Surviving Bed Rest: 10 Things To Do While Staying Horizontal

Written by

Rebekah Cook

10:00 am

Photographed by Kisha Bari

Bed Rest. If you’ve been there, we salute you! And if you’ve recently been prescribed bed rest, we’re here to support you! It’s a trying time and can be emotional, frustrating, not to mention maddening and boring. The good news is that you are doing everything you can to keep your baby healthy and you should feel good about that fact. Plus, there are some plus-sides to being stuck horizontal. Need proof? Take a look at our suggestions to help keep your mind and body busy before birth!

Don’t Go It Alone: You’re already anxious and over-worried, so you need to get out of your head. Now is the perfect time to pull the pregnancy card with your friends. Have a game night or movie night with some friends and make them bring the snacks and drinks. Do manicures and facials. Ask them to bring lunch over. They will be more than happy to do it, so don’t be shy. Plus, it’ll be a nice prelude to the little favors you’ll be requesting once baby arrives.

Shop Online: Grab your laptop and your credit card—it’s shopping time! Make a list of all the things you still need for baby and get to work. You’ll have time to do extra research on strollers and other baby goodies that you maybe wouldn’t have made time for before. (Check out our baby registry roundup to get started!) And don’t forget about home essentials! You can stock up on items you’ll need around the house—as well as in the medicine cabinet—before you enter the newborn infatuation period.

Design Your Baby Announcements: No one wants to be designing a baby announcement in between sleeping and nursing sessions. Design yours now. Make your own or choose your favorites through sites like Minted or Redstamp. Save the designs in your cart and all you’ll have to do is upload your favorite newborn baby pic when the time comes.

Write Thank You Notes: Chances are, you’re going to receive a mountain of baby gifts (if you haven’t already). And with those gifts comes a mountain of thank you notes. Use your bed rest time to scribble down your gratitude and gather all of your gift-giver’s addresses and keep them in an easy-to-find place (we like Google Docs). This will make it so much easier to send those aforementioned baby announcements, holiday cards, etc. in the months to come.

Work From Home: If your work situation makes it possible for you to telecommute during bed rest, make sure to set yourself up with a comfortable bed or couch office. A lap desk and comfortable pillow are a must. In a pinch, The Brest Friend also makes a nice laptop station, and will play double-duty once your babe is there.

Stay Hydrated: When you’re less mobile, your digestive system can get thrown off. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep from getting constipated. Keep a big water bottle next to your bed so that you can keep track of your intake.

Catch Up On Your Shows: You have every excuse to binge watch while on bed rest. Pop some popcorn with coconut oil and add some nutritional yeast and watch away. We recommend light-hearted comedies or dramas. Some suggestions: The Wire, Broad City, Friends, Scandal, House of Cards, Sex and The City, Mad Men, and if you can handle the high-octane, heart-pounding options: Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Homeland.

Prep For Parenthood: If you feel like adding some baby-centric movies into your viewing mix, we suggest documentaries The Business of Being Born, Breastmilk The Movie, Babies, and The Mama Sherpas.

Read: Settling into a great page-turner can be a great way to keep your mind active! For tomes of the non-baby variety, interesting reads like Girl In A Band, How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are, Lean In, and #Girlboss should do the trick. For motherhood- and pregnancy-related books, check out our roundup here.

Stretch, Exercise, And Breath: It’s important to keep as active as you can while on bed rest. Fit Pregnancy has a good list of stretches and moves you can do to prevent cramping and even sores. Of course, you should consult with your care provider first to see how much exercise and movement is allowed in your specific situation.

Did we miss any bed rest must-do’s? Ladies who have been there, let us know your own tips and tricks for surviving these months.

Leave a Comment



I love the idea of designing baby announcements! Perfect use of that time.

Warm Regards,


I’m currently on bed rest at 23 weeks and have been since 18 weeks. I have a three-year old so it’s been challenging. Best things for me have been having my mom here to help and working from home (lap desk is key – I got this one and love it:

I’m streaming House of Cards and researching a new sofa and chair, as well as baby stuff, online. If I do anymore online shopping, my husband might disconnect my Internet. :-)

The only thing I would add to this is to invest in some comfy, pretty maternity lounge wear that makes you feel good. Belabumbum pj sets are some of my favorites.

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Can you please let us know where the gorgeous dress she is wearing in the photo comes from?

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Wool and the gang offer amazing knitting kits which are ideal for those on bed rest- amazing designs and everything you need in one package. I found knitting helped me stay calm when facing worrying baby news in the hospital. I couldn’t face finishing anything I knitted while pregnant and on bed rest as too many negative conectations still- but I am now the proud mother of a healthy 16 week old boy and am knitting a wool and the gang jumper in celebration!