How to Survive Pelvic Rest

Julie Kirk
Pregnant woman and dog lying down

If you are experiencing certain complications with your pregnancy, your physician may put you on pelvic rest. Be reassured that there are ways to deal with being on pelvic rest and in most cases it's only temporary. However, you should be aware that when your doctor prescribes pelvic rest, this is to prevent further complications and to help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

What Does Pelvic Rest Mean?

Keep in mind that being on pelvic rest is not the same as bed rest. With pelvic rest you can do most of your daily activities within reason as long as you do not put any unnecessary strain on the pelvic area. With bed rest, there are more limitations and activity is more restricted.

What to Avoid

When you're on pelvic rest, nothing should be inserted into your vagina. This includes sexual intercourse and douching. You should also avoid certain activities that may increase pelvic pressure such as lifting more than 10 pounds and performing certain lower body exercises.

Why You May Need Pelvic Rest

You may be put on pelvic rest if you are experiencing pregnancy complications that may put you or your baby at risk such as vaginal bleeding or if you have an incompetent cervix. If you have been diagnosed with placenta previa or are at an increased risk of going into premature labor, you will likely be put on pelvic rest as well.

What Is the Best Way to Deal With Being on Pelvic Rest?

In general, there are many things you can do to help keep you busy and take your mind off things while you're on pelvic rest. If you have older children, they can also participate depending on the activity and their age. These activities include:

Creative Skills or Learning Activities

You may want to be creative or you may want to learn a new skill such as:

  • Doing an arts and crafts project that you enjoy
  • Writing in a journal
  • Putting together your baby book or photo albums
  • Taking an online class
  • Learning a foreign language

Relaxing Activities

There are days where you simply need some down time and need to relax. These types of activities include:

  • Reading a book
  • Binge watching your favorite shows
  • Catching up on movies
  • Talking to friends on the phone or have them visit you

Activities to Kill Time

These activities include anything you may feel like doing or may be in the mood for, which include:

  • Organizing your home: drawers, closets or personal items
  • Organizing the baby's room
  • Shopping on the internet
  • Doing puzzles or playing games
  • Tackling a project that you have been putting off
  • Giving yourself a manicure and a pedicure

It is important to stay busy. Keeping occupied will undoubtedly help make the time pass faster.

When Will Sex Be Allowed?

Sex will only be allowed once your doctor lifts the pelvic rest precaution. So until that happens, sex is off limits. This includes oral sex, masturbation and even having orgasms. This may be a challenging time especially if you and your partner have maintained a healthy sex life until now. This would be the perfect time to try to connect in different ways and bond on a more emotional level.

Intimate Activities While on Pelvic Rest

There are ways you can be intimate without having sex. You can try:

  • Holding hands and cuddling
  • Giving each other massages
  • Frequently giving hugs and touches
  • Talking to each other and really sharing your thoughts and feelings
  • Playing a game together
  • Watching a movie together
  • Looking over old photos and movies/videos and reminiscing
  • Discussing the future

Remember that intimacy is about being close and is an essential part of any relationship. This closeness will actually help your relationship grow.

You Will Survive Pelvic Rest

Pelvic rest is typically a temporary situation. While it may be somewhat inconvenient, it is usually prescribed for a good reason. Your doctor will discuss your specific diagnosis with you and explain why and how long you will be on pelvic rest. This will not only help you maintain a healthy pregnancy but help you deliver a healthy baby as well.

How to Survive Pelvic Rest