Put on bed rest during your twin pregnancy? Learn how to get through bed rest for pregnancy here.
I spent the last ten weeks prior to delivering quadruplets on strict home bed rest. What began as a “vacation” eventually started to feel isolating, monotonous, and humbling. I didn’t know it would be so hard to get through bed rest for pregnancy. At first, it was hard accepting the fact that I was almost totally dependent upon others to manage the many things I was accustomed to doing for myself. Furthermore, relinquishing control of little things sometimes created anxiety for me. Despite the challenging days, I would repeat the experience in a heartbeat for the sake of my children. During my bed rest stint, I discovered several things that helped me cope with my temporary normal.
1. Set Goals to Get Through Bed Rest for Pregnancy
Use a visible calendar to mark certain milestones (e.g. viability, 28 weeks, 30 weeks, etc) and reward yourself as you reach them. When you see this, you’ll feel empowered to take on the day.
Setting small, reachable goals will also help you to feel motivated to push through bed rest for pregnancy when you see those goals just on the horizon. There is no better feeling than knowing you are doing your best to protect the lives of your unborn babies, even when it’s hard.
2. Get Dressed Each Day During Bed Rest for Pregnancy
It seems a little silly to change clothes when you are going to stay in bed all day, but trust me on this one. Changing into fresh clothes helps you feel put together. I don’t know about you, but a fresh set of clothes not only changes my wardrobe, but my mindset as well.
Changing your clothes also signals that it’s daytime instead of bedtime. You may be wearing something that could pass as pajamas such as a comfy tee shirt and yoga pants, but you’ll know you are dressed, and that will absolutely help you to feel better and get through bed rest for pregnancy.
3. Make a Simple To-Do List While on Bed Rest for Pregnancy
After waking up, think of a couple of things you’d like to accomplish during the day. Perhaps you want to finish reading a couple chapters of your favorite book, or maybe you need to make a few phone calls. Whatever the case, make sure your list isn’t overwhelming or unrealistic since it should help you feel productive.
4. Use Meditation/ Prayer to Get Through Bed Rest for Pregnancy
Once you are dressed and have plans for the day, taking a few minutes to clear your mind with prayer or meditation can help you relax and remember that you are on bed rest for pregnancy. Keeping that goal in mind will do wonders for your spirits.
It doesn’t have to be sitting in silence staring at the walls if that doesn’t appeal to you. Although, being in silence with your own thoughts has its’ merits! You can write down all the reasons you are committed to coping with bed rest and save it for your babies to read when they are older. This can help you sort your thoughts and renew your resolve.
5. Entertainment Helps With Bed Rest for Pregnancy
Bed rest is the perfect opportunity binge watch a favorite TV show or devour a book series. You may also enjoy a stack of magazines or games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Online games that can be played on a tablet or smartphone (e.g. Words with Friends) can be a fun way to interact with your friends while occupying your mind. If you are crafty, an activity such as knitting or an adult coloring book may be relaxing as you get through bed rest for pregnancy.
6. Keep Everything Within Reach During Bed Rest for Pregnancy
Chances are if you are on bed rest for pregnancy, you shouldn’t be getting in and out of bed all day. Your doctor will tell you how often you can get up and for how long per day. It’s wise to keep whatever you need during the day within an arm’s reach.
Before going to bed, you may want to ask someone else to help you gather things for the next day such as fresh snacks or a new book. Some moms find it helpful to write down things they wish they had for the next day so that they can gather them at the end of the night to have on hand for the morning.
Twiniversity tip: Invest in a grabber such as the Ettore Grip ‘n Grab to help reach for things while on bed rest.
7. Allow Visitors to Pass the Time During Bed Rest for Pregnancy
If friends, family, or neighbors would like to drop by, invite them in. If answering the door is complicated, consider getting a realtor’s lockbox for your house key. Visitors can help the time pass and keep things upbeat. Don’t worry if your house is messy or if you aren’t dressed to the nines.
This can be used as great practice for when your babies arrive and you will have to lean on others’ to help through those first few months. Let them help you get through bed rest for pregnancy. They don’t expect you to entertain them; they are coming to support you.
8. Accept Help While on Bed Rest
If you have the occasional visitor, take them up on offers to help you. Some people may pitch in by doing a simple chore, and others can be a huge help by doing things like refilling your water or letting the dog go outside. Some moms find it helpful to keep a list of household chores handy and then allowing visitors to choose something from the list to tackle. We have a handy chart you can print off here that will work, even once your babies arrive!
Again, accepting help from friends to help you get through bed rest is going to serve as much needed practice. Once those babies come, help from friends and family will become invaluable.
9. Social Media to Get Through Bed Rest for Pregnancy
Take advantage of social media to stay in tune with the outside world. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will keep you in the loop with your own circles and as well as what’s trending in the rest of the world. This will help you to not feel so isolated while on bed rest for pregnancy.
Plus, there are many online support groups for parents of multiples that are quite helpful. Take this perfect opportunity to connect with other moms, near and far and get some much needed perspective and camaraderie from those who have been where you are.
10. Bring Creature Comforts for Bed Rest for Pregnancy
If you are trying to deal with bed rest at the hospital, ask a friend or family member to bring creature comforts to your room. Wall hangings or pictures can help the room feel more inviting and cozy. Having your own toiletries and linens may help you feel comfortable too. There is nothing quite like having your own bathrobe and slippers brought in.
To detract unwanted visitors, and to get better rest, an eye mask and earplugs will help filter the outside noises and bright lights. Let’s face it, hospitals can be loud and disruptive to the much needed rest you should be getting at this stage in your pregnancy.
11. Join a Local Mothers of Multiples Group During Bed Rest for Pregnancy
Chances are there’s a local Mothers of Multiples group available for you to join. These groups can be extremely helpful to expectant parents as they offer insight into what to expect, host informational meetings, may provide meals before or after the babies are born, may visit mothers on bed rest, often lend preemie clothes to babies in the NICU, and typically have an online forum available to join. Plugging in with others who relate to expecting and parenting multiples can be extremely helpful. Plus, once your babies arrive, there are often fun family activities and playgroups awaiting you.
This is a great time to check out our Twiniversity mentor program and get some much needed support!
How Can I Get Through Bed Rest for Pregnancy?
Follow your practitioners advice, but ask how often you can stretch your legs or move around. This will help prevent blood clots and keep your muscles in shape.
Stick to your pregnancy diet as best you can. Heartburn can be more common when you are on bed rest. Eating lots of healthy, small meals throughout the day is a good way to try and avoid heart burn and get through bed rest for pregnancy at the same time.
If you are new to the bed rest scene, there can be trying days. Keep in mind that this is really just a blip in time. Before you know it, your bed rest for pregnancy will be a distant memory and you will be at home with your little ones, wading through parenthood.
Studies have shown that taking care of your emotional and mental health plays a big role in your bed rest experience, so don’t forget to take care of you!
Amber Shawver and her husband, George, are the proud parents of girl-boy-girl-boy quadruplets who debuted in 2012. Amber draws from her experiences working in childcare settings and as a school based behavioral consultant to manage raising quadruplets at home. Amber continues to practice school psychology part-time in an urban school district. She chronicles life raising quadruplets at www.fourtoadore.com You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. For more articles on Twiniversity by Amber, click here