by Darline Turner-Lee, bedrest coach and founder of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond
Bed rest sucks! No doubt about it. I am constantly amazed and humbled at how mamas on bed rest stay focused, stay positive and stay supportive of one another. I am honored that I get to work with and support such incredible women. The beauty that I have seen is that women on bed rest, after the initial shock and anxiety, really pull it together and make it through. At the same time they support one another, encourage one another and are invaluable resources for one another.
From my experience running a forum of expectant moms on bed rest, I’ve compiled this list of tips to help keep your spirits up and to help you to press forward when your situation is scary and out of control. Strangely enough, this list can be applied to any situation that is difficult, not just bed rest, and I find myself drawing strength from their words. Here are words of wisdom from other mamas on how about how to survive and beat bed rest.
It’s okay to be sad.
A common response to bed rest prescription is anxiety and sadness. The moms all agreed it’s okay to be sad. Many moms are very concerned about the health of their babies and sad that there was little else that they could do to make the situation better. Acknowledge the sadness, but then move on.
Steel your resolve.
As one mama put it, “I just told myself, whatever I have to do to get this baby here I will do!” All bed rest mamas fully intend to bring home healthy babies and have set their minds to do so. As so many psychologists and coaches say, “The mind directs the body. ” These kids are well on their way.
Try to surround yourself with positive things while you are on bed rest. Bed rest moms recommend ensuring your “living space” is cheerful and that you have all you need handy. As much as possible engage in activities that keep your spirits up. Invite people to come and visit you. Watch movies and do crafts with your children. If it makes you happy and content, do it.
Along the same lines, mamas on bed rest recommend that you get support. Get help with the household duties, your children and your pets. Arrange to get those things that must be done done and forget the rest!
It’s not over ’til it’s over!
One mama said, (and I’m paraphrasing) “I am going to do all that I can to hold my baby in my arms. I’m not giving up, no way! As long as I am here and my baby is inside me, I’m going to keep going. It’s not over ’til it’s over!” We all know that sometimes things don’t turn out well for mamas on bed rest. But I really liked this mamas attitude. She wasn’t going to give in to negativity, and she wasn’t going to give up until she had a clear reason to do so. Now that’s strength.
These mamas on bed rest showed me that situations are what they are, but we don’t have to let them rule us. You can become very sad and give in to the fear, or you can acknowledge that the situation is tough and then do all that you can to press on towards your goal. If mind over matter can be applied to mamas on bed rest, we’re going to be welcoming many babies in the very near future.
About Darline Turner-Lee
Darline Turner-Lee, Bedrest Coach, is a nationally certified physician assistant, ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist®, perinatal fitness instructor and the owner and founder of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond. After two miscarriages and two high-risk pregnancies, Darline set out to develop products and services she would have used while she was having her own children including Bedrest Fitness, an exercise DVD designed specifically for pregnant women on prescribed bed rest. Her company provides individual and group coaching support, educational information and various products and resources to support high risk pregnant women and new moms. Turner-Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tufts University and a Master of Health Science Degree from Duke University Medical Center’s Physician Assistant Program. For more information on Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond, Bedrest Fitness or to contact Darline visit mamasonbedrest.com.
This article is reprinted with permission and was originally published on the Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond blog February 10, 2010.