When your OB-GYN recommends that you be put on bed rest for the remainder of your pregnancy, you may initially look forward to spending time at home in your comfortable pajamas catching up on television, books, and magazines. However, after a few days, it’s understandable that you can become stir-crazy as a result of not being able to venture outside and do the activities you enjoy the most.
While it’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions to a tee, it’s still possible for you to exercise your mind and body through meditation, deep breathing, and other yoga techniques even when you’re in bed. If you’re interested in keeping your body in its best optimal shape possible for the remainder of your pregnancy, get approval from your OB-GYN as to whether you can engage in restorative yoga movements. Then, practice one or more of the following exercises at any time while on bed rest.
1. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing can help calm and relax your body and mind while also helping relieve any pregnancy-related aches and pains. Close your eyes, and focus on breathing deeply through your nose. Then, try to gradually increase the amount of time you’re spending on breathing in and out. For examine, breathe in for three seconds, then breathe out for two seconds. For your next breath, breathe in for four seconds, then breathe out for three seconds.
2. Stretch your belly and shoulders
Sit upright near the middle of your bed, and place your hands about six to 12 inches behind you. Open up your chest, and gently allow your head to fall back slightly as you take one or two deep breaths. This movement will help stretch the front of your body as well as your shoulders.
3. Squeeze a stress ball
Hold a small, pliable stress ball in your hands and squeeze the ball while practicing deep breathing. Don’t hold your breath; instead, imagine that any existing stress, anxiety, or frustration is moving out of your body and into the ball as you’re squeezing and breathing.
4. Do shoulder exercises
Take advantage of bed rest to focus on strengthening and working your upper body and shoulders. Sit up straight in bed, lift your arms directly over your head, then out to the upper corners of the room, then straight out to either side. The first movement you make with your arms should resemble the letter “I,” followed by the letter “Y,” followed lastly by the letter “T.” Take one breath with each movement, and repeat at least three times to promote blood flow to your shoulders and upper body.
5. Do a supported body stretch
Arrange three pillows on your bed in a “T” shape, with one pillow placed horizontally at the top for your head, and two pillows underneath it vertically to support your spine. Then, lie back onto the pillows and bend your knees while allowing them to open slightly out to each side. Focus on relaxing, and stay in this position for at least one minute to fully stretch your body.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.