At 29 weeks, after 2 weeks of experiencing near-constant Braxton Hicks contractions, my midwife team found things to be a little worrying, and put me on bedrest.
As one can imagine, being put on bedrest threw a bit of a spanner in the works, but now the dust has settled, I’ve found a handful of ways to help keep things on track. In today’s blog post, I’m sharing the four strategies that helped me organise my life while on bedrest.
Step 1: Do The Most Important Things First
The first step to getting organised on bedrest is to do the most important things first. When something impacts your life overnight, it can be hard to figure out what to do, so here are a two tips to help you do the most important things first.
Tip 1: Listen to medical advice
In any medical situation, the advice given to you by your health care provider should take precedent over everything else, so my first tip is to consult with them regularly and listen to their advice.
In my case, my midwife team wanted to rule out preterm labour and infection. For me, this meant an endless amounts of phone calls to book in appointments, check-ups, scans, blood work, and hospital tests.
Luckily, after all those things, we found out that both baby and I were just fine! But since the Braxton Hicks contractions are still occurring more regularly than they should, my bedrest was extended until they settle down.
Tip 2: Divide the load
As the primary caretaker of our 1-year-old tot and our household, the load shifted completely to my husband in one of his busiest months of the year, work-wise, when I was put on bedrest. That obviously wasn’t going to be a workable situation, so my second tip is to divide the load.
Our little one goes to nursery once a week, so finding someone to look after him for the remaining time — even if only for a few hours — was the first order of business. We didn’t have any help the first week and a half, but later, I was able to arrange for family to jump in for a few hours each day.
Next up: food. Luckily, we had a lot of meals still in the freezer (one of the advantages of meal planning and freezing leftovers!), but on the one day we ran out, I called a family member and she was more than happy to bring us some food.
The final thing was to care for the rest of the household, meaning mostly laundry and cleaning. Laundry continued as normal, but cleaning took a bit of a backseat; we only did the things that were strictly necessary and left the rest for later.
Step 2: Notify your work and set up a work station
In case of a change in your medical situation, the second step is to notify your work of your changed circumstances.
Depending on your contract of employment, it may be possible for you to arrange to take paid holiday leave, annual leave, early maternity leave, or a leave of absence, so be sure to talk to your employer.
And whether or not you’re able to to take time off work, talk to your supervisor about your situation and discuss all upcoming deadlines. Maybe there are tasks or projects that can be postponed.
In case you do need to finish things for work, consult your health care provider first to see if and when that would be possible. And if so, set up a work station that allows you to work comfortably from bed.
Step 3: Take Good Care of Yourself
With everything there is to manage, it’s easy to forget that you’re on bedrest because you need to actually rest. The third step is to take good care of yourself.
If you’ve been cleared to exercise by your health care professional, I recommend doing some light stretches during the day. Since I’m currently expecting, I’ve been specifically doing prenatal yoga stretches.
Don’t forget to also stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and to take a nice, relaxing shower or bath at night.
Step 4: Plan and Have Fun
After organising all the things, the fourth and final step is to plan and have fun.
Now that you have the time, why not plan for when the baby arrives? Here are four things you can do to while on bedrest:
- Write your birth plan
- Buy everything you still need for the baby and/or set up a registry
- Plan what to put in your hospital bag
- Start designing the nursery
And if you’re looking for something else to do, here’s a list of 20 activities you can try:
- Read a book
- Listen to an audiobook
- Listen to a podcast
- Read a magazine
- Clear out your e-mail inbox
- Paint your nails
- Watch YouTube videos
- Take an online course
- Take up a new hobby, like sewing
- Work on your budget
- Clear out your phone gallery
- Write letters, birthday cards, or thank-you notes
- Browse Pinterest for home inspiration
- Send messages to friends and family members
- Plan for the holidays
- Do a crossword puzzle or sudoku
- Catch up on episodes of your favourite television show, or start a new one
- Start a journal
- Make a family photo album
- Organise your family recipes
Ultimately, you’ve been prescribed bed rest, and that’s never a fun thing to deal with. However, with these four strategies, you can easily get yourself organised to prepare for however long it’ll last.
If you have ever been put on bedrest, or if you just have some more tips to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!