Bed Rest

At. St. Joseph's Women's Hospital, we know that being placed on bed rest can be a difficult and trying time. You may feel a combination of unexpected feelings, including hopelessness, disappointment, feelings of loss of control or disbelief.

Typically, women placed on bed rest at anytime during a pregnancy grieve the loss of a healthy, “normal” pregnancy. The grieving process may stir up emotions which can impact the way you cope with bed rest and the remainder of your pregnancy.

You may feel shocked when you hear your physician recommend bed rest. You may have no pain or physical symptoms to support your diagnosis, and you may not fully understand why you have been put on bed rest. Educating yourself can be your best response. The more information you have, the more effective you can be in coping with your feelings and planning for the days ahead.

After being on bed rest for a short time you may begin to feel sad, lonely or depressed. This is a normal and appropriate response. Utilizing your support system during this time can be helpful. Make sure you verbalize your feelings and concerns to a friend, family member or a professional. The ability to identify your feelings and put them into words is a healthy way to cope. However, if feelings or symptoms of depression persist, you should contact your physician.

Signs and symptoms to watch for are as follows:

  • loss of appetite or overeating
  • excessive sleeplessness
  • excessive sleeping
  • loss of energy
  • loss of life goals

Once you have accepted your bed rest restrictions, there are things you can do to help yourself. You can still experience a good pregnancy while limiting your activity. It is helpful to remain on a daily routine if possible. Open your window shades in the morning, avoid watching TV all day and pamper yourself as much as possible. Be sure your daily needs are accessible to you throughout the day, such as keeping at your bedside a small refrigerator, reading material, a computer (if available) and a telephone.

Remember your condition is temporary. Rather then focusing on a due date, try to focus on getting through the day. Be assertive and verbal in order to get questions answered and your needs met. Focus on your goal to have a happy and healthy baby.