On Bed Rest? Work Your Mind!

bedrest coping strategies

Photo by dstny157

A mom in Newcomer's who's on bed rest until delivery joked that she didn't know what was worse -- the pain from her premature contractions or laying around doing nothing all day.

Looking back, I almost wished that I was put on bed rest during my pregnancies. Because once that baby comes, mom will forget what "rest" means for another 18 years or so.

The reality is that bed rest is not leisure, especially when you consider that women are put there because of serious complications, including high blood pressure, an incompetent cervix, premature labor, history of stillbirths, or multiples.

Since you can't do much with your body, it's vital to keep your mind sharp to avoid depression, anxiety, and loss of connection so you'll be in good emotional shape when your newborn is finally here.

Here are some bed rest coping strategies from DiscoveryHealth.com:

  • Healing touch Lying in bed can make your back and limbs feel sore and numb. Physical therapists experienced in working with women on bed rest can help you perform therapeutic motions that are safe and relieve your symptoms. Ask your doctor if physical therapy is appropriate in your case.
  • Massage benefits Discuss the benefits of massage with your doctor. If she says it's safe, schedule a regular massage in your home or hospital room to invigorate your body and soothe stiff muscles.

  • Stay social Make social dates with friends and family to share a cup of tea, watch a video together, or play a board game.
  • Keep communicating Communicate regularly with others via telephone, letters, e-mail, and on CafeMom! Join the Bed Rest!!! support group.
  • Puzzle time Keep your mind active by working on jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and 3-dimensional puzzles. Puzzles improve your concentration and problem-solving abilities.
  • Read Pick up a novel by your favorite author and lose yourself in the story. Time can pass quickly when you're engrossed in a book.
  • Learn something Take an online class, video tutorial, or home correspondence course. These allow you to go at your own pace, and you don't have to get out of bed to go to class. Your brain will benefit from the stimulation of learning. And your self-esteem will improve as you accomplish assignments and develop a new skill.

Are you (or were you) on pregnancy related bed rest? How do you pass the time and keep from going insane?

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