“No sex, no exercise, not even long walks”, the doctor said in a stern voice. This was the moment I was put on bed rest during pregnancy from 10 weeks pregnant. I still remember till this day how helpless I felt. I was put on bed rest during pregnancy due to the Haematoma we found at my 8 weeks ultrasound. And until my next ultrasound at 13 weeks pregnant, I was on strict orders to simply do nothing.
Not only was it important to make sure the Haematoma would not affect the baby’s nor my own health and well-being, I was particularly worried as we had planned and booked our flights to New York in 3 weeks; at 13 weeks pregnant. We decided to relocate to Taiwan and have the baby there and make a slow move towards the Asia Pacific via New York. This seemed to be the cheapest way and the most convenient in order to bring Buckwheat, our dog with us on the plane throughout the whole transition.
5 Tips to Deal With Bed Rest During Pregnancy
Originally, the idea of bed rest during pregnancy meant that I could do nothing and enjoy my pregnancy even more. But by the time I was ordered to go on bed rest, I was already suffering from some major side effects of morning sickness to even begin enjoying the moment.
Bed rest during pregnancy can be incredibly… well, incredibly boring. I found the experience to be difficult particularly because I’m use to a more structured and busy lifestyle. Although Albie and I both work from home and I therefore had the flexibility to rest when needed, I still found the experience harder than I thought it would be.
Here are three tips that really helped me during those bed resting times.
1. Set Goals
Since you have hours upon hours of free time per day, you might feel a little bored or lost as to what to do. It might also feel a little strange to have no work or major chores to complete either. I found it hard not exercise for example as this was in my usual routine. If you find yourself fiddling with your thumbs wondering what on earth should you do, it’s a good indication that you need to set goals to achieve in order to feel a sense of purpose during your mandatory bed rest period.
Think of things that you would push down your priority list and say ‘I don’t have time for that’ or ‘I wish I could but I can’t’. Write a list of these things down and start building a realistic plan for you to achieve during the time you are on bed rest. Obviously there would be restrictions and limitations like any physical goals (weight loss, trekking or reaching the top of Mount Everest) are not a good idea. But I’m sure there’s still plenty on your list that works well if you are at home majority of the time.
You’ll have plenty of time in the home and keeping yourself busy with new set of goals will help speed up the bed rest time. I think what people might struggle with the most is creating these goals, but rest assure that taking some time out and focusing on what you want to achieve in the following months can really help give more purpose in life even after your bed rest period ends.
2. Catching up on shows, movies and reading
If you’ve ever wanted to read a certain book or watch a TV series but never had the time to do so, now is the time. Now you have the luxury to really get into reading books, watching movies and series and enjoying a little ‘me time’.
One suggestion of what to read are the top best sellers, or perhaps you might want to select a number of books that will guide you through pregnancy and the more important stage of child care and child development. These are great ways to make use of your spare time while you are on bed rest.
I enjoyed a mixture of audio books and TV series. I always wanted to watch Sex and the City from start to finish and did that during the weeks on bed rest during my pregnancy. Though it can get a little repetitive watching on the laptop or TV screen for hours, I found breaking up my day helped eased the fatigue that can often be related to binge watching TV shows.
3. Start new hobbies and pursue new interests
The period at which I was in bed rest was pretty much the start of this blog you are on now. I also spent a lot of time video editing, which help pass the time but honestly, I really enjoyed it. I’ve always wanted to create a personal blog about my life and giving tips on topics that resonated with me the most like travel, food and my relationship with my husband. I found that the bed rest period was the perfect opportunity to start my new hobby and my partner was a big supporter of it too! This worked out well for me as I could do this anywhere in the home without feeling like I was literally doing nothing while in bed all day.
It could also be the perfect time to pursue further education online. There are plenty of courses offered online now from universities and colleges all over the world that run between a few weeks to a few months. This might be handy if you’ve ever wanted to learn a particular skill or continue your education with a masters online. The opportunities are endless!
4. Time for self-reflection and self development
Being on bed rest doesn’t mean you have to stop learning or developing as a person. It’s actually the opposite. Like quitting a job or figuring out what to do next after completing a degree, this is the time where you can reflect on your life thus far and see what is missing; what’s next for you.
Take advantage of the spare time you have before your baby arrives and make the most out of your day by taking some time to self reflect and analyze what you want to achieve in life, what makes you happy and who you are as a person- or should I say, who you want to be as a mother, parent, partner and woman.
5. Maintain a routine
Even though you might be use to working in an office and spending most of your time at your desk from Monday to Friday, it’s always important to continue to maintain some sort of routine for yourself. For me, I use to workout every morning, followed by a shower, a snack, work on my laptop until lunch, playtime with Buckwheat, dinner and a nightly chat with my husband before going to bed.
However, when I was placed on bed rest, I felt like some of the things I would normally do over the weekend or during the week were not the best things to do. It’s essential to have an outline of what to do on a daily basis. This will help keep structure in your life and help you keep your sanity.
Some things remained the same- like spending time with Buckwheat, nightly chats with my husband before bed and meal times. Filling the rest of the time with new routines and activities helped tremendously. This is simple to do once you work out your goals and then set deadlines to achieve them. I find writing things down can be a huge help and breaking down my goals into small daily goals instead, can help keep me motivated without feeling overwhelmed, scared or tired.
At 10 weeks pregnant, the idea of bed rest was a daunting experience. Figuring out what to do with plenty of free time can be an overwhelming task. Mandatory bed rest during pregnancy can be hard but with the right attitude and framework to help you, it can be a great way for mummies to be to grow and achieve all kinds of wonderful goals. I would love to hear from you about your own experiences of how to make bed rest during pregnancy more fun. Comment below or contact us on our contact page 🙂