Sentenced to Bed Rest…Now What?

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Every now and then, gestational surrogacy will sometimes force the surrogate to be put on bed rest for the safety of the baby or the surrogate herself. Although time away from work and chores may at first seem like a vacation, staying sane and safe during bed rest can be a challenge – both for you and your family. This can especially be true if you’ve been going about your normal activities such as work, exercise, and spending time with friends and family up until this point; it may lead you to ask, “why do I need bed rest anyway?”

Many pregnancies each year are either classified as at-risk or high-risk due to age, cervix complications, high blood pressure or carrying multiples.  70% of these women will find themselves put on bed rest to prevent preterm labor. Bed rest helps moms-to-be by removing cervical pressure, reducing heart strain, improving blood flow to the kidneys, eliminating excess fluids, increasing circulation in the uterus to provide additional oxygen and nutrients to the baby, and minimizing stress hormones which trigger contractions.

Although the reasons behind bed rest are important, it can still be a difficult time. Consider the following tips to stay sane during your down time and remember – it’s not forever!

  • Doctor’s orders. Even if your medical history is clear and you experience no irregular symptoms, your doctor may require bed rest to stay on the safe side. Just as every pregnancy is different, so is every woman’s experience with bed rest. You may find yourself put on bed rest early during your pregnancy, then released, or you may spend the duration of your pregnancy in bed. Your doctor will give you specific information pertaining to your bed rest, and it’s important to follow these directions accordingly.
  • What you can and can’t do. Sometimes doctor’s will recommend modified bed rest which allows women to stay on the couch, bed, or in a sitting position, but prohibits sexual intercourse, exercise, or lifting. Other women are only permitted to sit up for meals and are advised to take quick showers and return immediately to bed. Your doctor will advise what exactly you can and cannot do while on bed rest as well as the best ways to safely increase blood circulation.
  • Staying entertained. Let your friends and family know to be available for conversations and keep your phone nearby; don’t be afraid to ask for visitors or assistance. Keep up with things that make you feel good about yourself. Brush your hair, put on makeup, organize photos in an album, or start a journal. Make the most of your time, and keep your mind occupied.
  • Setting a schedule. Try to establish a routine, even if it only consists of naps and television. Anticipate what you will need each day and let your partner know. You’ll feel better once you’ve given the day some structure, even if it isn’t the structure you’re used to keeping.
  • Preparation. Bed rest will also be hard on your spouse and children. Although your spouse will be responsible for household chores and keeping your spirits up, be patient and work together as a team. Encourage your spouse to go out with friends occasionally to keep a support system in place. Do your best to maintain a normal routine with your children, especially if they are toddlers. Keep some toys near your side and treat your time together as a special one-on-one opportunity to play or read together. If possible, have someone take your children outside to run around each day to burn off energy.

Although bed rest is not something easy to endure, try to keep your eyes on the prize. Know that you are doing what is truly best for the baby even if it seems like a hardship. Remind yourself that every day you stay in bed is one more day the baby stays inside you, which in turn improve his or her chances of being born happy, healthy, and strong. If you are looking for more information on being put on bed rest during your surrogacy or surrogacy in general, contact Surrogate Solutions for the answers today!

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