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Bedrest During Pregnancy

[20 Oct 2010 | No Comments | 6 views | Author: Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT]
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Bedrest During PregnancyYou are pregnant. You are excited! You are planning for the birth of your new little baby, decorating the nursery, planning your maternity leave at work, making arrangements for your other children, attending baby showers and then your doctor tells gives you the news. You must stay in bed until your baby is born.

Bedrest is a situation that women find themselves facing under several varying circumstances. It may be that you are late in the pregnancy and over exerting yourself to get finished with your to-do list before the baby is born. Or maybe you are experiencing preeclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension (high blood pressure). Or you could be in preterm labor carrying multiple babies.

What ever the reasons the reality is that your doctor believes that it is in the best interest of both mother and baby for mom to remain in bed and resting until the new little one is born.

Don’t kid yourself. Bedrest means just that rest in bed (or the couch). This isn’t a reprieve from work so you can paint the nursery or shop or even clean the house in preparation for delivery. This means rest in bed so that your baby has the greatest chance to be born only after he is ready to face the world.

Complications that arise from a baby born prematurely can be respiratory, neurological or even physical. A baby whose whose lungs aren’t able to take on the task of respiration will be on ventilators, which can potentially damage the lungs permanently. Other complications include neurological damage that can result in children who have learning disabilities, mental retardation or physical disabilities.

Bedrest during pregnancy doesn’t have to be horrible. In fact, with today’s technological advances you can get quite a bit accomplished while resting your body in bed. Your first task would be to clear you activity level with your doctor. If you have a two story home you may be limited to climbing stairs only once daily or not even at all. You may or may not be able to get up and make a lunch for yourself.

Once you are clear about the activity restrictions, potential medications and monitoring systems you must now turn your attention to your children. If they are old enough to care for themselves with just supervision this may give you time to do puzzles, games and watch some fun movies with them. Sitting down to do homework with the kids wont be so much of an imposition on your time when you have all the time in the world.

If your children are younger you may need to consider child care for them. This is the time to call on friends, neighbors, and family. If they were already at childcare while you were at work then possibly your spouse can cart them to daycare and home again in the evening. But unless you are in a relationship with someone who fully grasps the needs of the children and the household you will be reduced to asking or hiring help.

Once they are home in the evening there is dinner to consider and entertaining them so they aren’t at each others throats. The stress and anxiety from listening to fighting between siblings and with dad will only heighten your stress levels and cause even more difficulties with your medical situation.

It is worth the extra money to hire someone to come into your home and help take over. This needn’t be a nanny or expensive housekeeper but rather can be a mothers helper teen from the neighborhood. Teenage girls in your neighborhood may welcome the added cash income for watching the kids, making a simple dinner and cleaning up afterward for several hours in the evening. Consider hiring two so that when one teen is unable to come for the evening another one can. Think of this as personally grooming your next babysitters for the children.

Meals are another hurdle you must overcome when you are on bed rest during your pregnancy. Remember to make them simple and easy. Your significant other can potentially do grocery shopping every weekend and if you have a menu you are working from then the grocery list should be easy to make out each week. If your spouse doesn’t have the time then the teen you’ve hired may have the skills and the drivers license necessary to get the food.

Treat yourself and the family once in a while with an ordered meal out. This breaks up the monotony of simple easy meals but doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for nice Italian restaurants that have huge portions. Order just enough to feed everyone. Pizza can be filling when you couple it with a simple salad and garlic bread from home. Chinese food goes a long way and is usually very cost effective as well.

Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or relative to make the occasional meal either. You and the family will soon tire of omelets, frozen pizza, hamburgers and pasta. You may also find that you can do 100 different things with an oven roasted chicken from the grocery store!

Now you must figure out how to occupy your time. Childcare is taken care of, everyone is fed and you are bored to tears. Of course there is the television and movies but that can occupy you for only so long. Consider using the laptop with wireless Internet in the house. You don’t have to get up and sit with your legs down but can rest comfortably on the couch with the computer in your lap. Use a laptop board to keep the fans running, motor cool and your legs from frying.

Some women enjoy puzzles, craft work, needle work or just chatting on the phone with friends. Count on getting a bit more tired each day as your body continues the hard work of developing your new child. Take naps as ordered, and even if they aren’t! And don’t forget to stay hydrated. Nothing spells disaster more than becoming dehydrated when you are already having trouble with premature labor.

Consider the steps involved in planning your bed rest and cover each one. Enlist the help of the baby’s father, your friends and everyone’s family. This isn’t the time to stand on pride. You are protecting the health and future of your new child.

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