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What to give someone on hospital bed rest

Posted by Benedict Chude on

One of my friends was recently diagnosed with placenta previa at 32 weeks of her pregnancy.

It’s no fun to hear your uterus may have developed abnormally so that your placenta is now covering your cervix, much less to be told you’ve got to lay flat for a couple months. So we put together a little care package for her.

Not knowing her preference for many things, we chose a lot of items that nearly anyone could enjoy.

My top picks for someone on hospital bed rest:

  • Mad Libs. Always good for a giggle. Better still, visit and do a few pages with her.
  • We put Mad Libs in our care package for our friend, and this inspired her husband to bring in all kinds of games the two of them could play in the evenings after he got off work. If you know what she likes, you could pick up some travel versions of Scrabble, chess, etc.
  • A subscription to Netflix, if she will have her laptop there.
  • A calling card if she doesn’t have a cell phone with nationwide calls included, or if she has a lot of overseas calls to make.
  • A baby names book if they haven’t chosen a name yet.
  • Treats and snacks. We included mostly healthy options like raisins and popcorn plus some hot chocolate packets, trail mix, and so on. (If it were me, I’d like plenty of decadent chocolates!)
  • Light books filled with facts that have really no point to them, like When do Fish Sleep? or The Straight Dope.
  • Classic baby care and parenting books that experienced folks sing praises of, like Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child or On Becoming Babywise.
  • A note pad or journal with some pretty pens.
  • A newborn baby hat from Chizipoms, so she can dream of putting it on the sweet little baby she is so carefully protecting inside of her.
  • An encouraging note or card. We included a photo of our baby who had come 6 weeks premature just around that very time she was hospitalized. She was of course worrying about labor starting too soon, and we hoped this would encourage her even if that should happen, since he turned out just fine.

If you live nearby, just a visit can help

We’re at a distance from our friend, otherwise we would visit. Other women have commented that just having visitors is enough. When you’re so bored that you know all the nurses by name and how many children they each have, you really yearn to talk to friends.

Still others will find it most helpful to have you offer to clean up their house, get their lawn mowed, run errands, etc.

And if the mom already has children, the biggest thing may be just seeing that they’re taken care of, entertained with play dates and brought to visit mom. After all, a new sibling is a tough thing to get used to for her children, let alone having mom suddenly moved out of the house and unable to care for them.


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