7 Tips for Coping with Bed Rest During Pregnancy

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1. Stay Connected, Seek Support

Bed rest can be very isolating, since you’ll be spending a great deal of time alone while everyone else remains on-the-go. If you have other kids, depending on how restricted you are, you’ll need to enlist the support of your partner, family or friends to help care for them. Share your condition with close friends and loved ones, and arrange to have visitors in person, or at the very least, via phone. Take advantage of kind offers for groceries, errands, childcare, cleaning, etc. The Web also a way to connect with other women who are on bed rest, to discuss everything from good movies to how to handle the stresses and family crises’ that go hand in hand with bed rest. Sidelines provides international support for families experiencing complicated pregnancies and facing premature birth. Yahoo! offers a Bed Rest Book Buddies group, and Babycenter offers a Bed Rest Club. If you’re on an extended bed rest, you will want to reach out to like-minded women who know how you feel and share your experience to help you get through this difficult time.

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2. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

When you keep things in perspective, and realize you couldn’t be performing a bigger miracle or more important task than growing a human being, bed rest becomes more manageable. Even if you only have glimpses of this awareness, it will help get you through. Also keep in mind that this is a finite amount of time that will come to an end, and the result will be the birth of your child. If your anxiety over possibly having a premature baby is getting the best of you, ask your doctor if they can recommend a phone therapist or support group. Distract yourself by doing something productive: knitting your baby a blanket, compiling a scrapbook for your older children that you’ve never had time to do, order baby essentials online and finish with your preparations for welcoming your baby home.

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3. Work from Home

Bed rest obviously forces many women (and their caregivers) to leave the workplace, which may cause even more stress due to financial losses. If your doctor or midwife approves of you working from your bed, have a conversation with your employer to see about setting up shop from home. Depending on your profession, many jobs may be performed via phone or email. If your particular job isn’t work-from-home friendly, consider asking your company for a temporary position that is. If you are on an extended bed rest for many months, you may even consider applying for online, telecommuting positions to earn an income.

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4. Read, Relax, Research

If this is your first child, you will soon realize that your “me-time” as a parent becomes virtually nonexistent. Use this time to watch movies you’ve always wanted to watch, or to get lost in novels you’ve never had time to indulge in. Contact your local library regarding book delivery services for those who are confined to the home, get a subscription to Netflix so you can have movies delivered on a rotating basis. This is also a great time to start reading about labor and delivery, write your birth plan, hire a doula, and even look into taking child birth and newborn care preparation classes online.

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