January 10, 2011,
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO on August 12, 2010
Soreness and Loss of Sanity of Active Runner Mom on Bed Rest - Help!!
I have been put on bed rest due to preterm labor, and I have four months to go. I will likely lose my mind, which I have accepted, but I want to make my body as comfortable as possible in the process. My hips already ache so terribly from laying down all day. I try pillows between the knees and under the hips and switching sides but nothing seems to help. Any suggestions for my comfort and sanity during the next 4 months?
Also - I am an avid runner and am very active, so this is pure torture to me. Have any of you moms ever stopped exercising due to bed rest and then got back into it again? How did you do it? How did your body react? Any advice?
M.G. answers from Chicago on August 12, 2010
L.R. answers from Phoenix on August 12, 2010
BLESS your heart! Can you get up at all? :(
As far as the activity part, I will be no help. However, try and get some books on CD, you can also enroll in college classes online using your laptop.
Can you lay to the side??
comfort scriptures help/praise and worship-ambient music relaxing.
This too shall pass!! YES, you will be active again and running!
This is only temporary. Where you are now does not define your future :)
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R.J. answers from Seattle on August 13, 2010
I'm with you... or rather I was. I went from 10 hours of activity a day (athlete all my life, then military, then dancer, then extreme sports person) to being STUCK doing NOTHING while preggers with my son (saved his life however).
The UPSIDE is that it's unlikely you will be as unlucky as I was. I had a weird metabolism thing happen when I was pregnant (also had cancer stuff going on... my body reeeally flipped out), that caused me to double my weight while pregnant. So it took me a LONG time to get back in shape (we're talking a couple years). Most women I know stuck on bedrest are back to "normal" within 6 months. It took me much longer, since I was over 300 lbs when my son was born.
The hardest thing was the expectations I'd place on myself. Years worth of experience told me I SHOULD be able to do x, y, z. I had to toss those, and relearn what my body was then capable of.
Totally doable, however. Just took some time.
Strong 2nd to getting active mentally (reading, writing, movies, music) to keep from going completely bonkers. Small physical movements will helps also. Ever wanted to learn to play an instrument (violin, guitar, fluite, winds, anything)? Any chance you're an artist? Or knit/sew? Or practice tattooing? Anything that can keep your arms moving will help lessen the insanity. Ditto massage I found helped a great deal. Maybe *I* couldn't move my muscles, but someone else moving them helped a lot.
R.B. answers from Los Angeles on January 10, 2011
Support hose!! I too am a runner and was put on bedrest at 26 weeks. After a few days, my legs were cramping and it was impossible to get comfortable. I spoke to my midwife who was shocked that I wasnt wearing support hose - I tried them and have not had problems since. I wear them every day and also do ankle rolls daily to improve the circulation to and from my feet. It looks like I'm too late to help you out, S., but for anyone else with the same problem I hope this helps!
M.K. answers from Stationed Overseas on August 13, 2010
You've gotten some great advice already but I just want to add do whatever the doctor says. I was put on bedrest around 22 weeks but I didn't really listen. I ended up delivering at 33 weeks with a baby who needed a significant NICU stay. I would not wish this on anyone. If I could go back I would have been flat on my back constantly and only would have got up to pee or take a shower but I'm a stubborn person and can't stand help from others. If you are not comfortable try a different piece of furniture. Do you have a recliner? Super comfortable especially when pregnant. Can you sit or do you have to be laying down? You won't go crazy just try and find something you enjoy that you can do laying on the couch. For me it was TV, I love to watch TV so I would DVR everything so I could watch it without commercials.
L.Z. answers from Boston on August 13, 2010
I'm so sorry, I am active and a runner too, and that was literally one of my worst fears while pregnant (bed rest). I had hypertension both times so I was closely watched, but thankfully never on bed rest. I can relate to the severe slowing down/stopping of exercise though. I had to do the same because I didn't want my heart rate too high and just getting through the day was activity enough. When I got back into it after my kids were born, I started by walking and pushing the baby in the stroller first for a little resistance. Sometimes we just went around the block a few times, nothing big. After about 6 - 8 weeks post partum, I started jogging, then running. It was a lot of stopping and starting, running and walking, just because I felt so winded and tried, and my incision post c-section would bother me sometimes. I'm glad to say that I kept at it, and after 2 - 3 months I felt like I was ALMOST normal and could do a whole run without stopping. I was also going to the gym a couple of times a week and using the elliptical there and lifting weights/doing circuit routines. My body definitely reacted well because I had been in shape before. A lot of the hurdles for me were mental! Remember this is a short period of time, relatively speaking, and you WILL recover and be fine afterwards. You will run easily again! It will literally seem like forever to you, and bed rest to boot makes it harder, but you will get back into your same physical shape before you know it. Be easy on yourself and remember, it's only temporary. Keep us posted!
D.G. answers from Houston on August 12, 2010
I'm so sorry, I was only on modified bedrest for a month and it was very difficult.
I did a lot of cross-stich, and we bought cable because I was going nuts watching daytime TV. Our local library lets you reserve books online, so every week my husband would drop by the library on his way home and pick up some reading material for me. I've heard http://www.sidelines.org/ has good bed rest tips.
I know you are on bedrest but is there any way you could try a chiropractor? They can help a lot with pregnancy aches and pains, and may be able to give you some tips on sleep positioning.
When you do go back to running I would ease into it. I'm not a runner but it took me a while to build my stamina back up postpartum.
S.H. answers from San Antonio on August 12, 2010
I had to abruptly stop running after a marathon. I feel for you! Thankfully, I was not on bedrest, but I did have to stop exercizing all together. The muscle feelings were awful. Then there's the psychological component.
Have you thought about having a therapeutic masseuse come in and keep your muscles toned? I don't know if insurance covers it, but it will help. Other than that, can you ask your dr. what sorts of exersize you can do while lying down? maybe arm lifts with weights, ankle lifts with weights, that sort of thing?
I wish you comfort and health. It will pass...