Coping with bed rest
Although staying in bed for a couple of months can be challenging, make the most of it by doing things you've never had time for until now. Here are some suggestions:
Log on. If you don't have a computer and an e-mail connection, now is a good time to get them. E-mail will help you keep in touch with friends and feel less isolated. If you can access the Internet, you can join virtual support groups with other bed-resting women.
Work. If you have the kind of job that can be done in bed, see if you can telecommute. Some jobs can be done easily with a phone, a fax machine, and a computer. If your job doesn't lend itself to telecommuting, perhaps you can help out a friend who's running her own business and needs assistance with the paperwork.
Raise money. Your favorite charity may need someone to do phone work.
Launch a project. Now may be the perfect time to put 10 years' worth of photos in albums, read through all your high school journals, create a scrapbook, or type up all of your favorite recipes.
Set a reading goal. Not too many people can say they've read all of the works an author has written. Set a goal of reading all of Shakespeare, Sue Grafton, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Ludlum, Jane Austen, J. K. Rowling, or whoever suits your taste.
Set a movie goal. If you have someone to go back and forth to the video rental store, plan on watching sets of movies--everything that Johnny Depp has been in, for example, or all of the Elvis movies.
Call in all your favors. You'll need help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, and childcare, if you already have a child. Ask friends and family to help, and when people say, "Can I do anything for you?" have specific answers in mind--make dinner, go to the library, wash a load of laundry.
Ask for visitors. Having someone stop by to say hello can brighten a day on the couch or in bed. When you invite people over, ask them to bring just themselves and not gift boxes of candy or tins of homemade cookies.
Learn to knit or crochet. In no time you'll have a blanket for baby or a sweater for yourself.
Do whatever exercise you're permitted. It may be fine for you to lift light arm weights or do some simple yoga stretches. Ask your doctor what exercise, if any, is safe; then do what you can to maintain strength and flexibility.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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