How to Make the Most of Bed Rest During Pregnancy

by Julie McCoy

How to Make the Most of Bed Rest During Pregnancy

You can do more than you think when you're "stuck" in bed.

If you have complications during pregnancy and your doctor prescribes bed rest, you may wonder what you're going to do when you'll be stuck in bed for so long. Here are some ideas to help the days go by without going stir-crazy.

Make a Plan
Now that you have all this time to plan, start making lists of everything you want or need to get when you're out of bed. Do you still need clothes, diapers and wipes? What about furniture? Do you have a crib and mattress, car seat and stroller? Do you still need to decorate the nursery? Maybe you're running low on pantry staples or even toiletries. By writing everything down, you can delegate parts of your lists. Or scrap the pen and paper for a laptop or tablet, and venture online to use resources such as Amazon Mom and to bring supplies right to your doorstep. You can also search the Internet for support groups designed for women on bed rest, such as and Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond.

Now that you've listed everything you need to do, find people to help you check items off your lists. After all, meals will need to be made, and laundry and grocery shopping will have to be done. If this isn't your first pregnancy, someone has to take care of your children while you're "stuck" in bed. Your partner can only do so much, so see if friends and family can pitch in. If your partner isn't around or you don't have any family in the area and your budget allows it, you may need to consider hiring a housekeeper or a nanny to pitch in. If you have a job, see if you can telecommute, use any paid time off you have accrued or if you qualify for short-term disability. You may need to create a quick to-do list for a coworker to cover your duties while you are away.

At-Home Vacay
Don't feel guilty for "lounging" during your pregnancy. After all, your doctor put you on bed rest for a reason. After the baby is born, you may reflect fondly on your downtime and wish you could have another day or two of bed rest. If you've had a pile of books next to your bed that you haven't had the time to read, read them now while you can. What about all those episodes of your favorite TV show you recorded and never watched? Or maybe you're crafty and have been putting off knitting or crocheting a baby blanket; now's the time to pick up those needles.

Take Care of You
Even though you are lying down most of the time, you still need to take care of yourself properly. Drink plenty of water, eat high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables, and ask your OB/GYN if you can do simple exercises such as stretching. This will help with circulation and digestion to avoid constipation, plus it can be a mood booster. You'll be tempted to nap a lot, but try to stick with a regular schedule so you don't throw off your sleep cycle. If you have pregnancy heartburn, place a wedge or extra pillows under your torso and head to help alleviate reflux. Remember, you're still growing a human and you're on bed rest to help your baby arrive safely, so keep up your healthy habits.