H.J. asks from Boston, MA on October 23, 2009
Seeking Gift Ideas for SIL Pregnant W/twins About to Go on Bedrest.
Does anyone have any good ideas for a woman who is about to go on bedrest and having twins? Does bedrest usually mean laying down? Should I look at pillows that will give her good support? Maybe other things to keep her occupied for the next 3 mos? What does she really need, I don't know anyone who has been on bedrest?
1 mom found this helpful
J.G. answers from New London on October 24, 2009
ASK - if she says nothing - then try something that is not tangible.
My friend was on bed rest for almost 3 months - and visitors were the best gift of all. Is she on bed rest at home or in the hospital? If at home - help with house work and cooking meals are a great gift (I'm not a great cook so I gave gift certificate to a restaurant with great take out). If in the hospital - something to keep her busy other than TV - 12 hours of TV can get to even the biggest couch potato. Books - but learn her tastes. Do you knit? Can you teach her? Other crafts she can do for the babies? Does she have other children? Take them to their regular activities or set up a play date for them to get out.
D.B. answers from Boston on October 24, 2009
My stepdaughter was on bedrest in the hospital and nearly went stir crazy. Bedrest means in bed but not necessarily lying down - just not moving except for the bathroom. For your SIL, what she needs depends on whether she will be home or in the hospital.
If at home, organize (if you are nearby) all her friends to sign up for meals. There has to be a system of leaving a cooler on the front porch unless someone has keys - she cannot get up to answer the door. We've done a meal chain a few times in our neighborhood, extending to friends all around town, and it's great. One person sets up the schedule of days, sends it around (with any dietary restrictions/requests), and people choose the dates they want. We found that, if people received meals 3 times a week, it was plenty, due to leftovers. Another time, we just assigned people to dates, and let people trade with another participant if the date wasn't good for them - makes it easier for the coordinator. Your SIL may also need people to do errands, laundry, etc. I'm sure her husband can do these things, but she may want the company when he is home and not want him heading out the door or into the laundry room. When they come in for a chore, she gets some company too, and someone to do something right then while she thinks of it.
A table on wheels, like what they have in the hospital, is great - it holds books, food, the remote control, the computer, and more. Healthy snacks and lots of liquids will be important. My stepdaughter liked junky novels - she was too preoccupied to concentrate on anything involved. She enjoyed the Janet Evanovich novels - they are quick reads and really funny, about an inept female bond agent - they are laugh-out-loud funny. The West Wing boxed set sounds good too - any good TV series that keeps the mind moving forward is good. If she doesn't like politics, maybe Mad Men would be good (melodrama set in the 60s, kind of escapist due to the era, lots of Emmy awards). A lot of her materials should be non-baby-related - she'll be thinking about the pregnancy plenty as it is!
She will want and need COMPANY. Also comfortable tops. The support pillow is a good idea. Has anyone considered throwing her a "best rest shower?" and bringing her a bunch of goodies? They don't have to be new - they can be borrowed books, DVDs and so on. People should label their stuff because she has enough to remember without figuring out what needs to be returned to whom.
I don't know how long long your SIL will be resting and when the babies are due, but if she can get a head start on things like her Christmas cards, evening addressing the envelopes, she will be amazed at how grateful she is when the babies come.
If she's someone who likes to journal, then a "while I was waiting for you babies to be born" journal might be nice. Help her think positive thoughts when she's going nuts!
A lot of people sent my stepdaughter flowers, but she found it more of a nuisance - something else to take care of and pick up dropped petals from!
You're really nice to do this for her.
S.D. answers from Portland on October 24, 2009
T.B. answers from Boston on October 24, 2009
I read an article in a Mommy magazine. The husband wrote the article. His wife went on bed rest. His recommendation, is to have plenty of books magazines that she likes. Constant access to the phone. Internet access, to Skype with friends & family, or IM them. She might like to have some nice body pillows. I personally would recommend some really nice sheets and pillow cases. Something that would make her bed feel luxurious.
Your friend is lucky to have you looking after her.
L.R. answers from Boston on October 24, 2009
I was on bedrest (complete, strict) for SIX MONTHS, with triplets, so I can give you some ideas and insight, I think!
I could sit propped up for a while at a time. Lying in her left side is best, but right side is acceptable too. Lying on back is really not recommended-it can restrict blood flow, etc., to the babies.
*Computer access was a MUST for me - It really helped me pass the time. I am sure there are lots of forums for moms of twins she would find SO helpful too. Just Google. I spent a lot of time at the 'Triplet Connection'.
* Tv - videos
* Books (maybe books on parenting multiples too), magazines, a nice journal, and a pad or 2 of paper w/ a pen, to make lists and notes on.
* A container of water and cup - she'll have to drink LOTS of water.
* A healthy snack basket.
* I had a body pillow. (A very long pillow) The bigger my belly got, the more my hips or something spread. So when lying on my side, that top leg feels like it's just hanging....SO uncomfortable. To have a long pillow to put between knees or lay that leg on was a great thing.
* If she doesn't already, maybe she'd like to start learning how to cross-stitch or knit..something she's wanted to learn but never had the time. lol
Will she have help available to get her meals/snacks? I don't know if her restrictions/expectations will be the same as mine, but I couldn't get up to do anything for myself but use the bathroom, and take a shower every 3 days. I even had to brush my teeth in bed.
So having someone to prepare and bring her all of her meals may be necessary. I had to eat a lot...and it is HARD to eat most of the time. Not just nausea, but as the babies grow, the stomach sack just gets pushed up and you're just not hungry, yet expected to eat a LOT more than the norm, and ridiculous amounts of water. (Again though here....I don't know what the difference with twins vs triplets is.)
COMPANY: It is really crucial to just have someone to sit on the bed and chat with her daily, if she is up to it. If she really needs to stay put, all of the time,.....looking at the same walls and having no one around, not being able to get out...well I literally was losing my mind. Your brain starts playing tricks on you. It can be worse than pregnancy brain. I was turning into a vegetable. The brain NEEDS exercise, and with the hormones on top of it...it can be hard to focus, remember things....your brain can just get kind of mush. So when she is up to it, the more someone she enjoys can be with her, the better. Bringing her surprises means a WHOLE lot too. It adds something NEW to her very boring days.
* Be understanding of her complaints. I was uncomfortable a lot, and had really bad pain in my pubic bone area....especially when needing to stand and walk, or lift myself in bed. Not sure if she'll have that towards the end.
* Pamper her if she is comfortable with that: lotioning, nails and toenails, doing her hair, etc.
Sounds like she has a great support, just by you posting to ask this. I thank God for my husband taking care of me, and my little girl, who was my jester through it all. But having some adults/extended family would have been a huge blessing. Really...things are nice, but SUPPORT and understanding, just being there for her will be the best gift to her of all. I'll be praying for her and the babies.
~ L. Lee Richard
M.L. answers from Hartford on October 24, 2009
I would get her stuff to do!! Movies, magazines, hook her up with a laptop (maybe borrowed) if she doesn't have one. Then she can talk to other moms and keep her sanity. Tell her good luck.
M. - SAHM and WAHM and loving it!
L.P. answers from Boston on October 24, 2009
H. if she is on bed rest and having twins chancesare they will be early. ____@____.com is a great support group. and bed rest inplys no walking or standing feet up. some books puzzles lap top all good ideas L. mom to a 26 week preemie
K.N. answers from Springfield on October 24, 2009
My sister had to go on bedrest for the same reason. Someone gave her something called (I think) the Claw. It was this long stick with a clamp at one end that could pick things up and she could work it from a special handle at her end. It was very helpful to her. So strong it could pick up her laptop!
She was a Netflix member and watched exactly what she wanted. Maybe a Netflix membership if she watches movies or tv.
My recollection is that my sister was told to lie on her side. SHe stayed on the couch all day and walked up to her room at night.
The other thing I might suggest is cooking or cleaning for her. She won't be able to get ANYTHING done and having someone she trusts do some of that for her might be really nice.
Good luck with it all!