How to Make the Most of Bed Rest During Pregnancy

By Julia Bauer
Black and white photo of pregnant woman laying on couch

From reading countless baby books to eating for two, pregnant women put a lot of effort into keeping their baby happy and healthy. Having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby is important to all soon-to-be moms. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, sometimes doctors prescribe bed rest. Those nine (ten!) months of pregnancy can feel like forever, and being on bed rest may make the time move even slower.

However, being on bed rest doesn’t have to feel like a lifetime – you can make the most of it!

Why are some women put on bed rest?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is common for doctors to suggest bed rest to help relieve pregnancy complications. Bed rest may help with maternal high blood pressure, premature labor, fetal development and placenta issues. Doctors may also order bed rest for women who have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss, gestational diabetes, cervical issues or who are expecting multiples. Bed rest reduces stress, limits physical activity and increases placental blood flow.

Depending on the severity of pregnancy complications, bed rest can range from routine at-home rest to monitored, full-time rest.

6 tips to make the most of bed rest

#1 Get comfortable

Comfort should be your main priority. According to the American Pregnancy Association, doctors will typically ask you to rest on your side with your knees bent. However, this varies depending on the reason for your bed rest. Make sure to have your favorite pillows and blankets within reach!

#2 Change positions every so often

Extended bed rest may lead to aches, pains and lack of blood circulation. Changing positions in bed allows you to move a little and reduces the aches and pains in your joints, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

#3 Read

While you may not be able to physically exercise, you can get some mental exercise by reading. Read baby and parenting books to help prepare you for the exciting times that lie ahead. If you’ve read enough about that, explore other reading options!

#4 Journal

Write down anything from your everyday thoughts to your life goals. You can
also keep a diary of your pregnancy experience. Journaling can help you organize your thoughts and put your mind at ease.

#5 Listen to podcasts

If you’ve never listened to podcasts before, now’s your chance to give them a try. There are thousands of podcasts out there that discuss just about anything you could ever think of. Look up something you’re interested in and start listening!

#6 Get virtually organized

Go through your camera roll, social media, emails and anything else on your electronics. Create virtual photo albums, organize your files and try to free up storage on your devices. Not only can this be fun, but the future you will thank you for getting virtually organized.

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