5 Useful Ways to Survive Bed Rest

woman on bed rest reading a bookThere are a variety of reasons why your doctor might put you on bed rest. Some women go on bed rest because they’re showing signs of premature labor. Others are facing an issue like pre-eclampsia. Laying around for weeks or months on end might seem like a dreadful task, but it’ll pass by faster than you think. You will survive bed rest, with some help and some surrendering!

Here 5 tips for surviving bed rest while still keeping your sanity:

1. Get the details

Your doctor should have given you instructions and guidelines for your bed rest. For example, can you do everything but lift things that weight more than five pounds? Or did your doctor say you’re not allowed to leave the bed for anything but bathroom trips?

Be sure to get clear instructions and a list of do’s and don’ts. For example, some pregnant women on bed rest have to use a wheelchair when they’re visiting the doctor. Take notes, because “pregnancy brain” is a real thing.

2. Set up a meal train

If you’re the main cook in your house, going on bed rest might be difficult for your family. Ask for help: you might ask a family member or a close friend to organize meals for your family.

Try using the site The site allows people to sign up for meals simply and easily. It’ll let you know who’s coming, when they’re coming, and even what kind of meal they’re making!

3. Invite visitors

Ask your friends and family over to visit, because bed rest can get SO boring. Scheduling visits will give you some social time and help ease your boredom. Play a game, have tea, talk, but just don’t feel like you have to be the perfect hostess.

You’ll probably need extra help with chores since the laundry and dishes don’t just stop for bed rest. Some women on bed rest have chosen to have a helper come over once a day for an hour at a time. allows you to share what your needs are and the times of day you need help or visitors. People can then just sign up to help you.

4. Binge watch your fave show

OK, so tip #4 is probably something you already planned to do on best rest. But it’s worth mentioning that entertainment can make the time go quicker. Ask friends for their suggestions on their favorite movies or show. Binge-watching a fabulous show helps hours of bed rest go by pronto.

You could also ask a friend to check out some books from the library for you or borrow some great books from them. Write letters to relatives who live far away, do a crossword puzzle or color in an adult coloring book. Learn how to knit or crochet, or something else crafty.

5. Let it go

Realize that you can’t do it all from your bed. Your home might get messy and chaotic: surrender to the chaos. Your house can be messy for a little while.

Your bed rest is only a short period of your life. Right now, delivering a healthy baby is more important than household chores.

Bed rest isn’t going to be the end of the world. It’s a short-term fix for a long-term goal. Be honest, reach out, relax and let things go. You totally deserve the rest you’re getting!

10 Tips for New Dads-to-Be

follow these labor and post-partum tips for a happy wife!Today, Pregnancy Help Online is writing a post for all the dads-to-be out there. So you’ll want to make sure to share this info with your boyfriend or husband! If he follows these simple rules, you should leave the labor and post-partum experience feeling respected, honored, loved, and cared for.

Here are 10 tips for your man to follow when you’re at the hospital to deliver your baby:

1. Be Brave

Be as strong as she needs to be. You can only be as afraid and grossed out as the person giving birth. Even though this might be terrifying for both of you, you’re in this together for every amazing, gory, and beautiful part of it. In any way you can, be “in it” with her and help her.

2. Be Present

Follow her cues about where you should be during labor and delivery. The key here is to give her encouragement and comfort, NOT to complain. Are you starving? So is she. Need to go to the bathroom? Would you like a catheter or a bedpan? She doesn’t have a way out, so you shouldn’t leave either. After delivery, she’s going to need help to recover. At the hospital and once you get home, you should be there to help.

3. Be Attentive

Be kind, attentive, and show her that you have the same goals as she does. Many new moms feel like they’re responsible for the whole world. You can help her see that she isn’t alone in all this. Don’t give up if she seems to be criticizing your effort. Try to understand all that she’s going through and check your ego.

4. Anticipate Needs

Try to anticipate what she and your baby might need, and just do it. Even though she’s exhausted after delivery, she’ll still waddle her bloody, bruised self to take care of anything that needs to be done. So, beat her to it. What you want to avoid doing is asking if she needs help, because she’ll probably say, “I got it.” If she has to say ‘got it’ too often, it’s not fair.

5. Care for Other Children

Do the huge majority of the parenting for your older kids, because they still have needs, too. Take the older kids with you on errands, so your lady can take care of herself and the newborn.

6. No Whining

It’s not a secret that the hospital-provided chairs and cots aren’t that comfy. The mother and baby are their priority, so you’ll need to find a way to make your accommodations work. Don’t whine or complain, because then you’re forcing her to take care of you. Right now, her attention needs to be on herself and the baby.

7. Stay Involved

Men aren’t taught how to prepare for a baby entering their lives and marriages. Many of us still think that women should be able to handle motherhood naturally and easily and that men don’t have any nurturing instincts. This viewpoint says that men should stay away because they’ll probably mess things up. That’s a myth, and it’s not fair to everyone. Help each other out!

8. Breast Milk is “Liquid Gold”

If you handle breast milk and spill even one drop of it or leave it out too long, complete remorse is the appropriate reaction. Whatever you do, don’t act like it’s no big deal or argue with her. Breastfeeding and pumping are challenging, so you need to treat it with the proper respect. Just think of the money you’re saving by not needing to buy formula, not to mention the enormous health benefits your baby’s getting.

9. Listen to the Doctor

Get involved in her health care. Before you’re allowed to go home, her doctor will go through care instructions. Pay attention! Take the baby if she needs to focus on what the doctor’s saying. Don’t be shy to ask questions if you need to because you’re going to be the one taking care of your baby and wife while she heals. Listen when they talk about the signs of postpartum depression.

10. Acknowledge What She Just Did

Her body is going to change from having a baby, so it’s important to remember what she did for your family. So, appreciate her body because she’s probably feeling 30 kinds of weird about what she looks like. You’re in this thing together, but it required a tremendous sacrifice from her, so try and honor that.

“I’m Not Thrilled To Be Pregnant…”

I'm not thrilled to be pregnant...what should i do?!“Ten days ago, I found out I’m pregnant. It had been five weeks since I’d had my period. I had this nagging feeling when I bought that test that it’d come up positive. But, I’m not thrilled to be pregnant…

I walked into the living room, and my boyfriend paused the video game he was playing. I announced that the pregnancy test turned out positive. We then just sat in silence on the sofa together, not knowing what to say. To say this wasn’t the right time would be an understatement. I’m still going to school full-time, and my boyfriend is between jobs.

We didn’t mention the pregnancy until a couple of days later. We were both acting like the test was wrong. I told myself that since I didn’t take it first thing in the morning when my hormones were high, maybe it didn’t count.

Days went by, and the realization started to sink in: we were going to be parents. Since having that realization, I’ve been crying every day. Crying during everyday moments, like brushing my teeth or getting on the bus to work. And not happy tears either; ugly crocodile tears, that I couldn’t wipe away fast enough before more came.

I needed to talk to someone about this. I wanted someone to reassure me that everything would be okay. So I called my best friend, who always seems to know what to say. She asked me, ‘Are you so excited?’ I broke down in tears, and let her know that no, I’m not excited. I’m angry. I’m scared. Basically everything but excited.

‘I’m not thrilled to be pregnant. I don’t know if I want this baby. I should get it taken care of. How can I bring a child into the world when I feel this way?’

And then, when I felt so low, my friend offered another option besides abortion. Her loving and compassionate suggestion was adoption. OK, so my boyfriend and I totally weren’t ready to become a dad and mom. But there were thousands of couples that were, couples who couldn’t have a baby of their own. They wanted desperately to adopt so that they could become parents. That’s when I started to explore adoption…”

If you’re not ready to be a mom and don’t want to get an abortion either, there is a third choice: adoption. We encourage you to check out if you’d like to learn more about this pregnancy choice.

Is Eating Ice Cream Safe When You’re Pregnant?

Is eating ice cream safe when you’re pregnant?One of the best parts of being pregnant is the fact that no one’s judging you as you thoroughly enjoy your dinner (and some ice cream.) Lately, there’s been some talk out there about the safety of pregnant women eating ice cream. Is ice cream safe to eat during pregnancy?

There are some types of ice cream to be concerned about, such as soft serve and custards. If you love custard, make sure that if there are no raw eggs in the preparation. That’s because raw eggs might carry salmonella. Cooked egg custard, though, is just fine and completely delicious. While soft serve ice cream usually doesn’t have raw eggs in it, think about the store preparing the ice cream. If they don’t have strict cleaning standards, listeria may grow in the apparatus that dispenses ice cream.

Listeria can have a destructive impact on your developing baby. Salmonella has a similar risk, for your baby as well as for you. It’s a nasty bacteria that can cause dehydration, severe gastric upset, and even death in pregnant women. It may also lead to birth defects and miscarriage. So you can see why listeria and salmonella are no joke!

Gratefully, those complications are pretty rare and easy to avoid. Just get your ice cream from the grocery store. Store-bought ice cream won’t put you at risk for anything serious.

The bottom line is this: your ice cream needs to be made or served in a facility that’s safe and clean. Ask the store employees if there are any raw eggs in their ice cream to be sure. This will help you avoid the risk of nasty salmonella.

What Is PUPPs?

Could it be PUPPs?!PUPPs is a pretty cute and cuddly-sounding acronym for an awful, itchy skin condition called “Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy.” PUPPs (or PUPPP) is a fairly common skin condition, with about 1 in 250 pregnant women getting this rash. Make sure to check in with your doctor if you think you have PUPPS. The info in this article is not meant to replace medical advice.

You might notice your skin is breaking out, or develop an itchy rash in the stretch marks of your abdomen. Pregnant women with darker skin are less likely to develop PUPPS. It starts in your abdomen area and then spreads. PUPPs usually appears in the third trimester and can range from mildly uncomfortable to downright miserable (especially during warmer months).  Because the skin on your belly is already feeling tight and itchy in the final trimester, developing PUPPS will test even the calmest mom-to-be.  Fortunately, studies have not linked PUPPs to any long-term impact on you or your baby.

Says one woman who had PUPPs: “I got it when I was 38 weeks along, and it started as small red and pink raised dots around my belly button. My doctor thought it was just due to hormones and suggested leaving them alone. I pretty much forgot about the bumpy spots, because there were other 3rd trimester symptoms were bugging me.”

Causes of PUPPS

Experts don’t know what for sure causes PUPPs, but some theories suggest it’s caused by pregnancy hormones. Other theories say the gender of your baby may increase your odds of developing this annoying condition. Pregnant women having a boy seem to develop PUPPs than those expecting a girl.

What Can I Do To Get Relief?

The constant, nagging itchiness can be really stressful and annoying. If you’re experiencing PUPPs, you might need to try a few solutions until you find what works for you.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Calamine lotion
  • Apply a cool, wet compress
  • Place a fan by your bed too to blow over you while you sleep
  • Stand in front of a fan (after applying cool lotion from the fridge).
  • Keep your house cool
  • Wear light cotton clothing
  • Oatmeal baths
  • Meditation (to help your mind wander from the fact that you’re feeling so itchy!)

Your doctor may also recommend antibiotics, antihistamines, or even steroids if your skin breaks from all that scratching. Did you experience PUPPs? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments what you did for the itch!

6 Pregnancy Side Effects That People Don’t Talk About

worried pregnant womanYou’ve probably heard lots about common pregnancy side effects like swollen feet, heartburn, and morning sickness. But what about the pregnancy side effects no one ever talks about? Today, we’re sharing about 6 unpleasant, unspoken pregnancy side effects with you:

1. A Bad Taste in Your Mouth
If you’ve been dealing with morning sickness, your appetite may have suffered during the first trimester. For some women, vomiting leads to a bad taste in their mouth. Just swallowing saliva might leave you with a foul taste in on your tongue. To get rid of the bitter aftertaste, try brushing your teeth frequently, or chewing gum.

2. Yeast Infections
It’s more common to get a yeast infection when you’re pregnant than any other time your life! This is especially true during your second trimester of pregnancy. A yeast infection doesn’t have any major negative effect on your pregnancy. But, the infection might be harder to control during pregnancy. So, don’t wait to get treatment!

3. Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome condition is actually common in pregnant women. Symptoms of carpal tunnel during pregnancy usually come and go, with the pain being worse at night. Carpal tunnel syndrome can start anytime during your pregnancy, but it’s more likely to start (or get worse) during the second trimester.

4. Bathroom Difficulties
Another common problem pregnant women face is constipation: almost half of all pregnant women get constipated at some time. You’re more likely to experience constipation during pregnancy due to an increase in the hormone progesterone. And let’s put it plainly: as you get bigger, it gets more and more difficult to wipe after you’ve gone to the bathroom.

5. Hair, Everywhere
Sure, the hair on your head grows faster and is thicker and shinier during your pregnancy. But this fast growth also happens with the hair not on your head: your legs and armpits need more razor attention during pregnancy. Read “I’m Going to Grow Hair Where During Pregnancy?!” to learn more.

6. Restless Leg Syndrome
Your legs will get overworked during pregnancy because they’re carrying a lot of extra weight: your baby, placenta, late night cravings, and various fluids. If you feel a nagging urge to move your legs to get relief from tingling, crawling, or burning sensations, you probably have restless legs syndrome. But know that you’re not alone: over 16% of pregnant women report symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

20 Questions Pregnant Women Should Ask During the Hospital Tour

Happy couple tours the hospital before birthWhen you’re on the hospital tour before you deliver, there’s no such thing as too many questions. It’s much better to know ahead of time if the hospital has amenities such as a birthing tub and if you’ll be sharing a room. Here are 20 questions you should definitely ask:

1. Will I be laboring and delivering in the same room, or is there a triage area for labor and another for the actual delivery?

2. Do you have the option of a private room? (if the answer is “yes”, make sure to ask your insurance if a part of the room fee is covered)

3. Does your hospital have a designated waiting area for friends and family? (If they do, ask to check it out!)

4. Will I have use of a shower or birthing tub? Are these shared amenities that could be in use when I deliver, or just for me alone?

5. Am I allowed to walk the halls during labor, or is there another designated space for laboring mothers?

6. What positions can I give birth in?

7. Do you provide access to a birthing bar or birthing ball?

8. How long does is the average labor last for this hospital?

9. What is your hospital’s C-section rate?

10. How long would I have to wait for an epidural?

11. Do you have a policy on videos or photos during labor and delivery?

12. Am I allowed to eat and drink while in labor?

13. What’s the hospital’s episiotomy policy?

14. Can my midwife or doula be present? Are there any areas of the hospital she’s not allowed in?

15. Can I wear my pajamas or gown during labor?

16. What will happen if I need a C-section?

17. Will I be moved to another room after delivering? Is it shared or private?

18. What happens if my baby needs NICU attention? Will they be transported to another facility?

19. Will my baby stay in my room, or a nursery?

20. How long can I expect to stay in the hospital after delivery?

Why Feeling Your Baby’s Kicks Is a Good Sign

feeling the baby kickOne of the most exciting days of anyone’s pregnancy is when they feel that first kick. At first, it might just feel like just a flutter (or like when you have gas!) But as your baby grows, and the kicks get stronger and stronger. By the end of your pregnancy, you might feel like your baby is practicing soccer in there! It makes many pregnant women wonder: Why is my baby kicking me?

Your baby’s movement is a normal part of fetal development. He or she is kicking because of light, noise, or even due to different types of food you’re eating. They can actually hear and respond to what’s going on outside of the uterus. So, when you can feel (or see!) your baby moving, you know that your pregnancy is on the right track.

At your ultrasound appointment, you may be able see your baby’s movement before you can feel it. At six to seven weeks along, your baby starts wiggling with bending sideways. As you get further along, your baby will begin moving its tiny arms and legs around. By 15 weeks along, he or she can even suck their thumb.

Even though there’s all this movement going on inside you, you may not feel anything until the second trimester. Most women feel the first kicks between 18 and 25 weeks, according to American Pregnancy.

You’ll probably feel your baby moving more often as your pregnancy advances. But there may be times when they’re resting, even for pretty long periods of time. If you’re walking a lot and moving around, your baby moves less. That’s because all of your movement lulls and rocks your baby to sleep. It’s when you’re still at the end of the day that your baby will be the most active. Which is cool if you’re just watching a movie from your sofa and not so cool if it’s 3 am, and you’re trying to sleep!

Many moms-to-be start counting their baby’s kicks just before their third trimester. Try counting every day at around the same time, when you feel movement the most. Lie on your side, and count the number of movements. If you don’t get 10 in an hour, try again later. Sugar can get your baby moving, so try eating or drinking something sweet like orange juice.

Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you don’t feel as much movement. They can do a detailed assessment, an ultrasound scan, and a non-stress test.

As you get closer to your due date, you might even be able to see the outline of your baby’s foot pressing on your belly from the inside. It’s trippy, but it’s a miracle! Your baby’s movement and kicks are reassuring and can be fun too.

6 Pregnancy Hacks That Are Pure Genius

Whether it’s your first pregnancy or third, being pregnant isn’t a walk in the park. It’s hard work. Chances are you’ll experience many of the symptoms that come with being pregnant at some point. From ravenous hunger to exhaustion to physical aches, the list seems to go on and on.

So, today we’re sharing some tips to make a few of the unbearable pregnancy side effects a bit more bearable.  Here are 6 fresh and unique pregnancy hacks that are pure genius:

  1. Wear a sports bra
    Maternity bras are expensive, and not really necessary. So instead of breaking the bank on bras specifically for pregnancy, choose a comfy sports bra instead. A sports bra will give you the sturdiness and support you need for a fraction of the cost!
  2. Have a snack on your nightstand
    “Morning sickness” got its name because that’s when it happens for most pregnant ladies. If you find that you’re nauseous in the morning, it’s probably because nausea is most common on an empty stomach. So make sure to put a (healthy) snack near your bed before you go to sleep. That way, you can eat it when you first wake up and stop morning sickness before it starts.
    If you’re one of the lucky ladies to experience “all-day-long sickness,” try eating smaller, more frequent meals or snacks throughout the day to combat an empty stomach.
  3. Get yourself an inner tube!
    Do you feel like your baby is crushing your lungs? Or have back pain? Try floating facedown in a pool and place your belly in the center of an inner tube to find relief. If you can’t get to a pool (or don’t feel like leaving your home!) try setting up an inner tube inside on a comfy piece of furniture. Just make sure to have space between your belly and the surface below it, so you’re not putting any pressure on your belly.
  4. The freezer is a great spot for your bra
    Because there’s not much that’s more annoying and uncomfortable than boob sweat, particularly if your breasts are sore, growing, or you live in a hot climate. So throw a bra in the freezer to put on when you’re feeling super hot and sweaty. Bonus: it will act as an ice pack, helping with any soreness and aching you’re facing!
  5. To relieve pressure, try kinesiology tape
    Yes, the same tape athletes use when they’re recovering from an injury. Watch this video and learn how you can use it to provide your baby bump with some needed support!
  6. Build yo’self a “puke kit”
    Right now, you’re probably thinking “a what?!” This kit is for those times when morning sickness hits you at a random time during the day. Swap out the tampons and pads in your purse for some gum, a toothbrush, small plastic bag, travel-size toothpaste, and a little pack of Kleenex. Oh, the joys of pregnancy.

We hope that you’re able to get some relief from these alternative pregnancy hacks! Please let us know in the comments if they worked.

6 Tips for a Safe Winter Pregnancy

get our tips on staying safe when you're pregnant in the winter!You might know all there is to know about staying safe while pregnant, but wintertime changes the rules up a bit.

Between your blasting furnace and the slick, icy streets, there’s no shortage of danger in the wintertime. So, it’s important to be ready for the cooler weather so that you can stay safe. Today, we’re sharing 6 tips to help you have a safe winter pregnancy. And remember, it’s always wise to talk with your doctor for recommendations too.

1. Get the flu vaccine

During pregnancy, your immune system gets weaker. Since you’re more likely to contract the flu right now, and the flu during pregnancy can cause major issues, it’s important to get vaccinated. If you’re not sure about the flu vaccine, it’s best to ask your doctor. We’re not medical experts here at Pregnancy Help Online, and this information is not intended as medical advice.

2. Keep hydrated

If you’re setting the heat in a home too high, it might make you dehydrated. So make sure to get the recommended serving of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water when you’re pregnant.

3. Put the heels away

Everyone we know has a favorite pair of high-heeled boots during the winter. But when you’re pregnant, safety comes first. Stick with flat, supportive shoes when necessary. When you’re pregnant, your balance is off, making you more likely to slip or fall. So picking the right shoes is important, so that you don’t slip on an icy patch!

4. Take supplements

Since we spend way less time in the sun during the winter, you’ll need to compensate by getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Pregnant women are more likely to develop osteoporosis, so taking both a calcium supplement and a vitamin D supplement is advised.

Plus there are bonus benefits to taking vitamin D and calcium! Mood boosters in vitamin D can help lift those winter blues, and calcium helps with relaxation and rest.

5. Get a humidifier

If you’re blasting the heat in your apartment, the air will get dry pretty quickly. If your place is too hot or dry, you might get nosebleeds. Avoid this by getting a humidifier, or simply opening a window to balance the temperature.

6. Stay active

Winter weight gain in pregnant women can pose health risks. The more weight a pregnant woman gains, the bigger her baby grows which leads to more complications. So you can see that staying active and avoiding overeating is important! When it’s too cold to go for a walk outside, you can try swimming, a stationary bike, an elliptical, or pre-natal exercise videos on YouTube.

During the wintertime, we hear from many pregnant women who are struggling to keep their heating bill paid or to find warm housing in the midst of a tough situation. If you’re in a tough situation like this, help is available. Visit to get assistance with maternity clothing, household items, and other necessities.