I was put on modified bed rest at 29 weeks for symptoms of preterm labor. I know a lot of twin mamas are put on bedrest a lot earlier than that, so I was incredibly thankful to be able to enjoy a moderately active pregnancy up to that time.
All the same, for someone as active as myself, the prospect of sitting on the couch all day was not appealing. I was willing to do anything to give my babies a little extra time, but mentally I was pretty frightened of the prospect.
Because I delivered my babies at 33 weeks, my bedrest stint was a relatively short four weeks. During the first three weeks, I was allowed to sit up, do some very mild stretching and take baths. During the last week, after my babies were diagnosed with IUGR, I was put on strict bedrest and recommended to lie on my side all day! It wasn’t fun, but I found some activities to help me get through. Here are my best tips on surviving bed rest!
Establish a Morning Routine during Bedrest
Having a morning routine is so important for me. Typically, I include some form of exercise into my morning. Since all that had to stop, I found another routine that worked. For me, this looked like taking a hot shower and getting dressed, having breakfast, and then sitting down to doing some mild foot and calf stretches with my theraband.
Find A Podcast
After doing some very mild stretching in the morning, I liked to spend an hour doing something educational. Since I knew I wanted to teach my babies French, I invested some time in brushing up my own skills by listening to podcasts and studying French literature. Podcasts of any kind are a great option during bedrest!
Play an Instrument
I’m not very proficient with the piano, but it’s something I truly enjoy. By the time I was put on bedrest, sitting up for long enough to play an instrument was pretty difficult. I tried to spend about 20 minutes a day playing piano, I just broke it up into short five minute segments of time and stopped as soon as I felt tired.
Do Something Creative
Being on bedrest isn’t fun, there’s no way around it. But it can be a good opportunity to brush up some creative skills! I spent a lot of time drawing, sketching, or coloring with some pretty adult coloring books.
Use Bedrest to Read Up
All of the above are nice options, but this is really what I did on bedrest. Read! I think I plugged through six or seven books during the four weeks I was on bed rest. I love reading, and bedrest was my last opportunity to really devote some time to it! I read Charlotte Mason, Aristotle, Plutarch, and some good novels during bed rest.
Get Outside if You Can during Bedrest
Spending time outside was the most important thing I did to maintain sanity during bedrest. Thankfully, I was pregnant over a very warm spring so this was a possibility! I sat outside in a lawn chair with a book pretty much every afternoon. My husband also took me out for a short drive to get some coffee (my strongest third trimester craving) almost every day!