Ah, bed rest. It sounds like a relaxing respite from your usual life, doesn’t it? Well, for many parents-to-be, it’s anything but. So many OB/GYNs put pregnant women on bed rest for a variety of very real, very serious and very necessary reasons; your cervix might be shortening or you may have gone into early labor or your membranes may have ruptured. Or maybe, like me, you needed an emergency cerclage and was forced stay off your feet for a while. For me, and my husband, bedrest was no cake-walk. Thankfully, because my husband is a grown-ass man, he did everything grown-ass men do for their partners on bedrest, which made a difficult situation as pain-free as it could have possibly been which, you know, isn't that easy a task.
Anyone who’s needed to be on bedrest knows just how much we rely heavily on our partners or other supportive loved ones to make it through. Being stuck in a bed, not only unable to move much but terrified to move much, really freakin' sucks. Many of us are forced to quit our jobs due to our high-risk pregnancies, and our partners have to pick up the slack not only around the house, but financially. And, more often than not, we’re put on pelvic rest, meaning we can’t have sex while on bed rest. This can last weeks, if not months, and is hard on even the most steadfast of relationships. I mean, talk about a feat of strength and willpower for all parties involved.
Basically there are plenty of downsides to being forced to lay around all day, and if you consider yourself to be a grown-ass man (who will never have the displeasure of experiencing bedrest), you should probably take some notes on how grown-ass men are their for their partner, because yours isn't having fun. Trust me, she's having absolutely no fun at all.
They Don’t Complain About The No-Sex Rule
That’s right. It might suck not "getting any" for a few months, but it’s nowhere near as bad as not being allowed to get aroused or have an orgasm for months. Months! You can at least pleasure yourself from time to time so, trust me, partner is definitely hurting more.
They Give Their Partner Foot Rubs And Back Massages
Muscles really begin to ache when not used for a while. Be a gentleman and give her a backrub while your partner enjoys some X-Files re-runs.
They Make Sure Everything Is Within Arm’s Reach
Cellphone and charger and multiple bottles of water and a journal and snacks and a laptop or tablet. Don't forget the remote control (or controller for X-Box, Wii, etc.) and her books and a cool sleep mask. Oh yeah, and whatever else you keep in your nightstand.
They Concede Power Of The Remote At All Times
The very least you can do is allow your partner to pretend Mindy Lahiri is their OB/GYN during a Mindy Project binge-watch session or to let them indulge in their Alex-and-Piper fantasies with a marathon of Orange Is The New Black.
They Ask/Invite Her Friends To Visit
Being stuck in the same room for day after day after seemingly endless day, gets lonely. Hit up some of your partner’s friends and see if they can take a few minutes to come say hello. It really makes a difference and it will definitely make her days go by quicker.
They Bring Their Partner Breakfast (And Lunch And Dinner) In Bed
Get yourself on Pinterest, find some brunch in bed recipes, and go to town, gentlemen.
They Change The Bed Sheets For Their Partner Frequently
According to Mary Zeitler of Whirlpool’s Institute of Home Science, we should be washing our bedsheets once a week (say wha?!). And that’s just for the average bed that only gets slept in at night for a few hours at a time. Can you imagine how gross your bed gets when you never leave it?
They Help Their Partner Get Dressed...
Just because your partner is in bed doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get to enjoy some cute, new maternity styles. So what if no one will actually see them? Your partner will and they will probably make her feel something other than exhaustion and boredom.
...And, If Necessary, They Bathe Their Partner
I knew someone who was on bedrest with twins and got to the point where she needed people to give her sponge baths in bed. Be a good partner and do this if/when necessary. Your partner is housing your future spawn so, honestly, it's the least you can do.
They Help Groom Their Partner
Want to be the guy your partner raves about for basically forever? Learn how to give them a DIY manicure-pedicure. Everyone enjoys a little pampering.
They Surprise Their Partner With Thoughtful Gifts
After a while, doing the same things while on bedrest gets boring. Liven things up by bringing over something new and entertaining, like a new hobby or craft (scrapbooking, knitting, stamp collecting, drawing, collecting baseball cards, building model airplanes, crocheting).
They Keep The House Clean
You should (honestly) be doing your part to keep your home tidy on the regular, but please, please, please put in the extra effort so you don’t need a hazmat suit to get in once the baby arrives
They Do All The Laundry
Aside from doing your and their laundry, make sure to wash your newborn’s laundry prior to their arrival. It'll be once less thing you or your partner will have to do when the baby is home, which means more baby cuddles and less chores.
They Make Their Partner’s Appointments For Them
Don’t be lazy. These days you can even make doctor’s appointments online or via phone appso, really, it takes next-to-no effort.
THey Handle All The Finances
Chances are, your bed-resting partner can’t do much work (even if they work remotely, they’ll probably need to cut back due to stress). Bring in the (veggie) bacon and also remember to pay all your bills on time.
If They've Got Other Kids Or Pets, They Gladly Become Their Sole Caretaker
You’ll really have to step up your game for this. All those things you normally leave up to your partner are now, unfortunately, your responsibility. Ask them to make you a list of everything they normally do in a day to take care of the other kids or the other pets, and then get to it.
They Bring Fun And Joy To The Room
You can’t go out on dates, but you can certainly have them in your bedroom. Have a theme night and bring board games, movies you’ve been meaning to watch, a fancy dinner. Honestly, the sky is the limit so don't be afraid to use your imagination.
They Remind Their Partner That This Is Only For A Short While
Your partner is likely feeling very vulnerable at this point. Their fears of childbirth are probably running rampant and they’ve easily thought about running out the door a time or two. Give them gentle reminders that this, too, shall pass. Let them know that, soon enough, they’ll get to hold their little bundle of joy in their arms.
They're There For Their Partners Even After It’s All Over
Bed rest doesn’t end after the baby arrives. Sure, your partner will be allowed to move about more than they were previously allowed, but their body has just spent weeks (or months) mostly immobile. Give them time to get back to speed and be there for them. We all know that they’ll surely be there for you when you need it someday.