Moms to Be: How to Survive Bed Rest

February 25, 2019
Blog post

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When pregnant women are at risk for experiencing complications, they are often put on bed rest by their healthcare providers.

In some situations, this may just mean taking it easy and decreasing your overall activity level. In others, however, it may mean that the expectant mother must stay in bed at all times without even getting up to shower.

Bedroom and pregnant woman sleeping

The first day or so of bed rest can feel like a much-needed break, but it tends to get boring pretty quickly. And when the nesting instinct is in full gear, spending all of your time confined to your bed or a chair may seem absolutely unbearable.

If you are on bed rest, you may need to rely on your spouse, friends or family members to keep your spirits up and ensure that your home is taken care of.

Here are a few tips on how to follow doctor’s orders and survive bed rest.

7 Helpful Tips for How to Survive Bed Rest During Pregnancy:

1) Ask for Help When You Need It

If you are spending all of your time confined to your bed or even a chair, you are going to need help.

While you may be used to running the show, it is extremely important for your health and the health of your unborn child to follow your doctor’s orders regarding bed rest–even when that means swallowing your pride and asking for help.

Delegate tasks to your partner or older kids and ask friends and family members if they would be willing to lend a hand.

Most people will be more than happy to help out. You need only let them know what to do.

When seeking help, have a list of the tasks that need to be completed and when.

Moms to Be: How to Survive Bed Rest

If you are on complete bed rest, don’t forget to make note of things like getting the mail and picking up groceries. Allow people to handle the tasks that they are most comfortable with, and create a system for keeping track of what needs to be done daily, weekly, etc.

If you have older kids, don’t forget that they will need to be picked up and dropped off from school and activities.

Enlist the help of grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. to ensure that everyone gets to where they need to go safely.

2) Find Ways to Entertain Yourself

Time to rest may sound like absolute bliss, but chances are, boredom will start to set in a lot sooner than you think.

A television and an active subscription to Netflix or Hulu will get you through several hours (or even days), but even that will start to lose its appeal during a lengthy bed rest.

Make sure you have some magazines, books and electronic devices within easy reach. If you enjoy playing video games, hook the console up in your room and make sure you have a few games to alternate between.

Keep your laptop handy so you can spend time browsing the web.

Moms to Be: How to Survive Bed Rest

Consider taking up a new hobby. Things like knitting and crocheting are relatively easy to learn (there are tons of instructional videos online), and they give you something to do.

With this type of hobby, you can also make things for the new baby’s room, which will help satisfy your nesting instinct and make you feel productive while on bed rest.

Beading is another good hobby to take up. Whether you want to make simple beaded jewelry for yourself and your family or you would like to learn how to wire-wrap stones or tackle other more elaborate beading projects, you can do it all from the comfort of your bed.

Beads come in countless colors, types and styles, and it is possible to make everything from jewelry to home décor.

Moms to Be: How to Survive Bed Rest

3) Take an Online Course

Make your time on bed rest productive by enrolling in an online course.

There are free and paid courses available on just about every subject you can imagine, and they are a great way to pass the time while learning something new.

If you want to learn a new hobby, try an online craft course from Craftsy. If you would like to learn skills that you can use when you go back to work or to start your own business. You can also do a simple online search for a class on your favorite subject.

There are tons of options to choose from!

Moms to Be: How to Survive Bed Rest

4) Stay in Shape

When you are on bed rest, staying in shape can be difficult.

Because pregnancy bed rest can take a serious toll on your body and mind, however, doing so is extremely important. Maintain strength and flexibility by doing simple bed rest exercises like kegels and chest and shoulder openers.

Breathe deeply. Stretch your legs out and roll your ankles. Flex your feet and calf muscles. Light exercise may not feel like much if you are used to a more intense exercise routine, but it will help you stay in shape while you are on bed rest.

Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. This is especially important if your doctor has placed you on complete bed rest or your pregnancy is considered to be especially risky.

5) Stay Comfortable

Lying in bed all day isn’t as comfortable as you think.

Prevent discomfort by wearing comfortable clothing and making sure that your bedding is appropriate for the season. Also, maintain a comfortable temperature in the room.

Invest in a few nice pillows, if you don’t already have them. Trust us, it is an investment that is definitely worth making!

Moms to Be: How to Survive Bed Rest


Being on bed rest while you are pregnant isn’t easy. It’s important to follow your doctor’s orders, though, to ensure your health and the health of your baby.

If you are finding it especially difficult to stay comfortable or if you are experiencing pain or struggling emotionally due to feelings of isolation or depression, contact your healthcare provider right away.  

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