If you are in your first trimester and feeling really tired, you may be secretly hoping that one day your prenatal care provider will tell you that you have got to take it easy, and will prescribe bed rest. As nice as it sounds, bed rest is not all that great – and not all that practical either, especially if you already have a little one running around the house. On average, one out of every five mothers will be prescribed bed rest during her pregnancy for any one of a number of reasons.
Bed rest can mean anything from complete and total confinement to one’s bed for twenty four hours a day to taking time to lay down for an hour or so a couple of times a day. Make sure that your prenatal care provider is specific in telling you exactly how much rest you should be getting, as well as which activities are okay for you to do and which are off the table for now. For example, you may be able to get up for about fifteen minutes every hour or two to use the bathroom and fix yourself something to eat.
Caregivers prescribe bed rest for a number of reasons. Common reasons include being pregnant with multiples, preterm labor, preeclampsia, a low lying placenta, or a baby who is not gaining weight appropriately. During my first pregnancy I was prescribed modified bed rest for the last month of my pregnancy because of preeclampsia. During my second pregnancy I was advised to take at least two, one hour “naps” each day during the last few weeks of my pregnancy because my blood pressure was elevated.
The first time I was on bed rest, I made the most of the experience by reading a lot, watching movies, and doing work on my laptop. At that time I did not work from home, so I had to stop working because my daily activities were limited to making meals, bathing, and very light housework for up to fifteen minutes each hour. The second time I was on bed rest I was thankful that it was only slight bed rest because I now have a toddler to take care of. I managed to get two “naps” in each day even though he has largely outgrown his nap. We would cuddle up and read lots of books, and sometimes watch movies too.
Photo by jade on morguefile.com.