Lying flat in a bed, in an isolated room, with little to no company, can get very depressing. And the fact that you can hardly do anything for yourself definitely does not make the situation any easier, especially for your mental state. Here are 9 tips to get through bed rest at home. I truly hope and pray that these tips will make the rest of your days more bearable and happier!
1. Establish a daily routine
I found this helped in the sense that your days don’t feel like they are taking forever! Bed rest may sound like fun and relaxing at first, however, it’s a recipe for anxiety and depression. Establishing a daily routine helps keep you busy as well as focussed on things other than the stress of being lateral in order to keep your babies inside and safe. As an example, when you wake up you can do some bed exercises to avoid bed sores, as everything starts to pain especially with the extra weight in your belly. Put a plant in your room and look after it, water it daily. Something else that I also found useful was bed yoga, of course, you will need to check with your obstetrician before attempting any sorts of exercises and bed yoga. Exercises and bed yoga made me feel like I’m keeping busy and doing something useful that definitely facilitated the mental and physical “state” that I was in.
2. Find a hobby
Find a hobby that you can do to help you get through bed rest. I would knit and crochet little beanies and booties for my girls while I was on bed rest. Once again it gave me purpose and something to look forward to for the day. What I also found enjoyable and truly therapeutic was embroidery and painting. We are unimaginably lucky in the sense that we have a world of information at our fingertips. I learned how to crochet, embroid and paint different techniques all through watching videos on Youtube. If you’re not into those kinds of things you could also read books or listen to audio books or even get hooked onto a new series, all are endless opportunities for you to unwind and transport your mind to a different place.
3. Do something mentally stimulating
Blog or do freelance writing to help you get through bed rest! If you prefer something more private, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku. The important thing is to use your brain power. Being on bed rest at home takes the control you have away thus making you feel utterly useless, you can’t cook, clean or take care of your other kids (if you have any), so using your brain power alleviates this obstacle.
4. Have a pamper session
Go ahead, pamper yourself! You can hire someone to come to your home or to the hospital to give you a manicure, pedicure or even a pregnancy massage (a qualified prenatal masseuse should be used with the go-ahead of your obstetrician of course). You can also hire someone to come and give you a haircut. So indulge while you can!
5. Ask and accept help gracefully
This is the time you cannot afford to be super mom or super woman. Your main priority should be taking care of your multiples in your belly and that is, staying in bed! Do not be afraid to ask for help, whether it is cooking, cleaning, taking care of your toddler and so on. Accept help graciously and trust that your partner will manage everything. Whether he does it in a totally different manner than what you would do it and even if it doesn’t seem like the best way, just trust that he will, get the job done. He is just trying to help and you both have the same end goal in mind.
6. Stay positive and be grateful
Stay positive for the road ahead and be grateful that you’ve come this far. Don’t let guilt eat at you, and do not be hard on yourself. Don’t ever let someone tell you that your “job” to get through bed rest is easy. Get lots of fresh air and sunshine, this helps with positivity. I remember my dad bought me a tiny pot of roses while I was on bed rest and I would water them daily. Not only did it feel like I had something to do daily but also it gave me that little bit of a garden in my room, which was beautiful. I still have the roses today and it reminds me of everything we have overcome with the grace of God of course. In saying this make your room and bed as comfortable as possible. Put as many pillows as you need on the bed and make the room as beautiful as you like.
7. Make doctors’ appointments a special outing
On bed rest, you’re mostly wearing pajamas or house clothes. I had two doctor appointments every week and I would literally dress up and make an outing out of it, after all they were my outings for the week. I dressed up and felt excited to go out, to see something other than the four walls of my room. When I was on hospitalized bed rest it was tougher, but I would ask my doctor if I could take a walk or most hospitals have a coffee shop or garden, take those extra minutes and get a piece of cake and sit in the garden. If you’re stuck in the hospital ask someone to bring some of your hobbies to the hospital or make friends with the nurses. It’s always nice having a friendly face to talk to.
8. Arrange playdates or company
If you have other kids arrange playdates for them at your house, that way they will be having fun and you can get some much needed socializing time with the other parents. If you don’t have other kids or if you’re on hospitalized bed rest, arrange a date with your friends to come visit you. The aim is to have some human contact and conversation. The days my friends would visit were the highlight of my week. They would sit and make me laugh endlessly, we would reminisce about school days and just have fun. What I also found useful was what I call “having a fellow bed rest preggy penpal”. I was part of some groups on Facebook where I found other moms that were pregnant with multiples and on bed rest as well. We started chatting based on the common ground and it really felt amazing and less lonely having someone to talk to that understood my situation 100%.
9. Connect with your babies and pray pray pray!
You are not alone, you are with your two (or more) bundles of joy. Cherish every move, every kick. It’s a very lonely time as everyone around you is busy doing the things they normally do. I hardly spent time with my husband because he was so occupied with our toddler. So it does get very lonely, especially in this fast-paced world where hardly anyone has the time to stop and sit with the person that is stuck in bed all day. Use this time to bond with your babies and pray. Pray that you all get through this tough time in your lives and pray that one day you will be sitting with your angels and reminiscing about the time you were stuck in bed and how now your multiples won’t even let you take a nap!
I hope that these tips help other moms get through bed rest. I wish you all healthy pregnancies!
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Aaminah Tayob is a South African stay-at-home mum with four kids under the age of four. This includes her eldest son of 4 years old, followed by twin girls of 3 years old and last but not least, the newest addition to the family a baby girl of 6 months old. And of course not forgetting hubby dearest, we are a busy household with lots of chaos and tons of love!