Making the Most of Bed Rest
Bed rest is a common and important step in many pregnancy and surrogacy journeys. If medically necessary, it can also provide the surrogate with a much-needed respite from the demands and challenges of carrying a child.
In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of bed rest, the various types, risks, and benefits, and finally, how to make the most out of your own rest.
The Importance of Bed Rest
Bed rest is typically prescribed to women with a pre-existing medical condition, as the pregnancy may take a heavier toll on their bodies than usual. Here are a few complications that may require bed rest:
- Preeclampsia, otherwise known as pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Vaginal bleeding
- Premature labor
- Gestational diabetes
- Poor fetal development
- Placenta complications
- History of pregnancy loss or stillbirth
In many of these cases, bed rest allows a woman’s body to regulate during the pregnancy. Pregnant women are more susceptible to stress and elevated blood pressure, and strenuous activity for a prolonged period of time can make conditions worse. Bed rest can help return these levels back to their normal state.
Types of Bed Rest
Bed rest can vary depending on each woman’s condition. Here are four different types of bed rest:
Scheduled Resting – With this type of bed rest, women have more flexibility in the activity they can engage in. For one or two hours a day, women are required to sit with their feet up or lie down and rest.
Modified Bed Rest_ – With modified bed rest, women should refrain from labor-intensive activities, such as regular work responsibilities, driving, or household chores.
Strict Bed Rest – For more serious conditions, women will have to stay in bed for the majority of the day. Aside from trips to the bathroom, women are typically confined to resting in a bed until cleared by a doctor.
Hospital Bed Rest – In some cases, such as a stalled delivery or super twins (three or more children delivered in the same day), women may be asked to stay in the hospital under constant supervision. Some may also need an IV drip to stay hydrated.
How to Make the Most of Your Bed Rest
Bed rest doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, bed rest will give you plenty of time and opportunity to keep your mind active. Here are a few ways to make the most of your bed rest:
Move and stretch when you can. Bed rest doesn’t mean staying completely still. If you do that, there’s a good chance your muscles will weaken, and your blood will struggle to circulate through your body. If you’re not under strict bed rest, try walking around a little bit and stretching your arms and legs before lying down again.
Watch what you eat. While on bed rest, you may have more difficulty maintaining your regular diet. Make sure to balance between whole grains, fruits and vegetables, proteins, dairy, and vitamins. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as well.
Spend time with friends and family. Just because you have to rest doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Ask your friends and family to visit as you feel up to it.
Catch up on some reading or television. Pregnancy can be exhausting. Relax a little! Marathon your favorite show, or use the peace and quiet to finish reading a novel.
Work from home. Maybe you’re the type who just can’t sit still, and need to be constantly working on something. If your doctor and boss sign off on it, keep a laptop by your bed so you can work without breaking your bed rest – just make sure you don’t work too long.
*Start a scrapbook or journal. Writing and scrapbooking is a creative way to stay active. Write down your thoughts and experiences from surrogacy. You may find that in a few years you’ll look back to reminisce on the journey.
Pinterest. Speaking of scrapbooking, try out the modern day alternative: Pinterest. Check out some stories from other surrogates, or share photos from your own journey. Don’t forget to visit ConceiveAbilities’ Pinterest page too.
The surrogacy journey can be physically demanding, so bed rest is a natural way to bring your body back to regular levels. Take your time, and make the most of your bed rest.
To learn more about staying fit during pregnancy, go here. For healthy eating tips, visit this blog post. For more information on the surrogacy journey, stay up to date with our ConceiveAbilities blog.