Seeking Suggestions for Friend Who Has to Be on Bedrest for 2 Months.

Updated on October 18, 2009
S.L. asks from Venice, CA
16 answers

Hi everyone,
Would love to hear suggestions on how to care for and entertain a friend who has to be on bedrest for the next 2 months. She literally can't get out of bed except to use the bathroom since she went into early labor. She is now on medication to keep contractions at bay and is having a hard time dealing with the propsect of being in bed by herself all day. Any ideas for her?
Many thanks!

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So What Happened?

THank you so much for all your great ideas to help my friend get through having to be on bed rest!

Featured Answers



answers from Las Vegas on

If she has a Wii or can borrow one, the game called Endless Ocean is really fun. I used it this summer when I was sidelined with shingles. It is relaxing and has beautiful and peaceful music/scenery.



answers from San Diego on

try a needlepoint that has the pattern/colors on it for the baby. There are a lot of cute baby patterns out there and then she could frame it and hang it in the babies room. I had a angel holding a baby with the world in her arms, it is hanging in my son's room. As he got older it was nice to be able to tell him that it was made for him while I was waiting laying in bed.

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answers from San Diego on

When I was on bed rest, one of my friends bought me a giant Sudoku book. I became obsessed!



answers from Los Angeles on

I was on bed rest for 2 months earlier this year. While it's definitely not fun, we do what we have to for the safety of our babies. We have Directv so I watched a variety of shows. I had a lot of different magazines so I wouldn't get bored of the same ones. It helped to have people visit. I also have a now 5-year-old daughter, and people brought meals for us and some even took our daughter for outings. Bed rest does get old, I'll admit, but I was in the hospital for a few days at the beginning of January and was afraid I'd be there until the birth. I felt lucky to go home and wait for the twins to arrive. It was much better than being stuck in the hospital away from family.



answers from Los Angeles on

I did that. It sucks. I set up my computer console right next to me, had some good books, a journal, and took on a giant project - quilting. I ended up making three quilts. I had my mom go to F&S. It was sort of hit or miss, but we got it down. I also thought about learning to knit or make jewelry. Sudoku and crossword just won't cut it. And of course movies can only take you so far. The quilting was a good thing for me because it required that I think about it, and my hands stayed busy.

I wish her the best!



answers from Los Angeles on

Tell her to enjoy EVERY moment of it because once that baby is born, she will not have a moment to herself for a LONG time. I was on bedrest for 4 months and wish I would have recognized what a wonderful blessing it was sooner. When else in life are you soley responsible for 'resting'! No work, no chores, no cooking, no waking up in the middle of the night to care for a crying baby...3 times! LOL!

And remind her how very important her job is right now...resting is just the first of many wonderful things that she will do for her baby...and it's for her baby...once realizes that it's not about her, it's for her baby, it will become much easier.

You are a wonderful friend for being concerned about her. One thing that you can do...that my family attempted to contact her friends and family and see if you can set up a sign up sheet of evenings that they would be willing to bring over dinner or clean the house. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help!

I joined netflix, played on my laptop, read a lot of books and visited with friends and family that came to visit me...I loved every minute of it! Now I'm a proud mama of a 9 month old little girl and often look back at my time on bed-rest and miss it! It is worth every minute!
Good Luck,



answers from Dallas on

Hmmm, can you help her get access to a laptop? You can maybe chip in with friends and family and purchase one for her. I got a decent Compaq for $350 you may find a better deal, a quick search online just now yielded this: Other than that..
a couple magazines, brain teasers, word puzzzles,(if you get a book of puzzles with a whole slew of activities &she may find some that she didn't even know she liked)
an easy knitting project with instructions, (or a better one if she has experience)
provide her with alot of unscented baby wipes, powder, hand lotion
a stackable organizer that fits on the bedside table for all her stuff
a case of bottled water
a netflix subscription or offer to switch out movies every three days r so
organize friends and family to bring a meal everyday or every other day, or every week depending on her homelife schedule/needs
order home pedi/mani or massage for legs and shoulders to *really* spoil her
a cooler pack she can keep in her stackable organizer to hold crackers, fruit, and drinks/snacks
a large round handheld mirror or better yet a small plug-in vanity
slippers with nonskid soles

This is all I got to advise, some of this I had when I was on bedrest, some of it I just wish I had had. (had had always looks so silly doesn't it?)

At any rate , you are to be lauded for being such a marvelous friend, checking in for her well-being during these trying times. Lending her support, with visits and phone calls is probably the *very best* thing you can do over all. When hormones are raging and you are frustrated from your butt being glued to one spot, and you know there are messes in the house you can't clean, weeds in the garden and yada-yada it's like "WHEW I need a good 'ol fashioned CRY", having a superfriend there to listen to you vent and make you smile is priceless I tell you. So, GOOD JOB keep it up!

Best of luck and congratulations to your friend.


P.S. Be sure to let us know what you plan to do?



answers from Las Vegas on

Hi S. :)

I can relate to your friend. During my last pregnancy, 4 months were spent in bed, and I still delivered 10 weeks early, fortunately he is a healthy 24 year old now. I did not know at the time that it would be 4 months, but I was in bed, or in the hospital for that long. I spent a lot of time reading, watching television, wishing I could care for my toddler, and doing crochet and needlepoint.

I guess I was lucky that I didn't know how long I'd be down. I was also lucky, in that I could entertain myself, without the help of others.

In our world, there is no need to be so unable to entertain yourself. We have electronic toys that can be used laying down, as well as books, television, phones, needlework, and computers (I can use my laptop lying down). As you so kindly help your friend through this experience, you can call her through the day and share your day with her. If you go to her home, you could play card games, or electronic games, etc. Or, you could help by bringing something fun to eat. All these would have been greatly appreciated when I was down.

When they asked how I could stay in bed so long, I always remembered the reason, a child who deserved the right to have a healthy body if I could give it to him.

Best of luck to your friend.

A. C.



answers from Los Angeles on

All 5 of my pregnancies resulted in lengthy bed rest and lots of restrictions. My last pregnancy presented was rather complicated as I had an infant at home while everyone else at home had work and school to attend to.

I would suggest that you all rally around her and visit her as often as you can. Boredom and isolation are a terrible mix, and depression can set in faster than you can possibly imagine.

I got through my days by "virtual window-shopping" and ordering catalogs and magazines as often as I could find them.
I also used the internet (via laptop) to entertain myself during late nights when everyone else at home was asleep. Headphones and a laptop reveal endless possibilities.
My husband would "pack a lunch" at night for himself, and also make me lots of finger foods to have nearby so I wouldn't have to get up and down to scan the refrigerator for munchies.
I got so tired of daytime television that I ordered scrap booking supplies online and began making a scrapbook of anything imaginable.
I wish your friend the best of luck, and hope that she keeps her eye on the prize...Soon she won't be able to sit for even a minute, so she should enjoy the rest while she can.
(PS: If she is on Terbutaline for her contractions, it is making her jittery and miserable, but if she keeps super hydrated, and eats lots of small meals ie;fruit, etc... she should feel better in no time)



answers from San Diego on

Good books (perhaps a good one on childcare or birth prep),a good movies, play cards or other bedrest friendly games with friends or family, nap and rest. Stay focused on keeping the little one safe inside and enjoy the break as much as is about to get crazy!!



answers from Los Angeles on

I too was on bedrest because of high blood pressure for a couple months with my daughter. You got a lot of good suggestions, I want to add one more. After each doctors appointment, afet a "you're doing ok" from the doctor, my then husband would take the "long way home". Because we lived in Santa Barbara at the time, this meant driving along the beach or thru downtown with my window down, so I could get some fresh air and some variety. Then back to bed. It was a nice break. I don't know if your friend would feel comfortable with this or not, but it's a possibilty.



answers from Los Angeles on

How about scrapbooking that is a good way to entertain. Its also very relaxing.Sams and walmart have starter kits the one in Sams is very nice.



answers from Los Angeles on

Present her with a care package that contains the following:

1.Compile a list from all your friends of their all time favorite movies and throw them in

2.Buy her a decorative journal so she can write reflections each day

3. Encourage her to take fun course online (she will need a laptop and laptop table where the computer sits right in front of her and not on her lap. (Learning annex is perfect for this)

4. Perhaps there is a book she has always wanted to write

5. Buy her a scrap booking kit so she can pull together all her photos

6. Plan a regulare girls night out where her husband is kicked out and the girls gather in her room for food, movies and chit chat (order from her favorite place - no junk food.)

HOpe this helps



answers from Las Vegas on

She definitely needs a laptop, because world is still vast and full of possibilities with the internet, even from bed.
1) Blog. If she doesn't have one, she can start one, even if it's just a kind of journal for herself, to keep up with family and friends far away or to make money from doing it. You can also make a book out of your blog.
2) Education. There is SO much information out there. She should make a list of things (even just one thing) that she'd like to learn more about, then study up on it. Maybe even write a paper, like in school, to give herself extra motivation or an end goal. (Or even sign up for an online class!) Her love and passion for learning will grow and she could end up wanting to study several topics.
3) Facebook. It's a great way to reconnect with friends/family from the past and keep in touch.

She could also:
1) Knit or crochet things for her baby and make gifts for others.
2) Journal/scrapbook. What a great time to reflect on the past and organize memories and past experiences.
3) Thank you notes.

Just to name a few...
I hope she keeps that baby in until it's ready to come out! Bless your heart for being such a great friend to her.



answers from Los Angeles on

I had the same situation with my first child, strict bedrest for 10 weeks and medications around the clock.

My first comment is that while it's critical to help her maintain a positive attitude during this time, be careful how you approach that. It's really cool that another poster enjoyed her bedrest, but most women feel the way I did, that it is NOT an easy time nor a blessing. There are many mixed emotions that go along with it. You're not relaxing because you feel like it, you are stuck in bed.

It actually really bothered me when people would say to me things like, "Wow I wish I could lay around all day, that would be great!" It's NOT great when you really wish that you could be preparing for your new baby, shopping, decorating, and getting things in order. I personally loved being pregnant, and loved showing it off to the world. So a part me felt robbed of that as well. And depending on your personality, it can be difficult to hand over control of your household and everything in it to other people.

One of the worst parts was that despite efforts to remain very positive about the outcome, and I'm a positive thinker by nature, there was still this nagging fear and worry in the back of my head all the time. Monitoring contraction activity, being aware of any signs of labor starting again, reading the book our doctor recommended about preemies "just in case".

That all being said, she's lucky to have you to help her mentally and practically. My son is 16, so I didn't have a laptop or a lot of what's available now. I think for me that would be the biggest thing, having access to a laptop, because it will enable her to keep up with friends through email and networking and not feel so isolated. Plus she can pass some time by doing research and planning for the baby. I highly recommend her trying one of the many sites that offer discussion groups and forums for moms and moms to be. She can join groups of women on bedrest, groups that are due the same time as she is, and anything else she could imagine, it can be fun.

I kept a journal during my bedrest, and it not only helped me deal with the situation at the time, but I've enjoyed going back and reading through it years later. The other ladies have had some great suggestions like needlework, scrapbooking, etc.

Of course the thing that kept me from going stir crazy was just focusing on the fact that I was being the best mother I could be at that moment, I was making the sacrifice for my baby's health and well-being, and in the end that's all that mattered. Instead of being born at only 26 weeks, by son was full term and healthy. So help her stay focused on the goal, and commend her for her commitment to baby! With friends like you, I'm sure she'll get through this just fine! :)



answers from San Diego on

Organize a group of friends to bring her and her family meals each week. We did this for a friend of ours and it worked out beautifully. There was a group of about 10 of us and we took turns bringing the family dinner 3 times a week for about 2 months. It worked out so that each of us brought her dinner once or twice during the whole period. The gal who organized this asked what kind of food they normally eat, if anyone had food allergies, and what kinds of things her older kids like to eat and passed that list on to us. On our assigned night we would deliver the food by 6pm, knock on the door, say hello and chat for a minute or two and then leave so as not to burden the family. Our friend was very grateful.

If you have a small group of friends that would be interested in doing a mini book club, maybe you guys could meet at your friends house once a week. A) reading the book gives her something to do and B) She'd get visitors of her friends once a week and be able to do something fun with all of you. You could also change this to be a scrapbooking meeting or tailor it to fit the hobbies of your friend.

If she has other kids, you could also volunteer to babysit or take the other kids out for a special treat with your kids. Movie and dinner, or just out for icecream.

You are an awesome friend to be so considerate of your friends needs right now.

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