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Making the Most Of Bed Rest (and maybe enjoying it!)

Last week, my doctor uttered those two words no pregnant woman wants to hear: bed rest.

With my first pregnancy, I was on bed rest for 5.5 weeks due to high blood pressure. This time I thought I was in the clear, especially so early in our pregnancy! But at my 16 week appointment the “small hemorrhage” near the baby that we saw at 12 weeks had turned in to a much bigger deal. The dreaded words were uttered by my doctor and I was sent home reeling and trying to figure out what to do with my very active toddler for the next two weeks. Ugh.

Unfortunately, bed rest is nothing new for many pregnant women. With my first pregnancy, I gave myself a few days to mope and feel sorry for myself then I kicked myself in to gear. Bed rest isn’t the end of the world! In fact, if you plan it right, you might actually enjoy it!

Here are some tips from my two bouts with bed rest; included some tips from Shana, another contributors who survived bed rest while carrying twins.bed

10 tips on how to enjoy (really!) and make the most of bed rest:

1. Let’s start with the most important aspect of bed rest: your attitude. Shana aptly said, “Remember that each day you spend on bed rest is (statistically) 2 days your baby will NOT have to spend in the NICU.” Ouch. I’d much rather sacrifice my sanity if that meant having a healthier baby in the end!

2. Start that TV show series you’ve always wanted to watch. With Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, I can watch almost any show I’ve been itching to watch for the last few years!

3. Journal, journal, journal. I can’t say this enough. I spend hours thinking and writing about our baby, my husband, my son,  plans for the future and anxious thoughts I have. Surprisingly, once I get those anxious thoughts out on paper I feel much better!

4. Ask your doctor, but you may be able to do light exercise which definitely helps with the restless feelings you start to get. The first time I was on bedrest, I was allowed to lift light arm weights and do light leg lifts. Even this drastically improved my mood!

5. Start a family album – you won’t have time to later! Every year, we make a Shutterfly album that documents the adventures of our family. It’s an easy way to organize pictures and really fun to have on the coffee table. Bed rest is the perfect time to catch up on years past.

6. Letter writing may seem like a memory of the past in our fast-paced, modern society, but there’s nothing like a slowed-down pace of life to pick it back up again! I had my hubby pick up fun stationary from Target and I write letters to many of my friends. It brightened my day and theirs!

My book of choice while on bedrest in 2012.

My book of choice while on bedrest in 2012.

7. Read read read. You know you won’t have time for this later!

8. Get a prenatal massage (if you get the okay from your doctor). My prenatal massage really did change my first pregnancy! The aches and pains of bed rest went away and I felt rejuvenated for the first time in weeks. There are many prenatal massage therapists in Dallas, but check out my personal favorite, Quinn, at the Cafe of Life. You can also spring for a pedicure, you know you are sick of staring at your toes!

9. Get dressed, put on make up, and style your hair every once in a while. Not only will you feel better, but you could even turn it in to a date! Order in your favorite restaurant and have your hubby pick it up on his way home from work. Two birds with one stone: you feel prettier when you get dressed and your husband feels loved with his at home date night!

10. Last, but not least, don’t be shy about asking for help. The first time around, I was afraid to ask anyone for help because I wanted to save all my favors for once the baby came. But let me tell you, take out food gets old real fast. This time around, I have taken every friend up on their offer to help whether it’s coming over for play dates, picking my son up for outings or bringing dinner.

Hint to those with friends on bedrest: always offer to bring dinner. Even if you don’t have time to make a home cooked meal, Central Market, Whole Foods and Zoe’s offer great choices for down home cooking. Oh, and offer to mow their lawn! Think about how stressed husband’s are in the midst of bedrest!

Have you been on bedrest? How did you survive? Any tips to add?

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