When Bed Rest Is Best

Survival Strategies

Being on bed rest can be a drag, but there are ways to make the best of the situation. Here's how.

  • Try a new point of view. If your doctor approves, split your time between your living room and your bedroom. Or try what Leslie Josel, of Larchmont, New York, did: "I used my couch pillows on my bed during the day. It helped me feel like I had changed locations."
  • Find child care. If you already have a child, bed rest can be especially difficult because your little one won't understand why Mommy can't take him to the playground or give him piggyback rides. Your best bet: Enroll him in day care, hire a sitter, or enlist family and friends to help.
  • Get organized. Put a table next to your bed or couch, and arrange everything you need on it. Annie Mondell-Richard, of Baltimore, set up a cooler filled with food and drinks. She also kept books, a CD player, photo albums, a laptop computer, and a phone within reach.
  • Keep moving. If your doctor approves, do simple exercises in bed, such as leg lifts or neck circles, or take short walks around your house. "I tell my patients to wiggle their toes and move their legs several times an hour to keep their blood flowing," Dr. Flamm says.
  • Go online. Find sites with message boards, like www.parents.com, so you can connect with other expecting moms; or log on to www.sidelines.org to learn how other women cope with bed rest.
  • Try something new. Start scrapbooking, take up knitting, or keep a pregnancy journal.
  • Don't act like you're sick. Get out of your PJs and into regular clothes every day, or put on makeup and jewelry. Dahn Burke, of Potomac, Maryland, had her hairdresser make house calls during her nine weeks of rest.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize. "Remind yourself that you're doing this for your child," Dr. Flamm says. "And while it may be frustrating now, the payoff -- a healthy baby -- is well worth it."

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