Better bedrest

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

• Phone

• 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

• Nightgown

• 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

• Toiletries

• 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