Here is a list of tricks that worked for me to keep you happy and busy with your feet up:
1. Make a list of things you look forward to doing while on bedrest. I had a list of books I had always wanted to read, but never had the time. At the top: the Little House on the Prairie series. I ended up reading 13 books in 4 weeks. You may include movies, magazines, research, letter writing, or scrapbooking. Whatever will keep your mind active and working towards something. I really needed to avoid thinking about the reason I was on bedrest (tear in my placenta).
2. Have food and drink at hand. To avoid getting out of bed more than necessary, have someone make sandwiches, raw fruits and veggies, and drinks in a cooler next to the bed throughout the day (morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack). There is no need to put your nutrition on hold while on bedrest! (Side note: If you are home with other children, and no other adult during bedrest, this tip can also include prepared snacks and lunch for the kids.)
3. Write a checklist of things your children can do throughout the day to be helpful. I'm thinking this is more for kids 3 and over. Draw little pictures along with the words. Read through the list with the child. Here are some ideas I've used:
- Pick up all of the blocks. Put them in the block bin. (Draw picture of a block.)
- Get out a box of raisins for you, your sister, and brother for snack time.
- When the dryer buzzer goes off, please take the clothes out and bring them to Mommy.
- Hug and kiss Mommy at 10:00 AM.
5. Outside Communication. It's up to you if you want to be on the phone or online a lot during bedrest. On the one hand, it can be nice to still be in touch with the world beyond your bed, but on the other hand, you're on bedrest because you need to take it easy. Some people may not be helpful because they get stressed and worried about the pregnancy, and they're the ones that will be calling and emailing and chatting most. Decide for yourself what you can handle. For me, I limited phone and internet time.
6. Journal. I recommend keeping a journal to put down your thoughts, fears, hopes, or frustrations about bedrest. Journaling is non-judgemental and doesn't give advice you didn't ask for. You can even ramble on and on, and no one will even mind!
7. Gentle Stretching. If your body feels up to it, gently stretch your body two to three times during the day to just get the bedrest off of you! You know how you're supposed to lay on your left side only during pregnancy? Well, that can get a bit old after a whole day! Sure, you can switch to the couch or sit up in bed, but you still need to stretch things out - but remember to stop if it hurts at all.
8. Be Thankful. When you are on bedrest, that means you are not doing everything you would normally do around the house and in life (laundry, dishes, meals, grocery shopping, child rearing, cleaning up, etc.). So, that probably means someone else is doing it. And in that case, some appreciation would be really nice for that person. I'm sure you like a "thanks!" every once in a while, too!
Bedrest isn't a punishment, but it is something you should take seriously. You only get to carry that baby once, so taking it easy now will have long-term benefits for you and your bambino. However, being on bedrest can be enjoyable if you keep your mind active and positive. Hey, it's not a vacation, but it's pretty darn close! Happy gestating!
Have you been on bedrest before? What tips do you have?