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How to Survive Bed Rest

How to Survive Bed Rest

I loved this book! – Shelly

Most doctors don’t do real bed rest for hard pregnancies these days. You aren’t confined to you bed except for a potential trip to the bathroom a couple of times a day and a supervised cool bath once a week. In fact, there is good reason to think bed rest in not a good idea or even effective. In any case, you should ask you doctor what kind of exercise is safe to do–and do it. Laying in bed all day is terrible for your body.

But even modified best rest can be hard. Here are some tips from writer and mother of twins, Ali Smith-Poe.


When I was pregnant with my twins, I was placed on bed rest at 12 weeks. I was lucky and switched to modified bed rest about 4 weeks later and for the remainder of my pregnancy. It was incredibly difficult. I was bored, frustrated, and lonely a lot of the time. If you are pregnant and are placed on bed rest, whether you are home or the hospital, there are some things you can do to make it more tolerable.

1. Stream Movies and Television Shows

Ask friends and families for movie and television show recommendations. I looked for television shows that had several seasons available to stream, so I wouldn’t run out of episodes right away. I also chose to avoid shows that dealt with difficult topics. If a trailer for Free Willy 2 made me cry (true story), something like Law & Order SVU was clearly a bad idea.

2. Enlist a Library Gopher

My local library lends magazines, CDs, DVDs, e-books, and the children’s section even lends out a variety of toys. I would request items online, including a couple of toys my older child would like and send my husband to the library once a week. I started reading comic books and short story collections because they were easy to put down and pick up.

3. Schedule Visits

When I first went on bedrest, lots of friends offered to come by when they could. Unfortunately, their lives stayed hectic and busy while I was stuck in bed. I found that all it took, however, was asking friends and family members to come visit and then scheduling a specific date and time. I always had a deck of cards and my favorite board games handy, so we had something to do while we visited.

As frustrating as it can be to be on bed rest when you are pregnant, it can be endured. You and your body are working hard to bring life into this world. Reach out to friends and family when things get hard. Most importantly, be kind and gentle to yourself.


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