On bed rest? Keep yourself from going stir crazy

Ask around and you’re sure to find many moms whose doctors ordered them to bedrest for part of their pregnancy. Whether it was for a few days, weeks or months, most moms will groan about their enforced time-out.

But bedrest doesn’t need to be a rough bump in pregnancy. In fact it can give moms time to do things they’ve been putting off.

  • Reach out.

    Sarah Peet of Sycamore had a great time when a friend stayed with her for a weekend. Watching movies with her friend helped her feel better.

    “It made me forget about my bedrest and made me feel normal again,” she says.

  • Craft time.

    Peet also kept her hands and mind busy with some crafts that her mom picked up for her. Try a new hobby like crocheting, quilting or painting. You never know what hidden talents you’ll discover.

  • Be grateful.

    Do you have dozens of thank you notes waiting to be written for baby gifts? Take your time and write thoughtful notes to each giver instead of rushing them out to the mailbox. Write letters to anyone who has helped you during your pregnancy, expressing your gratitude.

  • Read, read, read.

    Before the baby comes and you have little free time, read all of the novels you’ve been eyeing. Write out a list and have your husband pick them up at the library. You’re probably already inundated with baby manuals, so choose some titles that would normally feel like a guilty pleasure.

  • Journal.

    Beth Maclin spent her time on bedrest writing about her pregnancy so her son would know everything she was experiencing.

  • “I wanted to document everything,” says the Chicago mom.
  • Organize the past.

    Maclin also spent a lot of time organizing her old photographs. It was something she admits she had been putting off, but her bedrest gave her all the time she needed to catch up.

  • Arranging old photos will not only get a task out of the way, but will probably fill you with laughter as old memories surface.
  • Scrapbook.

    Got your photos organized? Then start slipping them into photo albums or start scrapbooking. Peet, an avid scrapbooker, now wishes she would have spent time putting together her albums while on bedrest because it would have saved her time later.

  • Jump on the Web.

    Set up a wireless Internet connection and head online to stay in touch with friends and family. Write a blog about what you’re experiencing or join MySpace.com to catch up with old friends. You can even watch old episodes of your favorite shows or register for baby gifts. The sky’s the limit!

  • Find new friends.

    Maclin learned about Sidelines National Support Network, which offers information and connections for women with high-risk pregnancies. Its Web site, www.sidelines.org, was able to match Maclin with another mom who had also experienced similar pregnancy issues.

  • Dream a little dream.

    Even though your physical activities have decreased, it doesn’t mean your mental state is on hold. Spend some time relaxing and thinking about your life and your future. No matter if this is your first pregnancy or your fifth, life is about to change. Enjoy some quiet time and rest before the blissful chaos of life with a newborn begins.

Michelle Sussman is a mom of two, wife and writer in Bolingbrook, who was on periodic bedrest from six weeks of pregnancy until her daughter’s birth. Visit her on the Web at www.michellesussman.com .

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