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Coping with Bed Rest

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Bed rest is often prescribed for women to prevent or reduce certain pregnancy complications. It is very common! Bed rest ranges from just taking it easy around the house to restrictive hospital bed monitoring. Depending on the specific requirements and the length of time prescribed, it may be easy to get a little uneasy with this new change in lifestyle.

There is a long list of conditions or reasons why a health care provider will put you on bed rest. The important thing to realize is: if bed rest is prescribed, it is only to help protect you and your baby. Here are a couple tips to help cope with the possible struggles of bed rest.

• Lie on your side. This allows for more blood and nutrients to get to the uterus and the baby.
• Choose a convenient location. If you are going to be resting for a majority of your day, pick a place close to a bathroom! The shorter the walk the better. If the kitchen is on the other side of the house, try packing a cooler or cold lunch box with drinks and snacks to eat throughout the day.
• Increase your fluids. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day (and probably more, your doctor will be more specific about amount of fluid intake needed).
• Add fiber-containing foods to prevent constipation. With the limited amount of movement, your digestive tract might need a little extra help! Include snacks like bran, fruits, and leafy vegetables. Keep a bowl of fruit and a jug of water within reach!
• Diversion activities. You might need to pass the time if you are laying around alone and are tired of TV shows and DVDs. Puzzles, reading books (try an easy-to-read series), or take up a new craft to enjoy. Place a table near by with magazines, books, the phone!
• Gentle exercises. Things like circling your hands and feet, or gently tensing and relaxing arm and leg muscles. This will help with muscle tone and improving circulation during resting.
• Get your family involved! The more help, the better! Assign shifts and chores to help reduce stress. Have someone making dinners, cleaning up around the house, picking up children, and maybe just a family member or friend to help pass the time with you.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.