The Bedrest Survival Guide

When pregnant, being on bedrest may seem like a much-deserved break. However, bedrest can also be challenging. What are the main reasons women are put on bedrest? What are some of the potential complications of bedrest? And does it really work? We’ll chat with moms and moms-to-be who have experienced bedrest firsthand.

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Preggie Pals
“The Bedrest Survival Guide”
Episode 16, August 13th, 2012

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[00:00:00]
[Theme Music]
Jackie Hiner : When you are pregnant, a prescription to stay in bed for an extended period of time may seem like a luxury. However, bed rest during pregnancy can be challenging. So, why are women out on bed rest and does it really help? I am Jackie Hiner, an RN with Sharp Grossmont Hospital and this is Preggie Pals, Episode 16.
[Theme Music/Intro]
Sunny Gault : Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I am your host Sunny Gault. Preggie Pals is now available on the go. You can purchase our apps in the Amazon and Apple stores. If you have any comments about our show or questions for our team of experts, you can call our Preggie Pals hotline and that number is 619-866-4775 or send us an email through our website. And I have received some emails about birth stories. We are sharing birth stories through our website and we are gonna be chatting with our panelists as well as our listeners about their birth stories via., video Skype. So, we already have a couple interviews posted. Be sure to check those out and you can do so on our website. Just click on birth stories. If you would like your birth story to be featured ,go to http://www.preggiepals.com/submit your story and send us some initial information. Okay, let’s introduce some of the panelists here in the studio.
Jackie Klaber : Hi, I am Jackie Klaber, I am 25 years and my due date is November 29th with a little surrogate baby girl. I do have a 3 year old son at home and I am Birth Doula.
Misty Davies : My name is Misty Davies, I am 33 years old. I am a gemologists. I am due October 10th, having a little girl. I don’t have any other children and I am hoping for an unmedicated hospital birth.
Christina Hulette : My name is Christina Hulette and I am 35 years old. I have a little girl at home. I was put on bed rest for 10 days in the hospital with her and she is doing great. And she is my only child and I had her through C-section.
Sunny Gault : I am excited to hear your story.
Rabeka Harrison : Hi, I am Rabeka Harrison, I am 32 years old. I am a skin care professional with Mary Kay. My due date is 11th of September with a baby girl. This is my third. I have two little boys and I am going to have a water birth at a birth center.
Sunny Gault : Oh! I like that, I am excited and so you are in the skin care profession so you can make us all look pretty while we’re pregnant, right? [Laughs] Alright, thanks for joining us ladies.
[Theme Music]
[News Headlines: News Headlines]
Sunny Gault : Alright, so we are gonna move into our news headlines and these are headlines, the pregnancy headlines that are making news around the internet and if you guys wanna check out some of the stories that are little more interesting, you can check out our Preggie Pals Pinterest board. So, for today we are talking about Tori Spelling. She has made so much money off being pregnant and having babies and who she has babies with and who she is with and all that kind of stuff. She released this photo on a website which was http://www.torispelling.com if you wanna check out the photo. And she is pregnant again, I believe this is her 4th baby and as you know she is known for having a pretty good body. She is a pretty skinny thing and she is in a bikini in this photo and very proud of it. I don’t know how many months she is now but let’s just say she has quite the belly and she pretty much has belly I mean, that’s all she really is. Anyway, she is getting a lot of flat from people and if you are to check out her website, there as you know, people can be really rude about this kind of stuff. So, I wanted to ask you guys is this picture that I have here, is that appropriate? Should we be monitoring more closely what we are wearing? I mean, lot of people in this article said “Listen she already has 3 kids, I think one is 7 year old. They’re like, mommy needs to put on some cloths here.” So, what are your guy’s opinions? Jackie, let’s start with you.
Jackie Klaber : How is it any different from a Victoria Secret model?
Sunny Gault : Just that she is pregnant, I mean you never see Victoria Secret models obviously been pregnant but that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?
Jackie Klaber : Yeah.
Sunny Gault : Well, Heidi Cloon did her thing but did she, she didn’t do it for Victorious Secret while pregnant.
Jackie Klaber : Yeah, but who cares?
Sunny Gault : I know.
Jackie Klaber : I am jealous, I wish I could look like her.
Sunny Gault : Exactly, I wish I had got into that bikini to look that good. We could do a bikini and flaunt it. That was what I was hoping for and I totally got robbed so, I think I am jealous. Yeah, it’s pretty much just a little string bikini. She does have you know, a little something a little cover up but you know, she is sporting the bump you know, Misty what would you do?
Misty Davies : I mean, I would do the same thing if I could I mean she looks good. I don’t see anything wrong with it, nothing wrong with it.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, and Rabeka you have 3 kids so, how did you sport your bump?
[00:05:05]
Rabeka Harrison : Well, with the first, I didn’t have a summer time.
Sunny Gault : Okay.
Rabeka Harrison : To really sport too much of it, the second, I tried to cover up with a one piece which it didn’t work so well, I don’t care it’s all about my two piece thin bikini. It’s just more comfortable that way, you are huge, you are in the summer time, you are hot, why are you going to cover up so much that now you are going to be like feeling claustrophobic in your clothes, right?
Sunny Gault : Alright, I mean exactly.
Rabeka Harrison : First, you need to tan during the summer.
Sunny Gault : You do? I think tanned bellies are reall,y you know, tanned pregnant bellies are really pretty but and I guess we kind of watch out for the sun and summer guard. But at the same time I know we are Vitamin D deficient, did you guys hear our episode and we just did an episode in Preggie Pals about being Vitamin D deficient. So, we do need to get more sun. You know, for me when I was pregnant with my first, I have two boys, I was rocking in a swim suit. I don’t know if I should have been rocking it, it was two piece and it was one of those ones where had like an over lay in the middle but you could kind of remove it. So, I thought it was a clear, it was a see through you know, like mash.
Rabeka Harrison : Yeah.
Sunny Gault : Over a light tight thing but so if I really, you know, wanted to sport it, you know, I could kind of tuck it away or whatever. But it kind of open, it was kind of like a movie curtain like “Here is the show.” But some reason it made me feel more comfortable than just having the bump out there. But, I really liked it but then I have to say with my second, I don’t know I was a little more, I can’t say it’s because I already had a kid but I was a little bit more reserved in my swim suit. I had one like a tinkini type thing so you can like still see the bump. It was a little more lower in the bump part, you could see but I love it, I love seeing mommy bumps. I don’t know it’s just because, you know, I am a women and I have been through it and but I support Tori, I think everyone else needs to peg down. Well, thanks for sharing your opinions ladies.
[Theme Music]
Sunny Gault : Alright, today we are talking about bed rest and joining us here in the studio is Jackie Hiner. She is an RN with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. So Jackie, thanks for joining us.
Jackie Hiner : Thanks for having me.
Sunny Gault : I should clarify, we have two Jackie’s in the studio. I don’t know how you guys are gonna do this? Panelists Jackie and expert Jackie, some of our women here have been on bed rest. Christina was bed rest with her first and her only baby. So, we are gonna get some of those perspectives as we go through this conversation. Let’s talk about bed rest in general. So, Jackie how many pregnant women are placed on bed rest in United States? Is this is something that, you know, the numbers are growing, we are pretty much doing the same, what does the numbers look like?
Jackie Hiner : Well, there is probably about a million women throughout the United States are put on bed rest annually at some point during their pregnancy. So, it is probably one of the most commonly prescribed therapies for to help with preterm labor or any complications of pregnancy. So, we are seeing little bit more women being placed on bed rest especially with those that are having multiples, with, you know, twins, triplets because they have a higher incidence of going into preterm labor. And so, we do see more of those mommies being placed on bed rest.
Sunny Gault : Okay, now for the women here in the studio who went on bed rest, why did your doctor want you to go on bed rest?
Christina Hulette: I was, I had preeclampsia.
Sunny Gault : Okay.
Christina Hulette: Yeah, the hyper blood pressure was way too high and they forced me, basically.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, at how many weeks?
Christina Hulette: I was 26 weeks, 6 days.
Sunny Gault : Okay, so how long where you on, put on bed rest for?
Christina Hulette: I only made it 10 days, she was born at 28 weeks, 2 days.
Sunny Gault : Oh! My goodness, she was a tiny little thing?
Christina Hulette: Yeah, she was 2 pounds 8 ounces.
Sunny Gault : Oh! My,
Christina Hulette: Yeah, when I went into the hospital they said, they did an ultrasound and they said “Oh! She is 2 pounds that’s pretty good” and I was like “Really” when she was born she was 2 pounds, 8 ounces I was like “where did she get the 8 ounces?”
Sunny Gault : Yeah, those things are always there, let’s go back and forth with how much they weigh. Okay, and did you feel overall that it helped being put on bed rest?
Christina Hulette: May be physically it did, mentally it was really tough.
Sunny Gault : Tell me about that.
Christina Hulette: It was a really a fast transition from, you know, being free out in the world to being not able to really leave a hospital room.
Sunny Gault : Okay.
Christina Hulette: And really not being able to leave my bed, the first 2 days, I was bed ridden I mean, I couldn’t get up.
Sunny Gault : Right.
Christina Hulette: The medication they gave me was to basically loosen all of my you know, I guess, my veins or you know, whatever because my blood pressure was very high. It was like 168 over a 110 which is really high.
Sunny Gault : That’s really high.
Christina Hulette: Yeah, they told me they are like, you need to go to the hospital right now.
Sunny Gault : Wow!
Christina Hulette: I was like “Okay” I drove myself.
Sunny Gault : Oh! My goodness.
Christina Hulette: I didn’t realize. I didn’t really know and then it was immediately like, they, I was sitting in, you know, the room and they said “Okay, take off all your clothes and here is your robe” and I was like “Is somebody gonna tell me what we are doing? Because I am a little confused, what’s going on?”
[00:10:06]
Sunny Gault : Oh! Really. Yeah.
Christina Hulette: Yeah, and a nurse finally stopped and said “Okay, this is what’s happening. Your blood pressure is just way too high” And then, they immediately put in Magnesium Sulphide and then I got sick, they had to give me other medication. And then I also had diabetes.
Sunny Gault : Gestational Diabetes?
Christina Hulette: Yeah, gestational diabetes so then they had to control my sugar too, I was having all kinds of medications I have never gotten before either and so I just felt really like, I was at their mercy, I had no control. And I thought, I walked in, I walked in and now I can’t even get out of bed. It was very sad, I was very sad.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Christina Hulette: And I actually wrote two days of blogging or, you know, blogs and my husband said “I don’t think, I don’t think you should really let anybody else read that, it’s very negative. It’s part of the down. ” And I was like “That’s how I feel” so, you know, for the 10 days I really just, the medication they gave me was just made me really loopy and be out of it. So, people thought “Oh! You have plenty of time to like email, text and social media and, you know, like you could read books, watch movies but the medication I was on just didn’t really allow for it. It makes you really loose and loopy and so, I had like you know, no real ability to do any of that stuff. So, I felt really lonely and TV was boring and your eyes don’t focus on them, Magnesium Sulphide either so it was really hard to see. I just really wanted somebody in the room with me.
Sunny Gault : So, you were pretty much by yourself most of the time and what obviously people are caring for you but as far as you didn’t have any family that were right there all the time, right?
Christina Hulette: Well, my mom was there, my grandma, my grandma was the best because she came in and watched TV with me. She didn’t ask questions, she didn’t do anything. It was just, she was only there holding your hands, you know, and it was nice I was like “You are the best,” you know, lot of people came to visit, friends, lots of friends came to visit. But all were asking the same question as everybody else asked and you were emendated and in the end I just said “Any questions you have, direct them to my husband because I don’t wanna have to answer that five thousand times over.” And you know, I was just, I was dying for news from the outside world like the news was boring. I wanted like, real life like, “Oh! My gosh! There was a total huge accident on the 805 south and, you know, meet everything horrible or either on my way home from work yesterday there was guy on the road side, that was the weird stuff I wanted, you know,”
Sunny Gault : Right.
Christina Hulette: And it kind of made it worse, it was May, it was beautiful, it was raining and I was stuck in a room and I got to see the outside world but I didn’t get to open a window.
Sunny Gault : Okay, yeah.
Christina Hulette: It was sad for me.
Sunny Gault : Jackie, what has your experience been. Obviously, you have helped women who have been on bed rest or on bed rest. How did they first of all react to the news? Is it shocking for most people?
Jackie Hiner: It’s hard, I think what you said is exactly what other women would say is that whole loss of control like, all of a sudden you’re a dependent person, you are working, you are out in the world doing, you know, living your own life and then, all of a sudden you come into the hospital and you really don’t have any control over what’s going on. What makes me sad is that they didn’t explain to you the very beginning, what was gonna happen because that’s something that we wanna try and do, kind of prepare you a little bit for what’s gonna happen.
Sunny Gault : What is that by the way? What do you do with the Magnesium?
Jackie Hiner: Well, with the Magnesium we let them know that the reason we are starting it is because not much-deserved to prevent hyper pressure to control the high blood pressure. It’s really to prevent seizures with preeclampsia that’s one of the things that can, it can happen. It will progress into preeclampsia and you may start having seizures which is obviously life threatening for mom and baby. And so that medication makes you feel yucky just like you said, very yucky. It makes you feel very weak, heart flashes, headaches, dizziness and the fact that you can’t get out of bed is because of that medication, you know, you are pretty week. We really don’t want you sitting up and falling because I would even worse but that is a definite precaution that we have to take when you have that kind of medication going. So, I think it’s really important that as even as nurses and with the physicians also that we explain to ahead of time because like I said “You’re coming into the hospital and all of a sudden your whole world is kind of turned upside down,” you know, and that is hard and especially if you have other children at home they have to care for, you need to make plans. You need to, you know, talk to your husband or your support person or your family and say what “I am really gonna need some help” or for you know, for the people that are in the military and they don’t have family here. My husband was in the Air Force and we were stationed in Viomi and I had my daughter and I didn’t have anybody with me and I got sick and so there were some issues with that too because like I had my friend there but there are some people that just don’t have anybody around. And so to try and get that help to come in is extremely important.
[00:15:27]
Sunny Gault : For Christina, she had preeclampsia but then there are other reasons that women are put on bed rest so, let’s talk about some of those.
Jackie Hiner: Probably most common ones are preterm labor.
Sunny Gault : Okay.
Jackie Hiner: Preterm urine contractions or if their water bags breaks early, those are the two biggest reasons that they are put on bed rest. For patients that have their water break early, the reason we put them on bed rest is because one of the dangers of that is that the cord, the baby’s umbilical cord will slip through the cervix and that rate there is a medical emergency for the baby because not enough blood and oxygen are getting to the baby. And so we wanna kind of prevent that from happening and then with preterm contractions, you know, the studies really don’t show that there is a benefit either way of putting mommies on bed rest for that but that is probably the most common therapy that’s prescribed for those patients. But really the thought is to decrease the activity, decrease the strain and hopefully that will decrease the contractions but I guess that there is nothing that’s really in the literature or in the research that tells that absolutely bed rest is the number therapy that we should be prescribing because it does help decrease the rate of preterm births. So, at this point there is nothing to say that it does help or there is nothing to say that it doesn’t help either so it is kind of like, you know, it’s 22 we have always done it this way so we kind of continue until we have more information.
Sunny Gault : What determines if someone is put one bed rest at home versus bed rest in a hospital?
Jackie Hiner : It really depends on the baby’s status because we do monitor the baby pretty closely and so if the baby is looking good that’s reassuring. It’s also depending on how often contractions are occurring like, if it’s preterm birth or preterm labor obviously for more than having 6 contractions in an hour, that’s very kind of a signal to say that may be you should stay here for a little longer, we need to may be give you some medications to try and stop that, those contractions. If a woman’s water bed breaks of course we have to keep her in hospital. Incompetence cervix is also another reason that women are placed on bed rest and it’s really due to, I don’t know like, the word incompetent.
Sunny Gault : I know it sounds like, you gotta fail in your body you know,
Jackie Hiner : Often times women are given are given place with a cerclage and it is like a little stitch in the cervix to kind of keep it closed. So if any of those issues are getting worse I guess, then the decision may be to keep her in the hospital. We have some tests it’s called fetal fibronectin, I don’t know if you guys have had that before. It’s a little swap that we do with the cue tip inside the cervix and it’s a pretty good protector of labor, if labor will occur, if labor will not occur within the next 2 weeks. If it’s negative then we kind of have a better idea that you probably won’t be going into labor in the next couple weeks but if it’s positive, it doesn’t really help us other than we know that it is positive and you may or may not go into labor in the next couple weeks. So, that may also be a determining factor. We also do ultrasounds to determine cervical link because if we are seeing that the cervix is getting shorter and shorter then that means the cervix is trying to phase and so then you have more risk of having preterm labor or preterm birth. So, all of those issues we need to take into account, possibility that you know, mom may not be able to stay on bed rest at home just because of, you know, we have other kids, we have other, you know, responsibilities, we have a life outside of the hospital that kind of a thing. And so, all those things need to be taken into consideration, you know, to determine whether it’s a, she is a okay candidate to stay at home on bed rest or does she really need to be in the hospital.
Sunny Gault : Right, right and speaking of which I know Rabeka you are not on bed rest this time obviously you are here in the studio, alright. But you have experienced this in the past. Did you have any children prior to being on bed rest?
Rabeka Harrison : No.
Sunny Gault : No, you didn’t have to worry about that. Tell us a little bit about your bed rest experience?
Rabeka Harrison : Well, I think mine was kind of a unique experience because my nephew had actually passed away and I was in the hospital that day. Well, he was in ICU and so it was a really stressful time and I think that combination of not drinking water and not having enough nutrition that day was just an extremely stressful time for the entire family. But sorry…….
Sunny Gault : Oh! It’s okay sweetie.
Rabeka Harrison : But it was just really hard and that day I started to having a lot of contractions and we had children’s and so our new married was like next door and they were like “Oh! You need to go and get check out” and I am like “No, I am not.” And I called my midwife and I was like sorry my doctor because I had a doctor that time and I was like, this is what’s going on and she was like, “You need to go to the hospital” and I said “Oh! No I am not” “In the hospital if anything happens I am there, don’t worry about it you know, I will be fine” And I was just kept getting stronger and stronger and it was my first I was like what the heck is going on. I think at about midnight we, my husband was like “I have to take you in.” So we ended up going in to the doctor’s office, actually to the, I guess so I don’t know what it’s called. It’s the hospital where they give birth to children. [Laughs]
[00:21:12]
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Rabeka Harrison : And they kind of got on my case and well, I had a total break down and yelled at them. And they were like “Okay, calm down” I was like “Check me out, let me know what’s going on” and so, I was in preterm labor and they, I was about a month, roughly a month, I think 5 weeks early and so they were still kind of concerned about that. And they were like “well, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal but you never know.” So, they gave me a shot or something that made me like, I don’t know what it was but it made me so jittery I started shaking in my bed. I think that sounds about right and then they did it again before I laughed and I was like “Oh! My gosh” it was worse than coffee and I don’t even drink coffee so I am sitting there I am shaking uncontrollably like “Okay, what’s going on?” “You are not keeping right because I don’t know wanna stay here.” And it ended up with stress test, everything else was fine, my water was fine, my cervix was fine, everything just ended up, it was just due to the stress I think they were like “Okay, you have to be on bed rest see you in pregnancy.” and I said “Okay, sure”
Sunny Gault : That’s a really good point. I do wanna finish your story but if you put on bed rest, are you put on for the rest of the pregnancy you can’t come off of it?
Jackie Hiner: Not necessarily, not necessarily it could be just for a short period of time you know, depending on how often you are contracting or if those contractions results in a reasonable amount of time.
Sunny Gault: Okay, I see.
Jackie Hiner: And there are different levels of bed rest, there is light, moderate and strict. Strict bed rest is those ones that you need to stay in bed. Can’t really do a whole lot of chores, no lifting or anything like that. You can get up to the bathroom but, other than that you are pretty much in bed. Moderate bed rest, you may be able to get up couple times during the day, you can take a shower, do what you need to do and get back into bed. It’s probably about, you know, 8 hour time frames that you are looking at and then light bed rest could be like may be 1 hour of just complete rest may be 3 times a day and of course no lifting greater than 10 pounds. So, there are different types of bed rest but it just really depends on the situation on what your doctor or midwife prescribes for that.
Sunny Gault : So, Rabeka what kind of bed rest were you put on?
Rabeka Harrison : At first it was strict bed rest and I was like “alright, fine whatever I could take a nap all day long” because I was tired anyway and I was huge and so at that point I was like Okay, whatever that’s fine. However after a day or two after, I’m like, “I’m bored.” And, we didn’t have a TV so, and no internet I was like “Awesome” and my friends and family were busy because you know, people have to work or whatever. They can’t just come over and entertain me. So, there is only so many books you can read after…
Sunny Gault : You needed Christina’s grandma?
Rabeka Harrison : Yeah, I don’t have one of those right now. I have to adopt one. So, first it was direct and then had me come I think a week, about a week later and they were like “we still want you to be in bed rest because you are still really stressed but it can be moderate. You can get up and do stuff.” So I kind of took a little bit of liberty with that probably little too much. And then I went back again and they were like “Okay, you are good we still want you to be on rest as much as possible” and I don’t have a job at the time so it was fine with me but cleaning carpets I don’t know, if that was the best thing to do. But I figured it is so to my pregnancy that it was like, “alright, if he comes he comes and I think he will be fine.” So and he ended up being a pretty big baby. He was almost 9 pounds, 28 ounces. He was good and he was technically 10 days , you know, from the day that they had given me. So, I was like “Okay, well if he is 10 days early, imagine 10 more days.”
[00:25:22]
Sunny Gault : Yeah, and you are so tiny. Where did you keep that baby?
Rabeka Harrison : I know, on my back. Back it up in my womb, yeah.
Sunny Gault : So, Christina what are some of the things that you did on bed rest as far as activity is concerned? Were you really limited or did you push the boundaries a little bit?
Christina Hulette : I did not push the boundaries, coloring books were nice. I had my, my aunt brought me coloring books it was a little childlike and it was just fun. It was something easy to do especially with the medication I was on. I did try to text but, it was like I said, the Magnesium it’s very hard.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, when you were in the hospital too, was it like get up and do household chores what we are talking about?
Christina Hulette : No, I couldn’t even walk the ward though. They wouldn’t even let me do that. That was really sad. And I was like “can I get a pedicure, can I do something?” And they were like “No” they looked at me like I was really crazy, you know, I was like “Oh! I was like can I get a massage?” they were like “No.” So, I didn’t do a whole lot. I mean I slept a lot. I listened to the baby’s heartbeat a lot because they had me on monitors all the time so, you know, I could always hear her heartbeat. That was kind of nice. But, I actually did share the room with someone else and I actually, that’s little awkward too there was a bathroom between us but I paid attention to what her family did.
Sunny Gault : She had a more interesting family than yours?
Christina Hulette : She did I mean, in certain ways, they come in the middle of the day I used to think what do they do? You know, I kind got of little bit of interest there.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, alright.
Christina Hulette : Day time TV was boring so it’s okay you didn’t have it. Yeah, you weren’t missing anything because there is only so many episodes of food network. You can watch the same thing like, “You just showed this a week ago, this is ridiculous.” I did have, my husband brought my computer, my laptop and he brought a bunch of dvds. He rented a bunch of dvds from like the red box.
Sunny Gault : Okay.
Christina Hulette : And I was able to watch that off and on, you know, between naps and stuff. So I got a lot of movies.
Sunny Gault : Right.
Christina Hulette : So, that was nice because I was really like non interactive, you know, like I said, I just wanted people around me who kind of just sat there and held your hand, you know, the best times were my husband got off to work and he came over and he was like “Okay, I am bringing you food and ate with me” instead of, I mean, there were people who brought like, “Oh! I brought you cookies. Oh! I brought you lunch or whatever” but them they just sit there and watch you eat.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Christina Hulette : And you will be like “Hi, I am falling on my face” and my husband will crawl into bed with me. That was the best.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Christina Hulette : And that was pretty much all I did.
Sunny Gault : Right , what do you recommend Jackie, that women do when they are on bed rest?
Jackie Hiner : Well, in your situation you are in the hospital. In the hospital it’s little bit trickier just because you are away from all of your stuff, you know. We have had patients come in and they bring all kind of stuffs with them. Some of them do scrap bookings, some people bring their laptops in and we have internet and stuff so they do blogging. There are lots of support groups and even online support groups for bed rest if you are on bed rest so that kind of helps out. But I think the biggest thing is missing their friends and family coming in so, if you can have them, you know, at some time, you know, may be on shifts come over and kind of say “Hi” and stay with you for a little bit, you know, they read a lot of books, TV I guess that scrap booking is probably a big one, journaling. I really liked your idea of journaling and writing down your experiences because that kind of helps you reflect on what happened and, you know, it’s just kind of a good way to remember, you know, exactly what you went through. So, lot of people do that, they have lot of journals. I have seen quite a few people color and when you said that I just thought Oh! That’s not common actually. It is easy, it is entertaining, it’s something creative that they come up with. So, it’s really not uncommon so…
Sunny Gault : Oh! Good, that’s great.
Jackie Hiner ; But like, you know, in the hospitals are different situations. In home you probably have little bit more liberty to do a little bit more actions. In the books I have read that help with bed rest you know with our cell phones one of the tips we are saying, you know, to organize your address book. Well, we don’t really have address books anymore because we have all our contacts on our cell phone. The nursery, you know, trying to get your nursery together as long as you are not on complete strict bed rest. So, you know, there are quite a few activities. A lot of it has to do with what you can and you can’t do while, you know, you’re on bed rest. You can get up and move around and you have more freedom to do that in home but at the hospital it’s little bit harder. I have worked with nurses that do give pedicures and so….
[00:30:40]
Sunny Gault : You just had the right nurse, you know. [Laughs]
Jackie Hiner : I am not promoting them. You get pedicures but yeah, especially for patients that have been in the hospital for a long time, we develop strong bonds, we have done baby showers for the patients that have been in there for a long time but yeah, it just really depends your situation of course, you know, with having preeclampsia that’s a hard one. That’s a real hard one. And I have taken care of quite a few moms who had preeclampsia and, you know, it’s not fun for them but you know, but we wanna make sure you have the best outcomes for you and your baby. So, it’s just really depending on the situation, you know, that is you are. At home of course you will have more liberty than you are in the hospital.
Sunny Gault : Alright, sure okay, when we come back we are gonna talk about some of the potential complications of being on bed rest and how we can make the experience a little bit more enjoyable. We will be right back.
[Theme Music]
Sunny Gault : Okay, welcome back everyone. We are talking about bed rest and we are discussing the topic with Jackie Hiner. She is an RN with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. So, Jackie, I know that there are potential complications from being on bed rest so, let’s explore some of these. And then I wanna get, basically pull some of our panelists here and see how they felt after having been on bed rest and had their babies. Some of the common things that I have read about being tired or even being constipated, what are the some of the things that you, that you hear?
Jackie Hiner : Constipation, definitely is a big one even women that are not on bed rest can experience constipation but even more so when you are not on bed rest because you are not up and moving around. So, we wanna make sure that we are having a diet high in fiber, lots of fruits and vegetables, water, often times we do prescribe collace or a type of stool softener to help with that just because you know, you are not really getting the activity that you normally would. Weakness and being tired definitely is probably another big complication. The weakness is because you are not up and moving around so much so, your muscles actually start to become smaller or they atrofie, little by little the longer you are on bed rest the more muscle weakness that we see. And so, to try and combat that we have some exercises that can be done to help strengthen the muscles because you do start to loose muscle tissue over time, doing exercises that can contract the muscles of the legs or the arms, doing exercises of like circling the arms or the feet, squeezing stress balls, those are another thing try to help that. And then because, you know, you are lying in bed all day the tendency is to take long extended naps and that does affect your sleep cycle. You wanna take of course, take a nap during the day you know, 20 minutes an hour but not hours and hours of time because in turn you are awake during the day, I mean, during the night so, that can cause insomnia. So, just couple of naps during the day, may be 20 or 30 minutes, of course not more than an hour and then kind of stay on a regular routine, if you are on bed rest which that can be like “routine, what are you talking about. That is my routine.” But you know, starting on the morning, eating breakfast, next thing moving on to may be answering emails or you know, reading or that kind of a thing but try and stay a little bit on a somewhat of a schedule to try and keep yourself at fairly normal pace because that does affect your circulating rhythm if you are sleeping a lot on the day and of course you are gonna be awake at night. Back pain of course is, back pain and muscle pains because you are lying on your sides or, you know, for a while so that does put pressure on certain joints. So, try and moving from side to side a little bit. You don’t wanna lay completely flat on your back because the babies really don’t like that. It compresses you know, the artery that you have behind the uterus and so not a lot of blood and oxygen gets to the baby. So, we see changes in the baby’s heart rate with that. So, you know, laying on your side either right or left doesn’t really matter or if you are sitting at the little bit of a tilt, you know, just kind of move that uterus over a little bit. So, all of those things can help so, those are the big ones is being tired, the muscle and some pains and then constipation.
[00:35:17]
Sunny Gault : Okay and so, I have to ask you guys now. Christina, you are looking at me like “Yeah”
Christina Hulette : I was like check, check, yeah.
Sunny Gault : Pretty much all of those?
Christina Hulette : Yeah, I think that, you know, the lying on your side always was really just it killed me. It hurt my hip really bad and even I had to change my bedding now, you know, they gave like a new mattress and everything.
Jackie Hiner : Yeah, we do give air mattress.
Christina Hulette : But actually it didn’t help.
Jackie Hiner : It didn’t help at all?
Chrisitna Hulette : No, it was hard. I didn’t like it.
Jackie Hiner : Okay, I will keep a mental note on that.
Christina Hulette : I thought it should be flipped over so that there were little holes up on my hips that had little like a bit of air space, anyway. But, yeah you know, it just it was all of those things yes, yep check, check, check, check, check.
Sunny Gault : How about you Rabeka?
Rabeka Harrison : I think it was more well, back pain, muscle soreness. I was just tired all the time even when I tried to stay away I felt like fall asleep and I was just bored out of my mind. And so when I am bored I either eat or sleep. So, it’s like okay, you continue to gain weight, too much weights or you sleep all the time.
Sunny Gault : And which one did you choose?
Rabeka Harrison : Kind of both, eat sleep, eat sleep and I had a water bed at that time so, it wasn’t too bad however sometimes it was just not enough to support so I just, it was just boring and tiresome and I just ate, ate, yeah.
Sunny Gault : Do you find it a lot of women on bed rest do gain more weight?
Jackie Hiner: You know, not so much because they are on bed rest for an extended amount of time then they start to loose muscle tissue so, it’s also the reason that they are losing muscles.
Sunny Gault : Oh! It’s not good.
Jackie Hiner: It’s not good so, it just really depends on what type of food that you are choosing if you eat all fruits and vegetables then it’s not a big deal but if you are eating Twinkies and bombons and ice creams then that’s probably not good. All cravings yes, now I get that but actually that’s one the big concern you know, “I am just on bed you know, I need to eat but I don’t wanna gain too much weight” But if you are in bed rest for an extended amount of time, you are gonna end up losing muscle tissue so that does affect your weight gain. So, yeah that’s something to keep in my mind.
Chrisitna Hulette: But looking back I think there was definitely things that I would have done differently but I didn’t know that’s the thing I just didn’t know. So, you know, I would have packed a bag and had all my undergarments and all of my stuff in it, you know, because honestly my husband went home he won’t didn’t know where anything was, and two, he grabbed all the wrong stuff you know, I was just like “Have ever seen me wearing these underwear? No” and he was like “why are they in the draw then?” you know, I mean stuff like that I would have prepared way earlier in advance even though it was only 26 weeks, I should have been on top of it.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Chrisitna Hulette: You know, stuff like that I mean I was preparing. I had an appointment set up to have some hair removal and so, I was little shaggy and I got put on bed rest on Thursday was appointment was on next Tuesday. So, and then another 10 days passes it wasn’t pretty, you know, like prepare.
Sunny Gault : Right, as much as you can, yeah.
Chrisitna Hulette: With preparation, I would have done whole heck of a lot different.
Sunny Gault : Yeah, Rabeka what would have done differently?
Rabeka Harrison : I guess it’s really not much I could have done differently. I just got anxiety, I am a type of person that I always have to move and do things and so, I just think may be more visitors. I probably could have called more people and said “Hey, I need visitors instead of, No don’t worry about me” No it wasn’t like I was trying to be a murderer, I didn’t want them, I just want my friends and family to be so concerned because, you know, for me it really wasn’t that big of a deal. But it was, you know, I am a social person and I was stuck in home with my cats and I love my cats however they slept and they ate so, it didn’t help me in anything.
Sunny Gault : So, you just really like looking at your cats?
Rabeka Harrison : Oh! Yeah, right I think just inviting more people and asking for help, I think for me that was probably the biggest thing I still need to do.
Sunny Gault : Yeah.
Rabeka Harrison : So, I would have asked for help from my husband actually because he was a stress ball and he was trying to get stuffs together at the last minute for the nursery and stuffs I was like you know, “what she is gonna be on the hospital, she is a baby don’t worry about it”
Sunny Gault : You got time to do that.
Rabeka Harrison : We got time later and he was just crazy so, I said “can you go over and help my husband whether he wants to help or not” that would have been a smart thing to do but I didn’t remember that, I didn’t know that.
[00:40:12]
Sunny Gault : Yeah, good. Well, good information from you guys today, thank you so much. I loved listening to you guys stories and hopefully we help some women out there that may be put on bed rest in the future. So, we are gonna continue our discussion about this online and we of course wanna hear what your experiences been like especially if you are on bed rest you are probably on Facebook, right? Alright, great opportunity to join on our conversation so you can share those details on our Facebook page or you can even comment on twitter using the Hash tag at New Mommy Media. Thanks for joining us guys.
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[Featured Segments: From Our Listeners “What about birth stories?”]
Sunny Gault : Okay, before we wrap up today’s show we do have an email that one of our listeners have sent us.This comes from Allison Davis. And Allison says “I am really enjoying Preggie Pals so far. The episodes have been very interesting and informative. One thing that I do miss though is the ups and downs episodes and birth story. I think it helped you to get to know the panelists which was nice.” And she says this is my second pregnancy. With my first I really appreciate the birth stories. Love to hear these become part of the Preggie Pals format” So, Allison thank you so much for your comment. Of course, we do welcome these types of comments from all of our listeners because this is your show. And we wanna do things that would of course interest and benefit all of our listeners. So, with ups and downs, we are not gonna dedicate the whole episodes to ups and downs. We will probably be releasing a smaller segment, as you guys know we have segments at the beginning and the end of each show at about 3 to 5 minutes. So, we will probably launch some sort of segments in the future where our panelists can briefly mention something that’s happening in their pregnancy that they wanna share. We also gonna launch a series where we follow three pregnant women from the very beginning of their pregnancy through the birth of their babies and of course in those whole episodes they will be sharing their ups and downs. So, that’s one way to get ups and downs into our format. Regarding birth stories, so we are doing something a little bit differently with our birth stories. We are not gonna do whole episodes featuring, you know, our panelists during their birth stories after their babies were born. Instead, we are going to be sharing birth stories via, video Skype on our website. Now, the reason we are doing it this way as supposed to incorporating into an episode is because I really wanted to reach out and be able to cooperate the birth stories of people all over the country or all over the world for that matter. With birth stories before, it’s pretty much confined to the panelists that we are in the studio and there are so many great stories out there and I wanted to get the listeners involved. So, if that is something that might interest we don’t do it live, we record it in advance and then I make some small edits and I put it up on the website. If that interests you, please let us know. There is actually an online application form you can fill out which is http://www.preggiepals.com/submityourstory and if you just wanna watch some of the great birth stories that we already have up there, it’s really fun because you get to see the panelists or the person that is sharing that story or you get to see their spouse, you get to see their partners and you get to see their babies too which is always fun. So, if you wanna check out those stories just go to our website http://www.preggiepals.com and under the blog section there is a link for birth stories. So, Allison I hope that answers your questions. We certainly do wanna try to incorporate this type of content into our shows. We are just doing this a little bit differently but thank you so much for your email and we really do appreciate your support.
So, that wraps up our show for today if you have any questions about today’s topic for any pregnancy related question you can ask our experts. Simply send us and email or call our Preggie Pals hotline at 619-866-4775 and will answer your question on an upcoming episode and if you have a pregnancy topic, you would like to suggest we would love to hear it. You can visit our website which is http://www.preggiepals.com and send us an email. Alright coming up next week, we are talking about pregnancy medications. What is in your cabinet? What you can take and what you can’t? Thanks for listening to Preggie Pals, your pregnancy your way.
[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. For such information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
[00:45:55] [End Of Audio]