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If you’re struggling to work from home on pregnancy bedrest, here are some simple tips that can help.
I recently welcomed baby #10 into the world. Little Ezra is doing well and getting big.
This pregnancy was unlike any of my others. My 20 week ultrasound showed that I had a complete placenta previa. And while this often corrects itself as the pregnancy progresses, mine didn’t.
Most of my pregnancy went well despite the location of the placenta. However, at 33 weeks, I started to bleed. A trip to the hospital resulted in a few days stay in the antepartum unit for monitoring. Thankfully everything continued to look good, so I was released.
However, since my risk of bleeding again was high, and we live so far out of town, the doctors didn’t want me doing much. I was on a modified bed rest and asked to really limit my activity. Thankfully, I work from home anyways, in a non-strenuous capacity. So, I was able to continue working throughout almost this whole time.
Note: I have great clients. I know I could have asked for additional time off from any of them and they would have happily given it to me. But, I also knew I needed something to keep me busy in bed. And since typing on the computer isn’t strenuous, it was a good fit for me to keep doing while on bedrest.
If you’re also wanting to keep working while you’re on bedrest, here are the things that made it possible for me.
And if you’re not on bedrest, but you are trying to work from home while pregnant, give this post a read:
1. Invest in a Lap Desk
When I was in the hospital, the little side table was the perfect place to set up my computer and get some work done. It kept my mind busy so I wasn’t constantly fretting about things I didn’t have control over.
But, that table didn’t get to come home with me. So, my husband purchased two different styles of lap desks from Amazon for me. One was a complete disaster, it wasn’t stable and the legs kept folding. But, this one was a good one.
It was large enough that I could set my laptop on it, have plenty of room for the mouse, and also have my planner on it so I could see what I needed to do. It also gave me a place for putting a plate at meal time and doing homeschool with the kids. This desk was a great all purpose addition to my life during bedrest.
There’s a slot on the back that’s supposed to be for an iPad. However, mine was too thick (because of the case), so it didn’t fit. It also has a cup holder. However, I don’t have the best track record when it comes to having liquids near electronics. So, I opted to leave my cup on the nightstand instead.
The desk folded away flat when it wasn’t in use, and was really quick to set up. My 7-year old enjoyed getting it out and getting it ready for me each day. He was a big help!
2. Prop Up with a Pillow
It was really hard to work when I wasn’t comfortable. I tried sitting up on regular pillows, but I just couldn’t get them lined up right. So, my mom bought me one of these pillows with arms:
It helped so much. I could sit comfortably with my lap desk in front of me, and stay that way for quite a while. It was much nicer than being flat or trying to work on my side or something.
3. Prioritize Daily
When you’re on bedrest during pregnancy, there’s always the possibility that things will change and you’ll be heading in to deliver a baby before you expect. With this in mind, it’s important to frequently prioritize your workload.
I focused first on getting all of my assignments done for March. I knew at some point I’d be taking time off having a baby, and wanted to get as much done as possible before then.
To help, I made a list of everything I needed to get done. Then, each day I reviewed my list and picked two to three things that were a high priority. If I had more time, great. I’d simply pick more from the list. But if not, I still made progress on the most important things.
4. Have Low Expectations
When I was in the antepartum unit, I had big plans to get all of my work for the month knocked out. After all, I was alone in a quite hospital room. Working should be easy.
Except, it wasn’t.
I’m so used to writing in noise that it seemed weird to have the mostly quiet environment. Additionally, I kept getting interrupted by the nurses doing their rounds. I’d just get into the groove and then the baby would move and go off the monitor so we’d have to adjust everything again. By the time we got everything in place, my mind wasn’t on my work anymore so it was almost like starting over.
Additionally, having something unexpected happen during pregnancy really brought some emotional struggles. I had a hard time focusing on my work. Reading, playing games, and doing other mindless tasks were just easier.
So don’t expect yourself to work a full-load while you’re on bed rest. Do the bare minimum so you don’t cause additional stress and more problems.
Also…on a non-work basis. You’ll need to lower your expectations for a lot of things during this time. You won’t be cleaning the house, cooking meals, or doing much else. Ask for help and receive it.
Then, remind yourself you can get things done once again after you’ve safely delivered a baby.
5. Outsource during Pregnancy Bedrest
You better believe I passed work onto other freelance writers while I was on bedrest. I also asked my sister to write a couple of posts for me. And I taught another freelancer how to do some of my VA work so I could take time off without worrying that it wouldn’t get done.
During this time, I also had my kids do more. I paid my oldest to proofread each post I wrote. I knew I wasn’t working up to my normal quality of work since I was having such a hard time focusing. So, paying her a bit to give me a second set of eyes helped ensure I turned in work that wouldn’t need a ton of editing.
While you’re on bedrest for pregnancy, you never know when things will take a turn for the worse and you’ll need to deliver sooner rather than later. So make some friends with other freelancers and ask them to cover for you.
Freelancing may be something you do on your own from home, but it really shouldn’t be done in isolation. Making those connections is so important.
Note: Work isn’t the only thing you can outsource. Consider hiring someone to clean. Pay for takeout to make meals quick. You want to get as much as you can off of your plate.
6. Focus on the Why
Lounging in bed is not normally something I do. I really hated the experience if I’m going to be truthful. And working from home while on bed rest wasn’t any fun.
But…I knew it was for a good reason. And Ezra was absolutely worth it. Just look at this sweet little boy…
And by opting to work a little more while on pregnancy bedrest, I knew I’d be able to take some extra time off after his birth. That was worth it to me.
So when I started feeling frustrated or limited by being in bed, I would purposefully think on positive things. I’d remember that I’d soon be enjoying time with a new baby. And the longer he stayed in, the healthier he’d be.
I also knew that it wasn’t going to be forever. Having an end date in mind (my scheduled c-section) was very helpful. I could tell myself, just 15 more days… or just 5 more days… and that helped.
It’s so easy to fall prey to negative thought patterns. But, you can change them. And focusing on why you have to do what you’re doing can really help put things into perspective.
7. Work in Chunks
You can get a lot done in a super-focused 15 minute chunk of time. If I really wasn’t feeling like working, I’d set my timer for 15 minutes and work hard.
Then, I’d take a break. I’d call a kid in to play Sushi Go (or another card game) with me. Or I’d browse the internet or waste time on social media.
Often, it wouldn’t take long and I’d be ready to work some more. When you break up work with frequent breaks, you can get really knock tasks off your to-do list.
And honestly, this tip will help you when you’re not on pregnancy bedrest. So keep it in your arsenal to pull out later when you’re trying to be productive with a baby at home.
8. Use Your Planner
When I was on bedrest for pregnancy, days sort of blurred together. It was easy to lose track of time. So, I had to make it a point to use my Clever Fox Pro planner to stay on top of everything.
I spent time each week planning. I’d write down the days I wanted to work on which task. Then each morning, I’d check my planner so I didn’t forget what I needed to do.
Since I was having such a hard time concentrating, I know if I would have tried to do it without my planner, I would have absolutely dropped some of the balls I had going. And I would have been late on assignments.
There’s something to be said about writing tasks down. It made it way easier to remember, especially since my mind was often elsewhere.
9. Keep Supplies Handy
When I was on bedrest, I wasn’t supposed to get up and do a lot of walking around. This meant I needed to keep things nearby.
So, I had my husband and kids help me gather a few essentials to keep on my nightstand. My stack included:
- My planner
- Some pens
- A notebook for writing down blog post ideas and other brainstorming sessions
- My iPad
- My MacBook Pro
- The chargers for everything
- Some snacks
- The books I was reading (Love Centered Parenting and Everybody Writes)
They also made sure I had water on hand, so I could stay hydrated. They were so helpful, and I’m so thankful for my family!
Having the supplies nearby gave me a bit more independence. I didn’t have to keep calling for someone to bring me something. I just had what I needed within reach.
10. Use Time Saving Templates
When I was trying to work from home on pregnancy bedrest, I didn’t want to put a lot of time into working. So, I really utilized time-saving templates. I was thankful for the Pinterest templates I’d purchased. These made it so simple to get pins ready to share.
I also used templates for:
- Writing blog posts
- Creating social media posts for clients
- Composing emails
Templates are definitely a time-saving tool. So if you don’t have any ready right now, it’s well worth it to spend a little extra time creating some. They will help you.
Pregnancy Bedrest Won’t Last Forever
As you’re struggling to get things done and keep from being bored, remind yourself that pregnancy bedrest doesn’t last forever. There is an end date coming up.
Spend time in prayer, asking God to help you stay positive and have patience.
And then, get as much done as you can. Be realistic with your expectations, and stay in touch with your clients in case something happens and you can’t get work done.
You may not be working as much as you were before you got placed on bedrest, but you can definitely get a little bit done.
And once your baby arrives, you’ll need the tips in this post to help you work with a newborn.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.