Every year, more than 1 million pregnant women in the United States are placed on bed rest or some type of restricted activity, but no one EVER expects it to happen to them. The moment your doctor places you on bed rest is a shock. The world spins around you as you consider the health of your baby, your job, and your day-to-day responsibilities at home. It feels like the rug has been pulled out from under you. Once the dust settles, the boredom begins, and then the frustration, fear, and sadness. creep in. While all of these emotions are normal, they aren’t healthy for you or your baby if they are ongoing.
1) Connect with others. Interacting with friends, family and coworkers keeps you feeling like a human being instead of a science project. Invite friends over for dinner, call an old pal, and don’t spend the weekends alone.
2) Create an online support team through Twitter, Facebook, and online pregnancy groups (including the Keep ‘Em Cookin’ forum). Talking to other women on bed rest can help you to focus on the big picture and stay positive. They absolutely understand what you are going through in a way that no one else can.
3) Continue your job if you can. We often define ourselves by the work we do, whether it is as an employee or as a parent or spouse. Holding on to even a few responsibilities can help you to prevent feeling useless (an unfortunately common feeling).
4) Communicate with your partner about what you need, whether it’s hugs or hot chocolate. Most likely your partner has never had to be responsible for a full-grown adult before! Let your partner support your baby by supporting you.
5) Celebrate often. Absolutely every day you spend on bed rest counts! You may feel like you’re doing nothing, but you’re doing the most important job in the world right now. Celebrate every OB appointment. Celebrate waking up in the morning with no trips to L&D during the night. Find ways to treat yourself, like a special take out meal, a new book, movie or music download. As you get closer to 40 weeks, ask your care provider if you can celebrate with a professional manicure or a hair cut. Evey day and every hour that you keep cookin’ is a time to rejoice.
Angela Davids is the founder of Keep ’Em Cookin’, an educational organization that provides current information on high-risk pregnancy and connects women with high-risk pregnancies with one another through an online support group. Visit www.KeepEmCookin.com!
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