How to make the most of your time in hospital

How to make the most of your time in hospital

Being admitted to hospital with a pregnancy complication can be stressful, scary and unexpected. For some mums-to-be bed rest (or activity restriction) may only last a few days, but for others it lasts weeks or even months. This can be especially difficult for mums who are transferred to Mater Mothers’ Hospitals from remote areas because they need greater observation than is available in their home town.

The thought of sitting alone in a hospital room can be overwhelming—anxieties may start to kick in.

How will I pass the time? Can I cope? What about work and home?

It’s important to remember, you are not alone. Our staff are here to help you adapt to your new environment and provide you with strategies and activity ideas to help manage the challenges that being on bed rest brings.

Establish a daily routine

A daily routine helps to provide focus and purpose to each day. Remember to always include something you can look forward to—calling a friend, a visit from your partner, watching a favourite TV show.  You can also try writing a list of things to accomplish each day. Ticking off each task as you go, you’ll be able to see what you’ve achieved by the end of the day.

Organise your space

Speak to your healthcare team about decorating your room to feel more homely. Include photos of your loved ones, or ask about bringing in your favourite pillow or bedspread. If you’re anxious about missing out on work, find out about setting up your laptop or a work space. Setting up your room to feel more functional, comfortable and homely can increase your independence and reduce homesickness.

Boredom busters

Bust out the board games, snuggle up with your favourite book, take the opportunity to catch up on general life admin, attend a breastfeeding class, or treat yourself to a hand massage from one of Mater Mothers’ wonderful volunteers. Use the opportunity to tap into your creative side—painting, colouring or drawing can be a great way to distract yourself from your hospital surroundings and is a fantastic stress reliever. Mater Mothers’ occupational therapists also arrange activities, including a weekly cooking group, and are available to help find the right activities for you. Make sure to also check out our 35 boredom busters.

Support networks

In addition to seeking support from your loved ones, it’s important to speak to your obstetrician and healthcare team about how you are feeling. They can assist you with any anxieties or emotions you may be experiencing. Mater Mothers’ occupational therapists also host a weekly Mum’s Connect Group. These weekly sessions provide opportunities to explore coping strategies as well as connect with other mums in hospital to share experiences and find common ground.

Celebrate the milestones

Just ticked over to 32 weeks? Celebrate it! Positive energy can go a long way to improving your hospital experience. Come up with creative ways you can celebrate each milestone with your family and friends the next time they visit.

While these are just a few of the things you can do to help to make your time on bed rest more manageable, there are heaps of great resources, activities and support services available to you during your stay. Make sure to speak to your healthcare team and your occupational therapist and remember, you are not alone.




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For urgent assessment of pregnancy related conditions at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to Mater’s Pregnancy Assessment Centre immediately.

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