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16 Creative Ways to Keep Busy While on Bed Rest

Pregnancy doesn't always go as planned. Occasionally, circumstances beyond your control can result in some form of bed rest. It could be preeclampsia, preterm labor or a variety of other reasons. Your doctor may put you on restricted activity at home or in the hospital. No matter the circumstances or level of restriction, it's safe to say this wasn't what you had in mind for your pregnancy journey.

But it doesn't have to be all bad news. I checked into the hospital at 30 weeks pregnant and can honestly say it was an enjoyable experience. Below is a list of things that kept me busy and happy while on bed rest.

RELATED: 7 Secret Perks of Pregnancy Bed Rest

1. Pre-shop for the next six months of birthday/holiday gifts (and wrap them)

Once the baby is born, your brain isn't really capable of remembering important dates. While your brain is still sharp, shop online for any birthdays, anniversaries or holidays that are important and get the gifts wrapped. Keep them stored in a closet and you'll have one less thing to worry about once the baby is born.

2. Learn to knit

The first thing I did when I learned I was going to be put on hospital bed rest was inquire if I could move my baby shower to the hospital suite. The second thing I did was buy yarn. I envisioned a beautiful baby blanket, but got bored around the time it was the size of a pot holder. So I made a pot holder.

3. Make a sleep-eat-poop chart

This is a must-have for first-time moms, although I was just as diligent about keeping the chart for my second child, too. It made me feel competent and in control. I could fill out the little box with an exact time and know that I was doing a good job. Plus it was helpful when I was deliriously tired and really had no knowledge of the last time I fed the baby.

4. Pre-address thank you notes

If you think you'll have time (later) ... that's really ambitious and sweet of you.

If you think you'll have time to write thank-you notes while the baby is sleeping, that's really ambitious and sweet of you. Bless your heart. But you won't. And you don't get that one-year grace period to write them either. Just pre-address the envelopes during your bed rest and you'll be able to get those notes out much faster.

5. Pre-design a birth announcement

You could fiddle around for hours designing a birth announcement. Use a site like Tiny Prints or Shutterfly and you can play with different templates, colors and fonts. Finalize the one you like best and then just upload a photo and update the date, time and birth weight once your little one is born.

6. Fill in pregnancy diary

If you haven't been keeping track of milestones, now is the time to get on it. Write about how you felt when you first found out you were pregnant, how you told your partner, if you thought you were going to have a boy or girl, food cravings, etc. Anything you think would be fun to read about later.

7. Make wedding/travel album

All of those digital files are lovely, but wouldn't it be nice to actually make an album? You've got plenty of time to devote to the project now. Snapfish is a great choice and makes it easy to create personalized albums.

8. Give yourself a manicure

Have your nails look freshly manicured with these fantastic DIY nail art hacks. You've got time to perfect them. Invite a friend over and have a mani-pedi party.

9. Research 529 plans and decide which one is best for you and your little one

If you've got any money left after you've all of the above, you'll want to start thinking about a college savings plan for your soon to be genius. Start saving small amounts from the time your baby is born and it really adds up. It's also nice to have an account set up so grandparents and relatives can contribute if they wish.

10. Binge-watch Amy Schumer

This should really be on your to-do list even if you aren't on bed rest.

11. Start an email account for your baby

This is a really easy way to keep track of milestones and memories. Create an email account such as mybabyisthecutest@gmail.com and then write emails to the account—tell a funny story, share a great picture or the date your baby took their first step. It'll all be in one easy place and you are more likely to do this than write in a baby book.

12. Get your meals delivered

While you are on bed rest and even after you've had the baby, it'll be nice to have a tasty meal prepared for you. Services like Munchery and Postmates make it really simple and more affordable than you might imagine.

13. Avoid medical websites

Be aware that Google searches regarding your condition will likely take you down a scary road.

There's a medical reason you are on bed rest. Trust your doctor. Be informed and advocate for yourself, but be aware that Google searches regarding your condition will likely take you down a scary road.

14. Wear cute jammies

You are likely large, swollen and not really feeling like your typical self these days. I found it really helpful to wear cute pajamas and do my hair and makeup every day. It made me feel like less of a blob.

15. Have a service dog visit you

If you are bed rest at a hospital, chances are they have a pediatric ward that receives furry visitors for their patients. If you ask your nurses nicely, they can put in a request for a service dog to come visit you.

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16. Schedule visitors

When people first find out you are on bed rest, you'll get a lot of friends and family wanting to visit and help. But remember, you might be on restriction for a long time. I knew that I had a two-month road ahead of me if I wanted to make it to the finish line, so I intentionally only let one person per day visit me. That way I could stretch them all out and have at least one visit to look forward to per day.

Image via Twenty20/drigatti

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