Surviving Bed Rest

Bed rest might conjure up visions of eating bonbons and watching TV while propped up on pillows, but being confined to your bed under strict orders from your OBGYN can get old pretty quickly. Your spirits can get low while you're stuck lying down. Laura Kalehoff, Executive Editor for American Baby, has tips on how to stay positive and energized.

1 in 5 expectant women ends up on some form of bed rest. Even though it hasn't been proven to prevent preterm birth and although it can be physically and emotionally taxing, OBs continue to determine that when pregnancy gets rough, there are more benefits than drawbacks to bed rest. Doctors explain that getting mom off her feet improves blood pressure and flow to the placenta and baby, and it decreases the pull of gravity and pressure on the cervix. If your doctor puts you on bed rest there are some things you should do.

Don't be shy about asking for help. People will want to help you, but they might not know how. Tell them. If you don't have friends and family nearby, consider hiring an antepartum doula, someone who specializes in assisting moms on bed rest.

The sooner you accept that you'll be laying low for awhile, the easier it will be. Some moms say that it helps to think of bed rest as your first real Mom Job. They tell themselves that this is the one way they can be good moms before their baby is even born. If you need help embracing it, reach out to the Sidelines National Support Network. It's a group of volunteers whose goal is to help women with high risk pregnancies.

Ask your doctor if he has had another patient go through what you're going through who might be willing to talk to you about her experience. Having someone say "I've been there. I've done it," really helps. You can also search for bed rest on Facebook and Twitter to virtually link up with other moms experiencing the same thing.

If you can do your job remotely and your OB says it's okay to work, set up a satellite office in your bedroom. This will help preserve your maternity or disability leave so you don't have to use it all or max out your payment benefits before the baby even arrives

Skype, FaceTime and other chat technology allow you to stay connected. You can attend parent-teacher conferences, join friends for brunch and keep up with book club. You can also stay in touch with family who doesn't live nearby but want to check in on how your feeling.

For more information on bed rest for expecting mothers and other parenting tips, click here.

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