When I was put on bedrest for preeclampsia, I learned the true definition of "boring." Imagine laying in bed for weeks on end, staring at the same four walls, and getting up only to use the bathroom and go to the doctor. You're not allowed to have sex, and often includes masturbation, so you can forget about pregnancy sex, too. Thankfully, I also realized that there are some truly sexy things a partner can do for a pregnant woman on bedrest that have absolutely nothing to do with sex.
Everyone — including my husband at the time — told me how lucky I was to be able to relax and "put my feet up." I assume that none of those people had actually been on bedrest, though. Not only was I bored out of my mind, but I desperately wanted to get up and take care of things at work and around the house. That overwhelming nesting instinct doesn't stop just because you aren't supposed to lift heavy things or run to Target to pick up baby supplies. So my days were anything but relaxing. Instead, I spent my time worrying about my baby, contemplating life's many mysteries, and wishing I could take a damn walk.
So, yeah, trust me when I say that my fantasies were completely different when I was on bedrest. I wanted affection and snuggles, sure, but I also wanted someone to take care of baby-related responsibilities, listen to my fears, and stop me from Googling my symptoms. If I had made a list of the sexiest things someone could do for me when I was on bedrest, it would have looked something like this:
Rub Her Feet
There's nothing like a foot massage, especially when it's not foreplay or doesn't come with any expectations other than making you feel good, when you're feeling less-than-stellar. If your pregnant partner is on bedrest, break out the lotion and rub her swollen toes.
Bring Her Food
The way to my third trimester heart is definitely pie. Pie is sexy. I'm salivating just thinking about it.
Paint Her Toe Nails
I will never forget when my current husband carefully painted my toenails, and even shaved my legs, when I was supposed to take it easy and relax on bedrest. I hadn't seen my toes in weeks, so it was epic-level pampering to get a pedicure.
Do The Dishes
I have to admit, the sight of my husband doing the dishes gets me all sorts of hot and bothered, whether I'm on bedrest or not. And letting the sink fill with dirty dishes, especially when I was pregnant and had a supernatural sense of smell and couldn't do anything about it, was a major turn off.
Netflix & Not Chill
When I was on bedrest and couldn't have sex, I loved just snuggling on the couch and watching movies. Helping your partner take care of their health is super sexy, especially when it includes watching your favorite now-defunct television shows for hours on end.
Finish Nesting Projects
When I was on bedrest all I really wanted to know was if my baby was OK, and if we were going to be able to finish our long list of projects before that baby arrived. So, help your pregnant partner out and pick up the proverbial slack. A finished crib, a painted nursery room wall, and a packed hospital go-bag will go a long way in reminding your knocked-up better half that, regardless, you both will be ready when that baby arrives.
Keep The Damn House Clean
It's so frustrating to be told to focus solely on your health and wellness, only to suddenly look up and realize your house looks like an episode of Hoarders. It would have been so sexy for my husband to clean the damn house so I didn't have to stare at a mess all day.
Massage Her Lower Back & Shoulders
My back hurt so much during pregnancy, and especially when I was ordered to lay in bed all day. A back massage — or two — would have totally done it for me.
Fix The Leaky Faucet
I listened to a leaky faucet drip for weeks before I finally convinced my husband to fix it. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Forget About Sex For A While
Perhaps the sexiest thing someone can do for their partner while they are on bedrest is to not mention sex, especially if their OB-GYN or midwife told them not to have sex. I couldn't have sex while on bedrest — a fact that I really didn't mind — but that didn't mean it didn't make me feel incredibly guilty to have to turn my then-husband down. Just back off the sex for a while and let your partner focus on herself.
Tell Her She's Wonderful
It's hard to feel good about yourself when you are pregnant and experiencing complications. And even harder to do so when you are on bedrest and feeling helpless and weak. So, tell your pregnant partner that she's strong, beautiful, and capable. She's growing a human for goodness sake. How sexy is that?
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.