If you've been on bedrest for even one day you know it's anything but a vacation. You're terrified about what could happen to the baby and life as you know it has turned upside down.
Once the caretaker, now you're the one that needs to be cared for. Your calendar that used to be packed with meetings, deadlines and social engagements is now empty except for your doctors' appointments. You try to fill the day with activities to kill time while everyone you know carries on with their life.
All of that open time is prime breeding ground for the dreaded 2-word question, "What if...?"
Your mind spins as you imagine the worst case scenarios and you furiously search on Google to find out which of those possibilities, if any, could actually happen to you.
There is nothing relaxing about bedrest.
And this is just when you're on bedrest at home. Bedrest in the hospital is a whole other beast that piles on even more stress.
The problem is that stress during a high-risk pregnancy adds additional risk.
Research shows that for some women, stress can be an even bigger risk factor for spontaneous birth than some of the common causes of preterm birth, such as preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) and cervical insufficiency.
Many moms who have experienced preterm contractions often report that their contractions worsen when they're extra anxious.
Being on bedrest, your typical stress-relieving activities may not be available to you.
You can't go for a run to clear your head. You can't step outside to get some fresh air. Forget about yoga or sex as a way to relax.
Though it's hard to manage your stress on bedrest, it's not impossible.
Here are 5 bedrest-friendly stress-reducing tips:
- Find the colors of the rainbow. Just like our legs feel fatigued when we go for a long run, when we're stressed for a long time, parts of our brain burn out too. This simple activity of looking for all the colors of the rainbow in your room can reverse the cognitive burnout that stress causes. If it's easy to find ROYGBIV the first time around, challenge yourself and do a couple of rounds.
If you're still having trouble finding peace and you feel like the stress is driving you crazy, reach out and talk to a friend or a professional.
A stress-free pregnancy may feel impossible when you're on bedrest, worried about your baby. But you absolutely can stress less so you can be present for the special moments with your baby.
How do you stay calm and manage your stress when you're on bedrest? Share your ideas in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!