Ideas for Friend on Bed Rest

Updated on June 17, 2008
S.B. asks from Gardner, KS
29 answers

Hello! I have a friend is who is on bed rest in a hospital basically until she delivers (she is currently 31 weeks, they are hoping to keep the baby in utero as long as it is safe). I was hoping you allmight have some ideas as far as some things I could bring her to make her time there a little easier and ease her stress and anxiety. Thank you!

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I got so many amazing ideas for my friend who is on bed rest in the hospital, thank you! I plan on trying to go once a week and plan on using many of the ideas I got, thank you for taking the time to respond to my request!

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R.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Perhaps she could make something for the baby. If she doesn't know how to knit or crochet, bring her a book on it and some yarn. That would be fun and productive.

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E.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.! The first thing that came to my mind when I read this is something I'd like to do just any day myself! I thought of having a spa day right in her room. Get things to do facials, manicures, pedicures. Maybe even do hair and make-up and take some pictures of her to put in the baby's album. Just thought it was something you could both enjoy and would be good for you both too.
P.S. If you do this, let me know what day so I can come too! :)

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L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,

I can't say that I've ever known anyone personally who had to be on bedrest, although they kept threatening me with it. I too am a nurse and was working 12 hour shifts, but that's another story.

The obvious things that come to mind are books, a portable DVD player and DVD's. What about an easy counted cross-stitch or something like that. Just because she's never done anything like that doesn't mean she may not learn to enjoy it.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of great info.

Good Luck.

Lori K

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K.L.

answers from Kansas City on

How thoughtful of you to want to help your friend. Being on bedrest is not a party! I spent over 5 weeks hospitalized with my 2nd child. I thought I would never want to watch tv, scrapbook or read again!

One of the best things for me was to just have some company. I loved to play a game of Scrabble with my dad, or play cards. I enjoyed not having to think about all the "what if's" for a while. A phone call is also great - and welcomed as it can be so lonely!

Another useful thing might be to bring in take-out or something different for breakfast, providing your friend is not on a restricted diet. I loved fresh seasonal fruit - something not always available at the hospital. The hospital food was not that bad, but very bland. Does she have internet access or like music? Download an I-Pod with an audio book or her favorite tunes. Ask her if she needs any personal items, or just bring her some new shampoo, lotion, nail polish, nail files, etc.

I always felt like I was such a burden to my husband and parents - like they had this obligation to visit me so I did not want to ask for anything more. And once they were there, I didn't want to share all of my insecurities with them (being the emotional train wreck that I was inside) as it was very hard on them also. Does your friend have other children? If so, offering to help out or bring them up to visit would be great.

I hope this is helpful and wish your friend a safe delivery!

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K.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi, S.. Does she enjoy scrapbooking? Getting an album ready for her baby would be fun and keep her busy. Lots of good books would be good too, but not too much emphasis on baby books- sometimes too much info is scary when you are about to have a baby. Good Luck and God Bless!

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B.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Dear S.
Good Morning. Heere are some ideas I thought of. You
could take her a book to read or a magazine or a seek
and find puzzle book. Does she have pictures that need
to be put in a photo album that you can get her a photo
album and take to her so she can work on it . Take a
note book and let her write down her thoughts for each
day she is waiting for the baby to come like a diary.
Talk to some of her friends get them to agree on a time
to go see her during the day. Of course not everyone
at one time schedule different times. If she likes doing
craft things take something you two can work on for a
short period of the day.
I hope I have given you some new ideas. BarbK.

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning S.. Does your friend like reading, cross word puzzles, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch? Ask her what she enjoys doing. If she enjoys crocheting she could do a quick pattern baby blanket for her new little one. Cross stitch or embroidery a little sampler for baby's room.

You could take her a gift bag of a funny novel, pale nail polish, a pretty fragrance lotion, small nail kit, a CD of her favorite artist ( Josh Groban is awesome and soothing, baby will hear it too ). There are all sorts of small things you could take to her.

I think the best gift she already has, is you as a friend. Your awesome by wanting to help your friend be comfortable through her down time.
God Bless you and your friend, with a smooth transition and happy, healthy delivery.
K. aka NanaK

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J.S.

answers from Springfield on

You've been given some great suggestions for the mommy so far, so I thought I'd toss in something for the family left at home. A home-cooked meal for the hubby and any other children is always welcome, and gives him one less thing to worry about. Use dishes that he won't have to return, and (if he's anything like my hubby) easy to reheat if needed.

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M.L.

answers from Wichita on

I addressed my birth announcements while on bedrest. Or, if she has had showers you might give her thank you notes and postage. Or, even a knew address book that she can update.
I also re-read some of my favorite authors. Specifically Patricia Cornwell. I read all the Kay Scarpetta books start to finish. Nothing to take your mind off bed rest like some dead people :)

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G.N.

answers from St. Louis on

Crossword puzzle books. You can also get her a Journal book and she can start a Journal for her little one in Utero. She have a laptop with wirless connection she can always sit and chat on the laptop with people. Have her join Cafemom.com its a great place to meet MOM's.

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M.J.

answers from Kansas City on

Games, Sudoku, Crossword Puzzles, Scrapbooking (make some pages for the soon to come pictures), knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, magazines, jewelry making... There are so many 'crafty' things you can do on bed rest. If she's having a girl, she could make some hair bows. If there are things she's never done before, it might be better- get a 'learn to' kit and it can keep her busy!

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S.F.

answers from St. Louis on

At Wal-Mart in the fabric and craft section they sell a kit on how to crochet. It comes complete with very easy to understand book and hooks and costs about ten dollars. Grab that and some yarn for her and she can make her baby a blanket while she "waits".

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T.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Find out what things your friend likes to do...what are her hobbies? You can bring her a favorite book, a knitting/crocheting project, maybe a needlepoint project that you can work on together, gossip magazines, maybe a portable dvd player and some of her favorite movies...just a few ideas. I hope all goes well for your friend! Bed rest can be so frustrating!

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N.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Tell her to enjoy it!! I know that is hard to do when you are laying there and can not do anything but watch the TV that is 8 feet up in the air. But really relax!! Because once that baby comes she will be looking for a few days of just laying around!!
You could take her a pretty journal that she can write in to share with the baby when he/she gets older. Take her some books to read. Not sure what type of books she enjoyes reading but Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness is good and there are 7 books, 5 or 6 are published. The Harry Potter books are good to read too. Tell her to keep her chin up and just try to enjoy this time, although she is bored out of her mind.
N.

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B.D.

answers from Kansas City on

The plaza library has books on their own mini mp3 players that they rent along with it.

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C.J.

answers from Topeka on

S.,

You've received a lot of good ideas. One thing that bothered me when I've been hospitalized is skin care. Perhaps you could get her a tube of great smelling lotion and give your friend back rubs with it. Also, lotion up her legs and arms.

I liked the idea of doing a spa treatment for her, facial, manicure, pedicure. Maybe you could help her shampoo and style her hair as well.

The ideas to help out at her home are good, too. She is not going to feel like cleaning house and grocery shopping when she comes home with her new baby. Talk to the husband to see what help he needs.

Your friend is blessed to have such a good friend.

C.

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

What if you make her a gift basket with some magazines, books and a journal so she can write her thoughts. add in some sweet treats and yummy snacks, maybe make her a fresh fruit platter to snack on. Pick her up a few movies to watch to pass the time. Does she have a hobby like scrappbooking, if you get her the supplies maybe the 2 of yo could work on a book together so all she has to do is add in the pics when the baby comes.

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G.C.

answers from Springfield on

What about diaries? Maybe one for her personally to help her anxiety. Also, she could start "Letters to her unborn child", something to give her child some day.

Stationary or note cards with her address book and a book of stamps might be good.

A bible or devotionals would be great!!

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C.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Maybe a coloring book and some crayons or colored pencils. Something a little different that will keep her hands busy.

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K.E.

answers from St. Louis on

S.;

You are a great friend for wanting to help her out! I was on bedrest with my twins, who are now 8 and we were in a strange land with with no family or friends nearby.

I have a couple of suggestions. If she has other children, spend time with them. She will feel a million times better not having to worry about her other kids for a moment. As far as her personally, get to know her nurses! They will be able to help you find some great things to do - they've certainly seen some very creative things! Also, just go and spend time with her whenever you can. There were times when it was just the nurses and myself (we had 3 young boys my husband was taking care of) and it would have been great just to talk to someone else when they got busy. You can give her a manicure (pedicure if you're close enough!), help her wash her hair, read her a book if she's tired, or just sit beside her. She is frightened, lonely, and nervous about how everything is going to turn out. If you feel comfortable doing it you can pray with her and read her from a Mother's Devotional. It would be cool if you could work with her on a Mom's journal, keeping pictures of her on her stay, the hospital room, etc. I didn't do that and wish I'd had.

Good luck to both you and your friend - you will be closer for whatever you do.

Hugs & blessings!

K. E.

Mom to:

Daniel-13
Scott-11
Bryan-9
Sarah-8
Dana-8

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R.C.

answers from St. Louis on

hello

i am not a crafty person, or know how to really sew. i did however make one of those felt christmas stockings for my baby while i was pg. you can buy the kits on-line. i just googled felt christmas socking.

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K.A.

answers from Kansas City on

This is going to sound corny, but what I did while I was on bed rest was color. My mom bought me a few coloring books and crayons and I just spent my days coloring. I also had the word search books. I had a tv in my bedroom so when my hubby was at work I sat and watched TV and movies and colored.

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L.C.

answers from St. Louis on

How about some scrapbooking? I know that I enjoy that alot and if you get into it, time can really fly by! Even if it's nothing too detailed. Maybe start getting the baby book ready or catching up on some photo organizing. Alot of time we tend to get pictures and then just throw them into the drawer. Years from now you can't remember the dates or events of something of these precious memories. Just an idea. I understand how your friend feels, I was on bed rest for about three months myself, but I didn't have to stay in the hospital. Good luck with everything!!

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K.C.

answers from Wichita on

it depends on her personallity/likes. I enjoy crafts so freinds & family brough me ceramics to paint (little things you can find at wal-mart), markers, a fuzzy poster to color (I have it in my son's room as a reminder), paper, scissors & other art supplies. I was told that the hospital I was in had people who could teach you things such as crocheing or knitting. I started to croche a blanket for my son, who we knew woudld be very premature. I was hospitalized for 3 weeks with bleeding (the entire time) until Caleb was born at 28 weeks. I don't know if the hospital has internet she can use or if someone has a laptop that she can borrow. A journal might be nice for her to write her feelings in. Books to pass the time. It is really hard being on bed rest I was on bed rest for a total of 8 weeks.
If she wants to talk she can call me at ###-###-#### or my e-mail [email protected]____.com

God Bless!
K.

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J.D.

answers from St. Louis on

does she have any hobbies/crafts that she can enjoy? Address Christmas cards now, play solitaire, Make a scrapbook, crossword puzzles, etc. Does she have a laptop, if so, she could go to www.stlmomsworld.com and do some blogging.

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J.J.

answers from St. Louis on

I have twins and was on total bed rest at the hospital for 4 weeks and then another 5 1/2 weeks at home. It is hard to believe but it went really quickly for me (I am a very active person). I had family and friends with me almost all the time. My husband or mom even stayed overnight in the hospital with me. I was actually hoping to do some reading and cross-stitch. My family would come and play scrabble with me. My husband had a massage therapist come and give me a massage every week. My husband brought a dvd player to the hospital and hooked it up, so I could watch movies. I read a lot of magazines. My sister brought nail polish and we did our nails. I helped my sister assemble my shower invitations, which I was lucky enough to have been moved home for just in time. Another idea is to bring her some outside food... that was always nice. Your friend is lucky to have you.

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L.B.

answers from St. Joseph on

Well I don't think there is really anything you can do to alleviate her stress and anxiety other than provide her with activities and distractions that will temperarily take her mind off the situation. Having said that, if you or she has access to a laptop computer that can be a godsend...sign her up for all the free or low cost programs like winster.com where she can play games. She can email or blog to her hearts content and won't feel so isolated when no one is there with her.

Another idea that I have seen A LOT on ebay is the Nintendo DS Lite games...with the Brain Games and stuff...a lot of new moms are reselling theirs after delivery because they were in similar situations and now have no time to play it...perhaps a neighbor or family friend's kid isn't using theirs so much since it's summer time??? If the hospital has a DVD player in her room you can always sign up for Netflix and she can watch as many movies as she wants (new releases too) or you can pick them up for daily $1 rentals at McDonald's Redbox.

Find out her favorite author and what she's read...go to the library or a used book store and get others that she hasn't read...get the daily rags for her to read (People, Star, OK, Life & Style, etc.). Tell her you really want to make your sons first birthday spectacular...ask her to help you with ideas and party planning now...never too early to start looking. Make out her X-mas list for people she needs to buy for and (with the laptop) start looking for the items on ebay or other sites (make sure she signs up for MyPoints.com to earn free points towards free gift certs). She can have all of her Xmas shopping done! (If I don't have mine done by Thanksgiving it doesn't happen...I hate overcrowded stores)

You could always, jokingly borrow one of those obnoxious babies they send home with the high school students now to "prepare" them for parenthood....lol...she'll be glad to get rid of the thing in a couple of days and enjoy her last moments of peace and quiet! LOL ;) Best of luck to your friend and you're a doll for helping her so much!

Oh BTW- don't forget to pack her a pkg or 2 of thank you notes for all those people who, like you, drop stuff by for her....

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J.R.

answers from St. Louis on

I had a friend on bed rest and we gave her this tube filled with sand and it had a bunch of tiny things hidden in it you had to find. We got it at the store of knowledge, I think they have them at the toy store on Watson rd.(right before you get to the highway) in the plaza by the Old Navy store. The electronic 20 questions is fun too. Get her a good book like The Other Boleyn Girl!! Anything to keep her mind off of her long stay.

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C.O.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi S.,
From a personal experience standpoint I have a few suggestions. The anxiety thing was very real for me because I was suddenly put in the hospital due to Placenta Previa. The baby was fine but I didn't like feeling unprepared and not being able to do anything about it. My mother sat with me one day and we wrote down the things I felt needed to be done. We sorted through what was really urgent and what wasn't. We also wrote down things she could do for me.
If she is a really close friend offer to get her house ready or do anything to relieve that anxiety. Usually talking about the anxiety is such a big help.
I had my laptop at the hospital and kept a journal of how I felt and what happened each day (I was there for a month). Today it's fun to talk to my 4 year old and tell her all about my wait for her arrival. It's also fun to read what I wrote. Some day I will scrapbook those words.
Also, encourage her to rest and realize this is just a little bump in the road. Once she's home with her bundle of joy the whole perspective changes.
C.

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