A helpful list of things you can do while you're on bedrest during your pregnancy.
When I realised I was going to spend the final three months of my pregnancy in bed, I thought I would go crazy with boredom.
By the way, this was 35 years ago when there were no laptops, digital cameras, mobile phones or Netflix. However, I was surprised to quickly find heaps of things to do and I actually enjoyed having time for activities I wouldn't usually consider.
My list is a mixture of things I actually did and activities I could do if I was on bed rest in modern times.
I read lots of books and magazines. These days there is so much information to read online. I don't have one, but I think a Kindle would be useful. Listening to audio books is another option.
2. Watch movies, series, documentaries
I watched videos (in Beta format) and television. I think we had a choice of four channels. Today there are numerous free-to-air television channels, pay TV, DVDs and of course, there is Netflix. I do love to binge watch a good series.
3. Colouring in
Colouring in was not viewed as an activity for adults back in the eighties. In spite of this, I bought myself the set of 72 Derwent coloured pencils I had desperately wanted as a child and coloured in pictures of fairies, flowers and pretty things. Strangely, colouring in is not something I enjoy these days, even though there are hundreds of
books aimed at the adult market.
Benefits of colouring in include:
Encourages focus and mindfulness
Can help you fall asleep
4. Write letters and cards
I made cards and wrote letters by hand to various friends and relatives both in Australia and overseas. These days, one can still use snail mail or communicate via email, text messages, Facebook and other social media apps. There are all sorts of online forums and groups to join.
5. Write Readers Letters
Back then, more magazines had Readers Letters, often with a money incentive. I got a few letters published and made some pin money for my efforts.
Journalling takes many forms and can be done by hand or using modern technology. It can be done online or kept private. Some people include photos, sketches or other artwork.
Some of the benefits of journalling are:
Helps with emotional healing
Boosts your IQ
Now could be the time to start a blog or revive one you started ages ago and then abandoned.
8. Write short stories or poetry
I wrote poems in different styles and submitted some to magazines. Short story writing is another way to express creativity and there are plenty of competitions.
9. Enter competitions
I entered competitions in the magazines I read and won a radio shaped like a miniature can of paint from Wattyl paints. Now there are also plenty of online competitions.
These days I don't have the patience to stick at a crossword until I have solved it, but it was a different story when I was confined to bed. Nowadays, there are plenty of puzzles and games online and on mobile phones, in addition to the brain teasers in magazines and newspapers.
11. Make a scrap book
I cut pictures from magazines and wrapping paper and stuck them in a scrap book like I did as a kid. This is an activity I still enjoy as I look for clothes, hairstyles, flowers and furniture I like.
These days there are all sorts of scrap booking ideas using photos, embellishments, stickers and the like and plenty of magazines and online resources for inspiration.
12. Organise your digital images
Today it's all about digital photography. This opens a world of options including:
Scrap booking on your computer
Learning how to use photo editing software
Repairing and restoring damaged photos
Contributing images to sites like Pixabay for others to use for free
Selling images to stock photo sites
I finished a tapestry of an owl I had started several years earlier. The tapestry is still hanging in my house, but I have never done another one. There are kits of various types of needlework available including cross stitch, embroidery, crewel embroidery, applique, needlepoint and long stitch available online and in the shops.
14. Sew small felt ornaments
I made a collection of small brightly coloured felt animals, which I stuffed with cotton wool. I used some as a mobile in my baby's room and the rest became non-breakable ornaments for the Christmas tree.
15. Knitting or crocheting
If you don't know how, perhaps a friend could teach you. As well as being a way to create baby blankets and clothing these activities can:
Reduce depression and anxiety
Help alleviate pain
16. Learn a new skill online
Free online tutorials and courses open up a world of learning. Some free courses issue a statement to say you completed the course. You could even study a foreign language or something else you have always been too busy to do.
So there you have it – there are plenty of activities you can do while on pregnancy bed rest than one would first think.
When my daughter started daycare, I spent a lot of time trying to find the right fit for her and our family. I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. Over and over again though, the answer to my question would come back the same, "she'll be fine."
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.