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Better Bed Rest: Make the most of your downtime

Your doctor or midwife may recommend you stay horizontal if you have high blood pressure, an incompetent cervix, or are pregnant with multiple babies. Bedrest is also recommended if you’ve experienced vaginal bleeding or preterm labour, or if you’ve had previous pregnancies with complications, such as preterm birth or miscarriage.

Bedrest is not uncommon, and a “sentence” may range from a couple weeks to far longer.

Downsides of bedrest:

Bedrest can be a challenging time. Physically, it can lead to tiredness, muscle pain, muscle atrophy, joint pain and dizziness. Emotionally, you may find it stressful. If you can’t bring office work home or do chores around the house, you may feel like you’re not contributing. Some women report feeling helpless, guilty, even angry or depressed.

Remember that you’re not alone. Ask for the support you need from your partner, as well as friends, family and your other children (if you have them).

A few ways to cope with bedrest:

1. Find out what’s allowed. What positions can you lie in? Can you get up to shower or make snacks? Can you work in bed? Or sit for meals? The more variety, the less restless you’ll feel.
2. Keep your mind active. Read parenting and baby-name books (or a good novel!). Write in your journal or organize photo albums.
3. Read the newspaper. You’ll feel less cut off from the real world.
4. Catch up on correspondence. Use your smart phone or laptop to answer emails, or if you can sit up, pre-address baby announcement and Thank You card envelopes.
5. Get support online. Go to parenting websites and message boards to communicate with other moms on bed rest.
6. Get “exercise.” Talk to your doctor about safe movements you can do to prevent blood clots or muscle cramps.
7. “Run errands” virtually. Pay bills and manage your household banking online.

Bed rest survival gear

Have these essentials close at hand to improve your bedrest.

Water bottles and juice boxes
Notebook and pens
Books and magazines
Balea 3-in-1 Cleansing Cloths
Balea hand cream and body moisturizer (look for a mood-elevating scent)
Balea Lip balm in Acai & Mango
Facial tissues
Sugarless gum
Stylize hairbrush and elastics
Fruit, crackers, nuts and other healthy snacks from Simply Foods
Baskets to use as “in” and “out” trays

Hospital bag how-to

Pack your bag and keep it by the door so you’re good to go when labour strikes.

For moms-to-be:

Books and magazines
Warm socks
Extra underwear
Always Infinity Overnight or Kotex Overnight with Wings feminine hygiene pads
Any special snacks, candy, beverages
Birth plan
Lip balm
Massage oil
Hairbrush and elastics/hairbands
Life Brand Toothbrush and SanaSwiss Toothpaste
Toiletries (including shampoo/conditioner, skin care, etc.)
Nursing bras (pre-laundered) and Johnson’s Nursing Pads
Going-home outfit (maternity clothes may still fit)

For partners:

Camera with fresh batteries
Prepaid long distance phone cards
Change of clothes
List of people to phone after the baby is born
Life Brand Toothbrush and SanaSwiss Toothpaste
Wet wipes
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or sanitizing spray
Breastfeeding book

For baby:

Infant car seat
Pre-laundered onesies
Pre-laundered cap
Pre-laundered weather-appropriate going home outfit
Pampers Swaddlers or Huggies Little Snugglers newborn diapers
Baby Life Naturals Baby Wipes
Receiving blankets