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Surviving Bed Rest

  • Surviving Bed Rest 1 of 12

    Each year, an estimated one in five pregnant women in the U.S. is placed on bed rest for a variety of obstetrical complications. Though friends and family may envy you for what seems like a mandated vacation, what they don’t realize is that after that first week, your “vacation” can have you feeling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Here are 11 ways to make the best of bed rest (and keep your sanity).

  • Prepare Your Family 2 of 12

    Prepare Your Family

    If you have little ones at home, explain to them that mommy needs to rest in order to grow their baby brother or sister. To help keep them occupied, do fun projects together that allow you to stay seated like reading, crafts and watching movies. And of course, ask family and friends to take the kids to the park or for a walk whenever possible — anything to get them outdoors — so they don’t get cabin fever.

    Craft ideas for kids

  • Ask for help 3 of 12

    Ask for Help

    A large part of the difficulty of being on bed rest is feeling helpless and isolated. Though you might be afraid to ask for help, you will need some support, especially if you’re prone to depression. Asking for assistance can include something as simple as having a lunch buddy to keep you company or something bigger, like picking up the kids from school. Your partner will also appreciate the extra hands.

    10 ways to reduce stress while pregnant

  • Stay connected 4 of 12

    Stay Connected

    It wasn’t “all work and no play” that made Jack a dull boy, it was the isolation. Being on bed rest is confining enough. Keeping in touch with others will keep you from slipping into depression. If you’re not up for seeing people in person,interact online. No matter how you do it, talking to others will help relieve any pent up fears or anxiety you may be feeling, and hopefully help you laugh.

    Top 10 pregnancy birth blogs of 2010

  • Keep your necessities close 5 of 12

    Keep Your Necessities Close

    Look, you’re on bed rest — that means “Do Not Pass Go.” No unnecessary movements allowed. Organize your space so that all your necessities are close by. Entertaining (a.k.a. sanity-saving) items to have at arm’s length: laptop; iPod; phone; take-out/delivery menus; remote controls; cooler or mini-refrigerator for beverages, snacks, and lunch; books on tape; magazines; catalogues; notebook and pen.

    15 pregnancy must-haves

  • Establish a routine 6 of 12

    Establish a Routine

    Bed rest may lead you to feel that things are out of your control. Even though it feels like the baby or your doctor are calling the shots, you can establish a routine. Doing simple things like eating at the same time or exercising can make you feel like you’re still in charge.

    Two words no one wants to hear: bed rest

  • Pamper yourself 7 of 12

    Pamper Yourself

    Speaking of keeping things close, there’s no reason your hairdresser can’t make a house call! (Just tip accordingly.) That goes for manicures, pedicures, massages — just be sure and check with your health care provider to make sure these are okay while on bed rest. Pampering yourself with a hair cut or a mani/pedi will help you feel better about yourself and keep you from falling into the bed rest blahs that lead to negative thinking.

    Massage releases love hormone

  • Finish projects 8 of 12

    Finish Projects

    Now you have all the time in the world to devour those pregnancy and parenting books, organize photo albums, write thank you cards, you name it. You may also want to flex your creative muscle and start a blog (about being on bed rest!). Make a list of all the things you never had time to do before and enjoy the process of checking them off your pre-baby bucket list.

    6 ways to document your pregnancy

  • Create a birth plan 9 of 12

    Create a Birth Plan

    Look,nothing about birth truly goes according to plan,but whether you’re a master planner or a go-with-the-flow gal, you should have some idea of how you feel about home vs. hospital, epidural vs. natural and so on. Bed rest will also give you time to research, learn and plan how to cope with possible complications such as an emergency C-section, induction or delivering preterm. You will be the most well-read woman on the block when it comes to labor and delivery.

    What’s the difference between real contractions and Braxton-Hicks?

  • Get paperwork done 10 of 12

    Get Paperwork Done

    Take advantage of your new free time to do things like find a pediatrician, update your will, contact your insurance company and make sure you’re abreast of your company’s maternity leave policy. All these things take hours of research and planning, and you may as well do it while the house is still quiet.

    5 thinking patterns that can lead to postpartum depression

  • Prep for baby 11 of 12

    Prep for Baby

    Talk about nesting! Bed rest is a great excuse to drill down for the perfect baby name — go through the books, the sites, create informal polls — and get all the gear you need before Jack or Jill (or both!) arrive. You can fully stock your baby's nursery and layette by phone or the Internet. This will help you think beyond bed rest (yes it does have an end), to a future of being with baby.

    The best of Etsy for pregnant women

  • Keep fit 12 of 12

    Keep fit

    As mentioned before, it’s important to keep a schedule. Part of that daily schedule should include an exercise routine. Exercise will release endorphins, which will help your mood. With your health care provider's approval, do some exercises in bed, such as leg lifts, calf stretches and upper body exercises with light weights. Again, check with your doctor and maybe you can get approved for an entire yoga routine. In addition to elevating your mood, exercising keeps your muscles in shape, promotes circulation and can prepare you for childbirth.

    How much should you exercise when pregnant?

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