Delight in Pregnancy Bedrest

My first experience with bedrest was at 30 weeks into my second pregnancy when I was dilated between 2-3 centimeters. I was on strict bedrest which I renamed "pregnancy prison." All my life's freedom as I knew it was put on hold or "put to rest." I had a bad attitude about the whole thing and fantasized that the baby would come early so I wouldn't have to suffer any longer. My wish of an early delivery came true 4 weeks into bedrest.

The next pregnancy came and the physician ordered me to bed at 20 weeks. I had at least 16 weeks ahead of me confined to the beautiful surroundings of my bedroom. I knew I had to make a change in my attitude for the health of my child. This time bedrest wasn't so bad and the pregnancy lasted 37 weeks. Listed below are some of the things that helped me get through my limited pregnancy activity.

? Did relaxation exercises daily

? Had friends over to watch TV (snacks a necessity)

? Got up every hour for 5 minutes to stretch, eat or go to the bathroom

? Cleaned the toilets once a week

? Put my sons in half-day child care

? If I were able to control my contractions, I would get out of the house for 30-90 minutes once a week

? I avoided anything stressful at all cost

? Rented entertaining and funny videos

? Talked on phone from the couch or bed

? Asked my husband to bring me flowers to brighten the room

? Floated in the pool (no swimming)

? Listened to talk radio

? Read books or magazines

? Took relaxing baths surrounded by candles and soft music

? Accepted dinners and babysitting from friends

Have good communication with your physician regarding the reasons for bedrest. Don't hesitate to call your physician any time of the day or night if you are having out of control contractions. Ask him or her before you try any of my "physical" suggestions. The number one thing you can do on bedrest is relax. Despite popular belief, staying in bed all day is not relaxing. Most importantly, realize that you are not alone even though it feels like it. There are organizations on the web that give you bedrest support over the phone or email. Do what it takes to have a happy pregnancy, a healthy baby and delight in bed.

Julie L. Johnson is a wife and mother of three who has experienced every pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding situation there is and has lived to tell about. She is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Doula and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant practicing in Southern California. Her website provides services and products to help ease the transition into motherhood.

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