What Is Bed Rest – and How Do You Help Your Wife Survive It!

My wife, pregnant with twins, is on her second round of bed rest. We’re in the midst of it right now – I’m writing this hospital bedside.

 

 

When you hear “bed rest”, it may sound kinda blissful. “She gets to sit around all day and have people bring her everything? That sounds awesome. Sign me up,” idiot you might think.

 

For expecting dads, you need to get it in your head right now that your wife absolutely does not want bed rest. She is hoping that baby/ those babies don’t try leaving until the timer dings at 40+ weeks. If the baby tries to come out before it’s time, things get much more complicated. It’s like trying to keep an 8-year-old from flying down the steps to open Christmas presents. You can only fool them so long with “Let’s wait til dad gets his coffee” before they bust out of the room anyway. And by room, I mean vagina. #analogy

 

Bed rest is the oft-prescribed medicine to slow down contractions and stop dilation from increasing. It’s exactly like it sounds. You have to stay in bed nearly all the time except maybe to use the bathroom or shower, or an occasional walk down the hallway.

 

Bed rest is sometimes prescribed if your pregnant partner is experiencing any of these symptoms (Source: NIH):

  • High blood pressure
  • Premature or preterm changes in the cervix
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Early labor
  • More than one baby
  • History of early birth or miscarriage
  • Your baby is not growing well
  • Your baby has medical problems

(Some dispute it for non-emergency situations; with twins, it seems to be much more common.)

In our case, my wife’s cervix was dilated 2 cm and, on the next round, 3 cm. Check out the handy chart they put in the hospital room (3 cm is top row, third from left), as you are probably baffled what 3 cm means. The chart ranges from “Oh you’re a little dilated” to “MY GOD A BABY IS EMERGING LIKE A BUTTERFLY.”

 

 

Also, get used to people talking about your wife’s cervix like it’s a snow storm prediction in December. They won’t understand how the prediction works, but they know it’s what people are supposed talk about.

Basically, her cervix is the blizzard and the doctor is the Weather Channel.

Bed Rest Is Flat Out Difficult For Moms. Here’s Why.

Some of what your wife might experience on bed rest at home:
  • Relying on others to let her pee.
  • Not being able to get anything done that involves walking, driving, lifting, or standing for long periods. Assuming you’ve done any of those today, you can see how this would be a problem.
  • Not getting to shower regularly.
  • Not getting to play with your other kids or pets.
  • Missing any events outside the house/hospital.
  • Not feeling, you know… fresh air. For days. Or weeks. Or months.

That’s why you can’t underplay it. My wife has been on both hospital bed rest and home bed rest, and described it as such:

 

This sucks                                                                                                                                                                             -Sara

Let’s Get Physical – What Bed Rest Feels Like

For fathers, we’re fortunate to not have to deal with the physical side of things (Yes, yes, we know we don’t have to deliver the baby, either. I didn’t make the rules.) If she’s on bed rest at home, it’s all the aches and pains of pregnancy except you’re stuck in….

 

 

 

 

This was excerpt was originally posted on Instafather on March 30th, 2015.

Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw is a dad of three toddlers, including a 3-year-old boy and twin one-year-old girls. He reacted to hearing the news of twins with, "Wait, what?" Andy is a parenting columnist, keynote speaker, and upcoming author. He writes about life as a new dad, including helpful suggestions, on instafather.com He lives in York, PA with his wife, where they sleep very little.
Andy Shaw

Latest posts by Andy Shaw (see all)

Andy Shaw

Andy Shaw is a dad of three toddlers, including a 3-year-old boy and twin one-year-old girls. He reacted to hearing the news of twins with, “Wait, what?” Andy is a parenting columnist, keynote speaker, and upcoming author. He writes about life as a new dad, including helpful suggestions, on instafather.com He lives in York, PA with his wife, where they sleep very little.

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