Along with the many beautiful changes pregnancy brings to the body, it can also feel like an alienating experience. Your body has given way to the tiny babies inside of you, and their growth and survival begins with you. A twin pregnancy comes with extra precautions and most often, with pre-term labor. Hospital bed rest is something your doctor may prescribe; an opportunity to monitor your pregnancy progress and keep you relaxed with relatively little movement to avoid a too-early birth. While bed rest is in the best interest of you and your children, after awhile, your mind may not think so. But we promise, there are a few helpful ways to get over being antsy.
Aside from reducing your stress level and taking on too much, hospital bed rest requires a lot of patience (though outbursts are inevitable!), and a constant reminder that you’re doing what’s best for you and your twins. Mandy of Twinstructions has lived through this experience: a six-week hospital bed rest followed by a six-week bed rest at home. Pointer #1: be kind to your nurses and doctors. It may seem impossible to do at times, but they’re truly your best friend while hospitalized. You’re dependent on them for everything. Smile, ask how their morning is. Build a relationship with them that extends beyond patient/doctor logistics. It will make your bed rest as smooth as it can be.
Pointer #2: keep the essentials within reach. This includes your laptop, iPhone, your favorite books, magazines, movies and music. Amy Tracy of Twins suggests extra toiletries, water, snacks and writing materials. As she says, “feelings of isolation and boredom are common among the over 700,000 women who are prescribed bed rest each year for pregnancy complications, including premature labor and multiple babies.” She also recommends a small cooler and storage unit to hold your necessities.
Pointer #3: stay social! You might not love the idea of inviting over family and friends when you haven’t showered in 48 hours, but the interaction will lift your spirits. People want to see you and hear about your progress. It’s also a great opportunity to hear about what’s going on outside the hospital — a welcomed conversation beyond just babies.
Pointer #4: change up your menu. Cafeteria food isn’t ideal for your growing babies or your hungry tummy. Let’s face it, it gets old fast. Some hospitals even have nutritionists on hand that can help keep you on a special diet with a variety of items to choose from. You’re eating for three, remember!
Pointer #5: sign up for services the hospital offers. Volunteers are a huge part of a hospital’s operation, and they’re there to please! These can range from anything such as physical therapy, massage, energy services or knitting (as such in Mandy’s case). And when and if the doctor allows, try to leave the room once in awhile. A brief wheelchair ride or quick visit outside can do wonders.
Pointer #6: get dressed. Getting out of the pajamas and into a clean shirt is a simple way to feel refreshed and ready to charge the day.
Pointer #7: tour the NICU. If you’re on hospital bed rest, it’s most likely that your twins will spend some time in the NICU. Touring the facility and knowing what to expect once your babies are born will give you comfort and assurance that they’ll be in good hands.
Pointer #8: stay positive. Negative thoughts and worries can tear us down and shadow the excitement of being a new parent.
Twins provides a great list of who to turn to for support while on bed rest. These include:
Sidelines National Support Network; (949) 497-2265: www.sidelines.org
Mothers of Supertwins (MOST); (631) 859-1110: www.Mostonline.org
Bed Rest in Multiple Pregnancy: www.twinslist.org/bedrest.htm
Pregnancy Bed Rest: www.pregnancybedrest.com
Moms on Bed Rest: www.momsonbedrest.com
Pregnancy Bed Rest Web: fpb.cwru.edu/bedrest/
For more information on surviving hospital bed rest, visit Sidelines, a national high risk pregnancy support network.
Category: TwinLife Parent