I consider myself lucky. Bed rest for me started at 33 weeks pregnant. A lot of women are put on bed rest much earlier in pregnancy and have much more time to "do nothing."
Doctors prescribe bed rest for a variety of reasons, mine being signs of preterm labor. My first child was born 6 weeks early. This time around, my doctor wanted to keep a closer eye on things, in hopes to keep this baby in a little longer. The difficult piece, though, is that there is conflicting evidence as to whether or not bed rest truly helps. Of course, I will follow doctor's orders on this one.
Everything you need to know about surviving bed rest.
1. Continue with your regular day care routines for older children (or set up a care schedule). There is no way I would be able to follow my doctor's orders with a toddler here. If you don't have a regularly set daycare schedule, I suggest calling in all of the support people you have to take over at least some of the care of older children.
2. Plan easy meals for your partner to make. Maybe yours is a master chef. Mine is not. I sent him with a very thorough list to the grocery store with extremely simple crock pot meals in mind. My bed rest prescription allows me to get up to shower, use the bathroom, and eat meals. No cooking for me. Leaving simple directions for the hubs to throw a few ingredients into the crock pot has made his life much easier.
3. Make special time for your kiddos. I know I said to find them daycare while on bed rest. But, my little one has had a difficult time with his mama being on the couch all night when he is home. We have had to start a few new routines so he is sure to get his mama time in. I am also sure to wake up with the boys in the morning and get a few minutes of snuggles with Kid while Hubs gets ready. Not only is it beneficial for the toddler, it makes me feel like I am still needed.
4. Accept any and all help. My dad came by to pick up laundry yesterday. My mom picked Kid up for the day today and stuck around to clean the kitchen and bathroom. Friends have been swinging by with a warm lunch. Another girlfriend is dropping by with two freezer meals this afternoon. I have had friends drop of DVDs and books, others have come to just hang out. They've helped drive me to the doctor while the hubs has been at work. While I plan to make them each a little thank you gift, for now, I can only thank them.
Just beginning bed rest? Feel free to send me an email!
Are you a bed rest veteran yourself? What other tips do you have?