Nearly one in five women in the United States is put on bed rest at some point during pregnancy. While there may be a dispute as to if, when and when bed rest should be prescribed, there’s no disputing the fact that if you’re sent to bed, you may feel exiled from the world.
Your doctor may advise you to spend 24 hours a day in bed, perhaps getting up only to use the bathroom. Or they may recommend that you stay home and rest in bed but give you the go-ahead to get up and make lunch or get a snack.
In any case, you’ll probably have a lot less control than you’d like over what happens in the days and weeks ahead, but a little preparation up front will make all the changes you’re facing easier to manage.
Here are some tips on how to prepare:
- If you have children who need care, line up people to help watch them.
- Think about what you’ll need each day and who can help set you up in the morning or come by during the day. For example, if you’re put on complete bed rest, get your spouse or a friend to pack you a bedside cooler with a lunch, snacks and beverages.
- Ask friends to being over casseroles or easy-to-heat dinners. Stock up on paper plates and cups to make clean up easier.
- Put the TV and DVD player in your room. You can catch up on all the movies you’ve wanted to see and fit in a few parenting videos, as well.
- Keep a good supply of books and magazines around.
- Use your laptops to keep in touch via email, shop for baby items, and read up on pregnancy and parenthood.
Staying comfortable on Bed Rest:
- Ask your doctor if it’s OK to exercise in place. Doing some simple stretching and gentle exercises with your arms and legs will be good for your circulation and your muscles – and perhaps your mood as well.
- Avoid constipation. Lying in bed a lot can slow down your digestion. Doing exercises in bed and can help. Remember to drink plenty of water and get some fiber in your diet.
- Nap, but not too much. Try to stick to a normal day-and-night routine to avoid messing up your natural sleep-wake cycle.
Need a physician or specialist? Our Baptist Health Physician Referral Service can help you find a physician near you. Go to baptisthealthky.com for more information.