Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Discovering that you have a potentially serious pregnancy complication can be frightening. If you're diagnosed with preeclampsia late in your pregnancy, you may be surprised and scared to know that you'll be induced right away. If you're diagnosed earlier in your pregnancy, you may spend many hours of bed rest worrying about your baby's health.

It may help to learn as much as you can about your condition. In addition to talking to your doctor, do some research. On the other hand, if reading about preeclampsia and its possible complications only makes you more nervous and worried, find a distraction. Make sure you understand when to call your doctor, and then find something else to occupy your time.

Coping with bed rest

For the first few hours, bed rest may seem wonderful. But the reality of life in bed — waiting and worrying — is often not so wonderful. You may feel frustrated by the forced lack of activity, especially if you haven't had time to finish preparations for your baby's arrival.

To make bed rest tolerable, consider these tips:

  • Make sure you understand the ground rules. Ask your doctor for specifics. What position should you use while lying down? Can you sit up at times? If so, for how long? Are you allowed any other type of physical activity?
  • Prepare your resting room. Whether you choose to spend your time in your bedroom or a more central spot in your home, make sure everything you need is within reach.
  • Organize your day. The hours will pass more quickly if you have some sort of routine. Schedule specific times to phone the office, watch television and read. It may help to stick to some parts of your normal schedule, such as lunchtime and lights out.
  • Keep busy. Use your time to balance the checkbook, organize your photo albums or catch up on phone calls. Shop for baby supplies, either online or from catalogs. Take up a new hobby, such as knitting. Or learn relaxation and visualization techniques. They'll help not only during bed rest but also during labor and delivery.

Make the best of the situation by focusing on the fact that you're doing what's best for you and your baby.

Apr. 21, 2011