there are still many that are shocked or surprised after the doctor recommends bed rest after a routine check-up. Rest assured, bed rest is very common so, try not to stress out about it and don’t be alarmed. For each woman, bed rest can differ as some means going through a duration of simple resting at home while some bed rest means that the woman should have bed rest while being monitored by health care personnel in the hospital. Some women only need to be on bed rest for a short amount of time to stabilize their pregnancy while others would have to be on bed rest for the rest of their pregnancy, also known as a high-risk pregnancy.
Causes and Reasons for Bed Rest
There are many reasons why your doctor would recommend bed rest but remember that ultimately, the aim is to ensure that you and your pregnancy stays healthy until it is time to deliver the baby. Some of the reasons that may require bed rest are:
a) High blood pressure
– in pregnant women, this can be known as preeclampsia or eclampsia. Preeclampsia is a complication during pregnancy where symptoms include high blood pressure, damage to other organ systems (usually kidneys and liver) and usually only begins at 20 weeks of gestation in women who had normal blood pressure before that. Eclampsia occurs when there are seizures in a patient with preeclampsia.
b) Cervical changes
– cervical changes such as having an incompetent cervix or effacement of the cervix can necessitate bed rest. An incompetent cervix or cervix insufficiency happens when the cervical tissue that is weak leads to a premature birth or loss of healthy pregnancy. cervical effacement or ripening refers to the thinning of the cervix.
c) Bleeding from the vagina
– vaginal bleeding usually occurs in the first trimester and does not usually indicate any issues. If it occurs in the second or third trimester, it can mean that there are unwanted complications such as placental abruption, placenta previa and preterm labor.
d) Multiple gestations
– in multiple gestations, gravity helps stabilize and improve medical conditions such as decreasing stress on mother’s organs and increases blood supply and nutrition to the uterus and babies. Most importantly, there is minimal pressure on the cervix and reduces the risk of preterm labor.
e) History of pregnancy loss
– this includes still birth, miscarriage, or premature birth.
Things to Do While on Bed Rest
While bed rest can be extremely boring as you are confined to bed, here are some activities or things you can do to remain sane!
– Do you have a book that you have been dying to read yet never had the time? Perfect opportunity for you! If you are not an avid reader, it might be a good idea to read up on show to care for your child especially if it is your first pregnancy.
– Invite some of your friends over and order some food, bring out the dusty board games! So many people are busy with their lives that they no longer have the time to hang out with old friends. This is a perfect opportunity to get together again.
) TV Show Binging!
– Never had the time to catch up with your favorite movies or tv shows? Start browsing through all those programs like Netflix or spend some quality time with your child watching a great family movie like Moana or Zootopia.
– Take some time to relax! Soak in a warm bubble bath, light a scented candle, play some soothing music and try some new shades for your mani-pedi!
– Constantly being on bed rest gives you time to sort through your thoughts and you many need a creative outlet so why not try writing and chronicling your pregnancy experiences. You can even submit articles to online blogs about pregnancies to share about your experiences and learning from other mothers.
f) Family and friends
– Do you have friends and family who are far away? Maybe it is time for you to get in touch with them and tell them about your new baby and possibly invite them for a visit!
– If you are a creative person, maybe you can start building a scrapbook that documents your pregnancy and your baby’s arrival. It will be a valuable keepsake that your child will value. Check out this website for organization ideas!
– Being heavily pregnant makes it no easy feat to pick up the supplies you need for your new baby. Thank technology for online shopping you can now pick up most of the necessities from various online stores and have it delivered to your home!
– If you have any last-minute preparations such as picking out baby names and making sure your nappies and consumables are all stocked, make a list and have your partner or friend help get them for you. This includes painting the nursery and decorating it! Here are some designs to get you started! Stuck on baby names, try this site for inspiration!
– If you are looking forward to sending out announcements regarding the arrival of your new baby, you can start designing the cards that you will be sending out along with a list of who you would be sending it to. Here are some ideas that may be appealing!
k) New skills
– You don’t have to spend your bed rest time in utter boredom! Why not pick up a new skill such as learning how to sew, how to knit, or how to make a stuffed toy? All these skills could be handy for your new baby!
What to Pack with You
If you are going to be hospitalized and on bed rest in the hospital, experienced mothers recommend the following:
• Your own pillow and comforter
• Laptop, tablets, phone, and headphones (remember your chargers!)
• Internet connection if the hospital does not have any
• Comfy pajamas and slippers
• Scents! (such as potpourris and lotions)
• Plants (if you like them)
• Toiletries (such as a small mirror, a hairbrush, basic makeup)
of these items from home will make your room feel personalized and much more comfortable!
Gift Suggestions for Someone on Bedrest
Some have recommended to bring in snacks as hospital food can become boring relatively fast. It is also a good idea to visit and update your friend about her house (how her plants are watered, and pets are well taken care of). Another important thing is to offer to babysit the kids, so your friends and her husband can spend some quality time alone together! Also, offer to assist your friends’ family with routines such as walking the pets, sending over casseroles (to help the husband survive), offer to pick up the kids from school, and all the small things that may seem trivial to you can mean a lot to your friend and partner! If you have time, drop in and bring some reading materials, board games and cards to keep your friends sane!
For more ideas, click here!