Podcast Episode #71: Bedrest Support
What the heck is an antepartum doula? Well, it basically means bed rest support for mothers who are high risk. But a bed rest doula can also help families that aren’t necessarily on bed rest. Maybe a mom needs help running errands, finding community resources, preparing for baby showers, putting away gifts, nesting! Listen and learn more about what an antepartum doula does! You can listen to this complete podcast episode on iTunes or SoundCloud.
Alyssa: Hi and welcome to Ask the Doulas with Gold Coast Doulas. I am Alyssa.
Kristin: And I am Kristin.
Alyssa: Today’s question is what is an antepartum doula, and I think it’s a really good question. We actually just kind of changed this on our website recently because antepartum is such a strange word. It actually refers more to our bedrest doulas, so it’s before birth, whereas postpartum support is after you have your baby. Antepartum support would be while you’re still pregnant.
Alyssa: Do you want to talk about the role of a bedrest doula?
Kristin: Bedrest doulas can support at home or in the hospital for clients who are on bedrest for a variety of reasons. They could be carrying multiples, or they could have placenta previa or preeclampsia like I did during my first pregnancy, and they just need to limit movement. So we’re there to help, whether it’s in the hospital or at home. We can help even with birth plans or if they want to take a childbirth class; we can help with childbirth preparation if they are in bed for a part or all of their pregnancy. On the postpartum end, some of our bedrest doulas have similar responsibilities to our postpartum doulas.
Alyssa: Yeah, I’m even thinking on the bedrest end — let’s say, especially with clients with multiples, you could be put on bedrest at 22 weeks. Think about having baby showers planned. How do you do baby showers? If you’ve already had your baby showers, how do you unpack all these gifts? How do you put these gifts away? How do you get a nursery ready? Day-to-day things; how do you get groceries? You can get Shipt from Meijer or whatever, but every little day-to-day thing. If you have older children, who’s getting them to school? Who’s helping around the house? There’s just so many things that you can’t do when you’re on bedrest. It’s a little bit different with postpartum because you can still do many of those things.
Kristin: But yeah, how do you prepare meals when you’re supposed to be in bed the entire time? How are you feeding and nourishing yourself? If there are prescriptions that need to be picked up, who’s going to do that if your partner is at work?
Alyssa: Yes. We can help you run errands. We can help you prep meals. We can bring you to doctor’s appointments. We can…
Kristin: Take your dog out!
Alyssa: Yeah, and help with older siblings. Put away gifts and organize the baby’s room and fix the closet situation that’s overflowing and falling over when you open the doors. All the things that we get around the 35 week mark when you feel like you’re nesting and you want to get everything done, and you can’t because you’re in a bed. So I think that’s probably some of the major things for bedrest support.
Kristin: Yeah, and certainly community resources if they need to reach out to anyone or prepare for resources; if Baby could potentially be premature, so different support groups and resources outside of their medical provider that they can rely on after the baby’s born. And then also the emotional end of it is huge. I know I was only on bedrest a short time, but it was a big, scary time in my life, and to have someone to just process that with and know that they’re supported and not alone in this journey, that they have someone.
Alyssa: It’s so isolating to be stuck in bed for weeks; sometimes months.
Kristin: I mean, to have someone to talk to!
Alyssa: And then, too, we can bring classes. Gold Coast offers so many amazing classes, and we can bring them to parents in their home for women who are on bedrest. So with all of our classes, for a minimal additional fee, we’ll bring the class to you and we can offer you a class in bed, literally.
Kristin: Yes, so for our multiples clients, we have Preparing for Multiples, so if you’re expecting twins or triplets and you’re on bedrest, we’ll bring the class to you so you’ll know what to expect. Same with the newborn class that Alyssa teaches; amazing to have that option. And breastfeeding.
Alyssa: Breastfeeding support; yeah, a breastfeeding class while you’re still pregnant, and then in-home support once you have the baby or babies. I think just bedrest support in general is so important, but people don’t know what it is, and the term antepartum still probably throws some people off.
Kristin: And in the hospital, it can get lonely as well. I had a friend who was on bedrest in the hospital for 20 weeks of her pregnancy, and it was her second child.
Alyssa: That sounds expensive!
Kristin: Yeah, she had a good insurance, luckily, but I kept sending her care packages because I lived in a different city than her and knew that she had to just be bored out of her mind. So bedrest doulas are here to support you whether you’re in the home or in the hospital through the remainder of your pregnancy, and from that point on, you can choose to have birth doula support if you want or plan for postpartum support, but sometimes clients just hire us for bedrest support alone.
Alyssa: If you’re interested in finding us, you can see our entire list of services on our website. We are also on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for tuning in. These moments are golden!
Thanks to Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan for sponsoring this podcast episode!