A bed rest survival guide

I was one of those moms who ended up bed rest, and to be completely honest, I had a difficult time for my 14 weeks in bed.  As a busy pediatrician, wife, and mother of a 20-month-old, I never could have imagined that my life would so suddenly be put on hold. Everything I took for granted—my independence, my freedom, the ability to care for my child on my own—was taken from me the day I was placed on bed rest. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips to survive.

  • Physically: Pregnancy itself is difficult on a woman’s body, but having to endure it lying down for any period of time can be torture. A heating pad and frequent back massages from your partner can ease the aches and pains that you will inevitably feel. Sleeping problems that many pregnant women endure are multiplied when confined to a bed or couch all day. By forcing yourself to keep a normal sleep schedule and limiting your daytime naps, you will be less likely to suffer from insomnia.
  • Emotionally: One of the most challenging aspects of bed rest is giving up your pride and resigning yourself early on to the fact that you will have to rely on others for help. Your life will be much easier if you welcome any and all help that you are offered. To ward off the mind-numbing boredom, consider limiting TV and instead read books, write letters, do crossword puzzles, or start a baby book. By sticking to a daily schedule, no matter how minute the activity, the day will certainly pass faster.
  • Financially: To protect your bank account, consider asking your boss for special projects that you can work on from home or hospital. Research great deals and coupons to save money and resist the urge to shop online for the latest baby trends!
  • Relationship: Your spouse may not show any signs of stress, but carrying the entire burden of caring for the house and other children will surely take a toll, not to mention thinking about the possibility of a premature baby. Be sure to talk frequently and honestly about the situation and what each of you is feeling. Do not be afraid to seek counseling if you feel that your issues are getting out of hand.

Perhaps the best way to survive bed rest is to keep things in perspective.  Realizing that this is a temporary situation and focusing on your unborn child will surely carry you through to the end.


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About Dr. Kristie Rivers, Bundoo Pediatrician

Kristie Rivers, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified Bundoo Pediatrician who practices in South Florida.


  1. I do not know how you survived 14 weeks!!!! I am so glad we are done recommending bedrest – Torture for you!


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