Bed rest is often prescribed to the women who are expecting. The definition of the term ‘bed rest’ may vary from one medical practitioner to another. For one doctor, it may mean completely refraining oneself from any physical activities and for the other, it may mean reducing the level of your physical activities.
Depending on the complications during your pregnancy, you may be prescribed ‘bed rest’. But, considering the extreme situation, that is, involving in no physical activities, how can you be healthy during your pregnancy? Let us throw light on the different measures so that you can stay healthy on bed rest during pregnancy.
Why does a doctor prescribe bed rest?
- The doctor may want to reduce pressure on the fetus that is developing.
- Bed rest increases the circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
- Bed rest improves the functioning of the different organs involved during childbirth.
- The doctor may want to reduce hypertension by prescribing bed rest.
- Bed rest may simply relax the muscles of the expecting woman.
Before we jump into the different steps that must be taken by a woman who is expecting to remain healthy during bed rest, it is very likely to question that if a doctor has prescribed bed rest then why should one think of remaining healthy after it. If bed rest has been advised already, know how you can announce your pregnancy at work.
Disadvantages of bed rest
There are multiple reasons involved for which one must also think about her health during her pregnancy. Let us look into the different drawbacks of being exposed to bed rest for a long period.
- Firstly, once you are on bed rest during your pregnancy for a long time, you will experience back pain. This is certainly something that you will never expect to happen since back pain can make it difficult for you to make even the slightest of movements.
- The next con in the list is reduced interaction with people. One of the important reasons for depression and anxiety is reduced interaction with people and when you are on bed rest, you become prone to get affected by these mental issues which can hamper your alacrity significantly.
- The next reason for which bed rest can be unhealthy for you during your pregnancy is that you are more prone to the formation of blood clots inside the veins since the rate of flow of blood is abated and becomes abstemious. This can eventually lead to unwanted damages.
- The fourth disadvantage of staying on bed rest during pregnancy is that you may face a financial crunch! Since you cannot go to your work while on bed rest, you may even end up losing your job unless applied for a sabbatical or maternity leave.
There are many disadvantages of staying on bed rest during pregnancy and not all of them can be listed. But in addition to the ones mentioned above, diabetes, obesity, skin irritation, and hair loss are some of the most pronounced ones.
Staying Healthy on Bed Rest
Let us now move into the different steps that a would-be mother on bed rest must follow to remain healthy. But it is to be noted that remaining healthy not only refers to your physical health but to your mental health as well.
So, we are emphasizing on your physical and mental health equally so that you as well as your baby can remain happy and can avoid unnecessary problems.
Bed rest yoga
One of the best ways to remain healthy while on bed rest during your pregnancy is to practice different pranayamas and do some upper body yogas. This will enhance the circulation of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the different parts of the body.
You can consult a yoga supervisor for this purpose. This is suggested because putting you on bed rest during pregnancy is to reduce your physical activities. So, a yoga trainer can supervise you accordingly so that all the criteria are fulfilled and your doctor remains happy with your obedience. You might go through a phase of severe mood swings. Know how you handle pregnancy mood swings ideally.
Maintain a proper diet
Since you are on bed rest, the level of physical activities that you used to get involved in is now at a negligible level. Hence, breaking down the complex substances becomes difficult for your body and thus you need to be attentive towards your diet.
Ask your doctor or a nutritionist to prepare a diet chart for you and follow it as much as possible. This will make the process of metabolism during the period of bed rest simpler and you will not suffer from any added physical issue.
Work from home
Instead of opting for a sabbatical or maternity leave, you can choose to work from home. This will keep you engaged and the level of physical activities will also remain low. Hence, the purpose of putting you on bed rest will be served.
Also, being unable to work may expose you to a financial crunch and thus, when you choose to work from home, your company will not seize to credit your salary to your bank account. This will relieve you from unwanted stress and monetary problems.
If you are a homemaker and because of bed rest you are not being able to do the different household chores that you used to do, you can choose to start freelancing. This will involve a negligible amount of physical activities and your bed rest will be successful.
Once you start freelancing, you will get paid for your service and you will get to involve yourself in some productive activity and boredom will not grasp you. Also, you can continue to freelance after your bed rest phase is over.
Keep yourself hydrated
Since the level of your physical activities has reduced a lot because of bed rest, the flow of the different excretory products out of your body is hindered. Drinking water a lot can be the easiest solution available to you to remain healthy.
Drinking a lot of water can also keep you hydrated. Since you are not engaging in physical activities a lot, you become thirsty for only a few times. This can reduce your intake of water and can harm your fetus and deteriorate your health.
So, while on bed rest, do not forget to drink water.
While on bed rest during your pregnancy, you can very well choose to do some isometric exercises. This will build your strength and can improve the functioning of the muscles. Since you cannot practice heavy isometric exercises, you can ask your doctor to suggest some.
Consider the use of stress balls. This will improve the strength of your arms.
One of the simplest yet very effective methods to remain healthy on bed rest during your pregnancy is to practice acupressure. You can use an acupressure mat, an acupressure ball, or even a pair of acupressure slippers. This leads to perfect blood circulation.
Acupressure will also help circulate oxygen to different parts of your body and also to the fetus. Hence, practicing acupressure is very effective and gives you noticeable results towards your improved health during your pregnancy.
As we mentioned earlier that due to reduced physical activities, you are prone to experience blood clots inside your veins due to the abstemious flow of blood. So, to avoid this problem, you can consult a physical trainer and do some light stretching exercises.
This will also make your muscles strong and circulation of blood will increase.
Frequently Asked Questions on Staying Healthy on Bed Rest During Pregnancy
1. Is it alright to walk sometimes?
You can walk during bed rest but that should be only for moving from one room to the other room in your house and the time should not exceed half an hour.
2. Can I sit on a chair or do I need to keep lying down on the bed?
You can sit on a chair but the time should not exceed an hour.
3. Can I climb the stairs to go to the terrace?
Climbing stairs while you are on bed rest is strictly limited. So, ask your doctor if he wants you to climb the stairs.
4. Is involvement in sexual activities alright?
Generally, when the doctor puts you on bed rest, sexual activities are prohibited.
5. How long can I stand during bed rest?
You can stand for about half an hour and no longer than that.
These were some of the steps that you can take while you have been put on bed rest during your pregnancy. There are numerous things that you can do to maintain good health even during the period of your bed rest.
For maintaining good mental health, you can also practice your hobbies or can start planning for the new member of the family. Always look for the positive results of being put on bed rest and this will keep you motivated.