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The Best Gear When You're Pregnant and On Bed Rest

By Sara Lindberg

My first pregnancy was uneventful; I took leisurely naps, went to prenatal yoga and pilates, put my feet up after work and exercised right up until my water broke. I was one of “those women” who loved being pregnant; I relished in the blissful glow of this child growing inside of me and soaked up every minute of the joys of pregnancy.

Fast forward to pregnancy number two

As many people can attest to, being pregnant while caring for younger kids is a feat in and of itself. Forget the leisurely naps and prenatal exercise classes and you might as well give up on the idea of feeling blissful the entire nine months (and that is if you get to stay on your feet until you give birth).

Landing myself on bed rest

When I haphazardly grabbed a pair of snuggly socks one frigid night, all I wanted was to blanket my tootsies from the cold hardwood floor and snuggle up with my daughter. Well, I guess I kind of forgot pregnancy rule #1 — pregnant women have no balance. So it should come as no surprise that my hardwood staircase turned into a giant slide after those snuggly socks caused me to slip on the first step. Yes, that’s right; I found myself at the bottom of 13 steps at 32 weeks pregnant and that joy ride landed me on partial bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I was one of the fortunate ones; my bedrest was partial and only for eight weeks, yet I was still one of the many women each year who find themselves on bed rest either at home or in the hospital. According to WebMD, almost 1 out of 5 women is on restricted activity or bed rest at some point during her pregnancy.

You’re on bed rest. Now what?

If you happen to be the one out of five and find yourself holed up in bed for an extended period of time, you will definitely want to send your partner, best friend, or mom to the store to stock up on some much needed supplies to pass the time.

After asking several other women who also spent time with their feet up, I devised a list of “must haves” and things you should ask for if you find yourself on bed rest. Because guess what, you are going to be doing a lot of reading, watching movies and your favorite TV series, creating art projects, scrapbooking, shopping online, planning for the baby, and eating.

The Best Gear When You're Pregnant and On Bed Rest
  1. Bed side table and lap desk. Remember those lap desk pillows you used as a kid to do your homework in bed? Well, those will become your new bed partner.
  2. New sheets. Yes, a variety of sheets is going to be your number one excitement for several weeks
  3. Children’s books. If you have other children, especially young ones, they will spend a lot of time sitting next to you and reading their favorite books together is a great way to pass the time.
  4. Books for you. Especially a long series with lots of books.
  5. Streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, etc. Need I say anymore!
  6. Two way radio. Imagine being able to have your spouse or partner at your beck and call with just a nice gentle “get up here right now” traveling through the airways.
  7. Organizing caddy and art supplies. You will need a home for all of your pens, crayons (see #18), scissors, tape, and pencils.
  8. Puzzles, games, cards. Sudoku, cards for solitaire, small puzzles you can put together on your lap desk, cross-words, word finds, etc.
  9. Scrapbooking and knitting. The two things we never seem to have time for when we are mobile. A great time to finally get the baby book ready to go or finish the other ones that have sat untouched.
  10. Mom essentials. Lotion, lip balm, mints, gum, brush, and ponytail holders, body wipes, dry shampoo.
  11. Meals. This is definitely when you call on all your girlfriends to pitch in and bring over some good home-cooked food.
  12. Cooler full of snacks. Fill a small cooler full of your favorite snacks that you can set on your bedside table.
  13. Magazines. The more mind numbing the better!
  14. Electronic games and apps. Pack your iPad or phone with mindless games. Consider games you can play online with other people; at times, it might be your only contact with another human being.
  15. Or how about this for a creative idea: paper chains with a link for each day until your due date. Rip one of those suckers off each day for a bit of stress relief!
  16. Hygiene. Convince someone to shave your legs. If you’re used to having smooth legs, this will feel like the best pampering in the world!
  17. Mobile mani or pedi. While your best girlfriend is graciously taking all the hair off your legs, maybe she can also throw a coat of polish on your neglected toes.
  18. Adult coloring books. Yes, they do work for boredom, stress, and anxiety.
  19. Drinkware. Get a variety of cups with bendy straws. It’s amazing how the simplest of things can bring you the biggest pleasure!
  20. Longer power cords for your electronics. There is nothing more frustrating than spending 30 minutes getting set up in bed and finding out that your phone can’t reach.
  21. Pillows. A variety of body and reading pillows really help too.

Have you put a care package together for bed rest?

Have I missed something? What else would you add?

Related: How to Handle Bed Rest

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