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Making the Best of Bed Rest / Article for Single Moms on Bed Rest
« on: February 21, 2009 at 11:17 PM »
Full article:

Being prescribed bed rest during pregnancy is never easy. But when you're a single mom, being put on bed rest comes with unique problems. Depending on their restrictions, single moms may need help with everything from food preparation to childcare to household chores. Even when family and friends volunteer, it's often difficult to accept help.

Ladies, what other advice can you offer?

Any single moms out there who want to talk? What makes bed rest especially challenging for you?

Hi, Beccah.

Sorry you're going through this. I'm glad you are continuing to ask questions though! Don't let the "little" hills fool you. The monitors can be adjusted to make the hills bigger or smaller, depending on how much variation they are trying to see. You're right to be most concerned about the consistency of the contractions!

Your situation sounds similar to my first pregnancy. At 29 weeks I had a handful of painful cramps and just felt like something wasn't right. Like you, my cervix had already started to shorten and they told me I'd probably deliver at 36 weeks. Well, I was back at 33 weeks in full-on labor. They were able to stop it with mag sulfate, and although I had several more episodes of PTL, my daughter stayed put until 39 weeks. (Thanks to bed rest, I believe.)

With my second pregnancy, I had learned about how the length of the cervix is a strong predictor of preterm labor. I requested transvaginal ultrasounds on those occasions where the pressure seemed to be stronger or the contractions more consistent.  Please check out the information on cervical length I have compiled here: My short answer is that it sounds like your cervix IS starting to ripen on the early side. I'd take it easy for now, and definitely get an appointment to have your doctor check your cervical length by transvaginal ultrasound. That will help you and your doctor decide if it would make sense for you to be on bed rest  or on a medication to reduce contractions. (See for information on treatments for preventing preterm labor.)

I'm glad you are being proactive in seeking more info! We ladies have to remember that WE are in charge of our pregnancies.

What kinds of symptoms ( are you having? Can you tell us more about the pressure you were feeling? Any cramping? Tummy feeling hard? Any more spotting? Any change in discharge?


Making the Best of Bed Rest / 5 Ways Prison Is Better than Bed Rest
« on: February 19, 2009 at 10:53 PM »
Five Ways Prison Is Better than Bed Rest

1) Daily showers
2) One hour of exercise each day
3) Time spent outdoors on chain gang
4) Spending time with others in similar circumstances
5) Conjugal visits

Any other comparisons, ladies?
And, who wants to start a topic for "5 Ways Bed Rest Is Better Than Prison"?

What's Your Story? Tell us. / An anniversary
« on: February 14, 2009 at 02:10 PM »
I really thought February 28th would be the hardest day. That is the day in 2008 that we had our "big" ultrasound at 19 weeks, only to find out that one of our twins had died in the womb. But today has been surprisingly tough. Tonight we're getting together with all the same family members we had dinner with last year on the weekend after Valentine's Day. While we were eating dinner, I felt both my babies kick at the same time. One up high on my right side, the other down to the left by my pubic bone. It was amazing, and one of the most unreal -- yet so VERY real -- moments of my life. That night, the family was so excited and so happy.

I had a doppler a few days later, and was able to tell the nurse exactly where the babies were. We found the heartbeats with no problem. I'm trying to hold on to the good parts of these memories, but I guess it is too soon to think that I won't feel the bad parts, too. I just hope I can keep it together tonight. I haven't done a good job of that today! We have a wonderful little boy who is just the happiest person you'd ever meet, and I am so thankful.

Hi, Sandisays. Welcome to the board. This must be such a frightening time for you. I'm so glad to hear your family is there to offer support--even if they do drive you and your kids crazy sometimes. :+) Not being able to pick up your kids for hugs IS the worst. We put a mattress on the floor so that my daughter and I could still share hugs without me having to bend over or pick her up. 

Could you give your doctor a call to see if you should be sitting  down or lying down? I know if you're having contractions or high blood pressure, you should be  lying on your side because it improves blood flow to the baby. I haven't read what to do for clots, so give your doctor a call. They're there to help! I'll keep you in my thoughts...

Please let us know how you're feeling, and what happens at your next appointment.

Has anyone out there had a similar experience they can share?

So glad to hear the good news! The change in cervix length must really make you feel like you're doing all the right things for your little one.

Your son sounds so mature. It's amazing how well kids adapt. Talk soon!

Hello there SusanFLA!

Just wanted to check in! Did you and your son do the sibling class yet? What did he think? And how do you feel about him becoming a brother? I know I was so nervous about my daughter (now 3) having to "share" me with our little guy. It's six months later and she's still testing  her boundaries (especially when I'm changing his diaper or giving him a bottle), but there are also times when they are SO cute together: smiling, tickling, giggling.

Talk soon,

Hi, Tamika.

Welcome to the board! I'm sorry to hear that your pregnancies have been so challenging,, especially with the loss of your child with your second pregnancy. I am very glad to hear you've already made it to 30 weeks, and it sounds like you have a good team of doctors. Feel free to write any time, or ask us our opinions, or just chat.

I know what you mean about getting all the support you can get! I had a case manager at the hospital who would call me every couple of weeks, and a home health nurse who would stop by once a week to give me 17P shots, and they were both absolutely wonderful! Even so, I still felt like I needed more support, especially from other women who had been through difficult pregnancies. Probably because the days on bed rest are SO long..

Are you on bed rest at home or in the hospital? How is your son handling having his mom on bed rest? You mentioned having a good support system. Do you have family near by or who can stay with you?

Talk soon,

Hi, Susan.
Welcome! It sounds like you are doing a GREAT job taking care of yourself and you little girl! I know, it really is frustrating that there aren't any specific studies on bed rest. I would love to see a retrospective study, to see how bed rest helped or not. Though I imagine it may be tough to get women to be honest about how strict they were (or not) if it was home bed rest. Personally, I really believe it works. During my months of bed rest, there were a few occasions where I just could not stay home. Within 24 hours of my best friend's wedding and again on my mom's b-day, I was at the hospital in preterm labor. If I come across any studies, I'll post something and let you know.

You may want to check out this link to see what is "normal" for cervical length. I did lots of research on the relationship between cervical length and preterm delivery:

But, don't let this information discourage you. I managed to get to 39 weeks although my cervix was measuring 1.5 cm at 24 weeks, and I was already dilating and effaced. Let this information empower you and remind you that the most important thing you can do for your daughter is to take care of yourself and stay off your feet. Gravity is the enemy!

And I agree with you that your cervix was probably short last time too. With my first pregnancy, I had my first signs of PTL at 29 weeks (really painful cramping) and then full-on PTL at 33 weeks, followed by mag and strict bed rest. With my second pregnancy, I had my first episode of PTL at 24 weeks (with contractions starting around 17 weeks). My doctor and I had expected it, and I had been preparing myself for the possibility.

Two questions for you: Are you on the 17P shots? And how is your son handling your bed rest?

I could go on forever. I'll shut up now. :+) Feel free to write anytime!


I've come across a  number of women dealing with preeclampsia, or who had preeclampsia that went undiagnosed. If anyone has any questions, I went through it and I'm happy to share everything  I experienced if it means even one woman can avoid what I went through. My preeclampsia led to kidney failure, and I missed the first two weeks of my son's life while I was sick and in the hospital. The recovery was long and frustrating.

The Preeclampsia Foundation ( is an excellent source of information.

Of course, everyone is welcome to vent, chat, or ask questions here.


Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Re: Paging plmommy
« on: January 16, 2009 at 01:32 PM »
Too funny! I was going to ask you about your cervical length, but I didn't know if it was too rude. :+) With all my hospital visits, home-nurse visits and nurse phone calls, I got so used to talking about cervixes, and mucus plugs, and cramping that I sometimes forget those aren't necessarily everyday topic for most people! So good luck! I actually have some info on the site about cervical length at:

That is SO great that your mom is there this month! My mom wasn't able to take much time off during my bed rest, but every Saturday she'd bring over three or four night's worth of dinners! And don't hesitate to ask your mom for help! For weeks (okay, months) I kept looking at how the coffee table was not at all centered on the throw rug.. I was at floor level (on the famous futon), so it drove me crazy. I didn't want to trouble anyone, but I know my mom would have fixed it if I had asked. Moms are the best! We had to hire a few sitters to help out with my daughter. I pretty much needed someone here 10 hours a day while my hubby was at work. If I tried to do much of anything  (put away dishes, bend over, anything) the contrax would kick in. Wouldn't it be great if somehow insurance would cover childcare costs for bed rest moms?

After getting about three hours sleep total over the last two nights, my sitter is here for a few hours today! Yay! Not sure if I should sleep or catch up on e-mails. Hmmm. How about e-mails? My big chance to chat with grown-ups. Good luck today at your appointment! Let me know how it goes!

Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Paging plmommy
« on: January 15, 2009 at 10:48 PM »
Just wanted to see how you’re doing. How are you holding up in that SoCal heat? And how's your DD? Do you have help at home during the day? Do they go out and run around with DD? I was so worried about my DD getting as bored as I was!

Aren't you getting close to 20 weeks? Have you had the "big" ultrasound yet?

Take care!

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Mommy Is on Bed Rest
« on: January 12, 2009 at 03:57 PM »
I understand completely with so much of what you said! My daughter, who was also about 2 and a half while I was on bed rest was the same way. She started saying "I hate____ (insert name of caregiver here)!" And it didn't matter who it was. Same thing with the acting out; she liked to pull things off shelves, tables, etc. But, maybe that's just being  2, right? And she went through the mommy stage, too. Even now, she still wants mommy to do things, rather than daddy. So I try to look at it as a way for my husband and son to spend more time together.

One idea I have for you is to have other people spend time with her outside of the house. My DD and DH went to a train museum, the duck pond, and different things like that to take her mind off of what mommy could and couldn't do. And I made sure that mommy got dibs on doing any of the bed-friendly activities you mentioned: reading,, coloring,, Sesame Street games online, kid videos on YouTube, and even play-doh.

The potty-training thing bummed me out too. I had her down to diapers only at nap time, bedtime and for poopies, but all that went out the door. We did get back on track though, and now she uses a diaper at night and for Poopies (still!).

Looking back, I don't think she remembers bed rest at all. She didn't even notice when we took the futon that I had lived on for months out of the living  room! And the moment Maddie walks into the hospital to see you and the baby, all these weeks will melt away, and you will fall in love with Maddie all over again.

Feel free to post any time! Hugs,

Welcome to the forum! Thanks for posting that article on the link between education level and preterm birth. Interesting stuff!

This was just sent to me by our member mvp57. Thanks!

Source: Wall Street Journal, by Melinda Beck

Link to full article (requires online subscription):

New Research Shows Why Every Week of Pregnancy Counts

This time of year, some hospitals see a small uptick in baby deliveries thanks to families eager to fit the blessed event in around holiday plans or in time to claim a tax deduction. Conventional wisdom has long held that inducing labor or having a Caesarean section a bit early posed little risk, since after 34 weeks gestation, all the baby has to do was grow.

But new research shows that those last weeks of pregnancy are more important than once thought for brain, lung and liver development. And there may be lasting consequences for babies born at 34 to 36 weeks, now called "late preterm."

New research shows that the last weeks of pregnancy are more important than once thought for brain, lung and liver development.

A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in October calculated that for each week a baby stayed in the womb between 32 and 39 weeks, there is a 23% decrease in problems such as respiratory distress, jaundice, seizures, temperature instability and brain hemorrhages.

A study of nearly 15,000 children in the Journal of Pediatrics in July found that those born between 32 and 36 weeks had lower reading and math scores in first grade than babies who went to full term. New research also suggests that late preterm infants are at higher risk for mild cognitive and behavioral problems and may have lower I.Q.s than those who go full term.

What's more, experts warn that a fetus's estimated age may be off by as much as two weeks either way, meaning that a baby thought to be 36 weeks along might be only 34.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the March of Dimes are now urging obstetricians not to deliver babies before 39 weeks unless there is a medical reason to do so.

"It's very important for people to realize that every week counts," says Lucky E. Jain, a professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine.

(This is only an article excerpt.)

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