How to Handle… Bed Rest
Three takes on managing pregnancy lying down
Most women don’t imagine they’ll spend significant portions of their pregnancies in bed, on doctor’s orders, but, for one reason or another, that’s exactly what some women have to do. We asked a psychologist, a prenatal yoga instructor, and a bed rest coach (and survivor!)—all moms—for tips on making the most out of bed rest.
Alyson M. Stone, PhD, CGP, licensed psychologist, writer, and public speaker
“Repeat a phrase that helps you focus on your overall goal, such as ‘I’m keeping my eye on the prize,’ or ‘I can do anything for ‘x’ weeks.’ Take steps to counter isolation by staying connected to other people via phone, in-person visits, and virtual communities. (There are lots of great resources online.) Surround yourself with things that make you feel good, such as music, quality reading material, and fresh flowers. You deserve as much care as you’re giving your unborn child.”
Akal Khalsa, RN BSN, childbirth educator, prenatal yoga instructor, and mom
“If you happen to be put on bed rest during your pregnancy, there are some yogic tips to help you adjust. One that I really recommend is playing a mantra or mantras. Mantra is a technology of sound that goes out to create a certain effect. There are many healing mantras in the Kundalini yoga world; you can find them on CD or online. I suggest finding one you love, and playing it on repeat. RaMaDaSa by Mirabai Ceiba is a beautiful one to listen to.
“Also, try left nostril breathing. It’s very simple; just block off the right nostril and breathe long, slow, deep breaths through the left nostril. This is a calming exercise that will keep you centered through boredom, worry, and all of the other emotional states that bed rest brings up.”
Darline Turner-Lee, bed rest coach and owner and founder of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond
“Remember, this is a short time in the grand scheme of things. I in no way mean to minimize a 20-week bed rest, but when you look at the span of your life, and that of your child, this really is a blip on the radar. Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, you are anxious about the health and well-being of yourself and your baby. But remember, most mamas on bed rest do have healthy babies, and the odds are in your favor.”
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