During my pregnancy I spent 14 weeks on bedrest. It was a long and isolating time. I was fortunate though, in that my doctor pulled me off of bedrest a couple of months before my son was due. This doesn't happen for most moms on bedrest though. So how do you throw a baby shower for a bedresting mom?
There are many ways to go about this, depending on the level of restrictions the new mom is on. The very first thing you should do is find out from her what her limitations are. Also find out if she wants the shower now, or would prefer to wait until after the baby is born.
If the expecting mom is feeling ill or the baby may not make it, consider putting the shower off until after the baby is born. Otherwise, you can work out a way to do a shower for her and still keep to her restrictions.
Some moms who are placed on bedrest do not have many restrictions at all. The doctor just does not want them active. If mom can travel okay and is just not supposed to be active, you can throw her a fairly normal shower with just a few modifications.
- Choose a location that is close to her home.
- Arrange for someone to transport her.
- Make sure there is a nice comfortable place that she can sit or lay down. It should be right in the middle of everything, not in a back room. Designate a couch for her or a comfortable recliner, and make it a seat of honor.
- Make sure she has a place to put snacks and drinks and that someone is in charge of making sure she has everything she needs.
- Keep the party in the same room as her. It's okay to keep snacks and beverages in another room, but encourage people to stay in the main room so that the new mom can be a part of everything.
- Keep the party short. Most moms who have been on bedrest tire out faster than normal. Keep the shower to 1 or 2 hours so she doesn't get overly tired. She can probably give you a good idea of what her stamina is like these days.
- Find out if mom has food restrictions. If she does, try to make foods that she can eat and will enjoy.
- If you are playing games, consider paper and pencil games, or other things that the new mommy can participate in, or skip the games altogether and let her enjoy the time spent with her friends.
- Have a designated helper who is in charge of handing the new mom her gifts, and then once they are unwrapped, stashing them away from her. A lot of bending over to get gifts and put them down is a really bad idea for a bedresting mom.
- If people do not know that she in on bedrest, you might wish to include a small note in the envelope with the invitation to let guests know that she is on bedrest and has some restrictions, but that she is very much looking forward to seeing them.
- Have the new mom clear the shower with the doctor. Most doctors recognize the importance of these events and will let her know what is and is not okay. Then everyone can rest at ease knowing that she is safe.
If the new mom cannot travel, you'll need to throw the baby shower at her house. It would look a lot like the shower discussed above, with a few more things to consider.
- Make sure the new mom can lay down during the party, without leaving the room. If she can't travel, her doctor probably won't want her sitting for any length of time either.
- Arrange for someone to clean her house thoroughly for her before the shower. Remember, she CAN'T clean it. You don't want her stressing out about having guests over when her house looks less than the best. Plus, she'll love having her house nice and clean.
- Make sure you leave the house totally clean, all trash is cleaned out, and it looks as good or better than it did before you arrived. Bedrest is stressful for the whole family, don't leave a mess for her husband to clean up, he probably already has his hands full trying to keep up with daily life.
Sometimes a new mom can not handle having guests around her, is in the hospital, or for some other reason can not be at the shower. If that is the case, consider throwing a mini mom pampering shower. Have 2 or 3 close friends get together, give her their gifts, and just keep her company. Even most hospitals will allow for that. Then, once the baby comes and is home, you can consider throwing a full baby shower for her.
The final option would be to throw a shower like you would for someone out of town. Sometimes a new mom who has been on bedrest (and thus not working) really needs the extra help getting even the basics for baby. If that is the case, throw her a long distance baby shower. Use webcams to connect her with everyone and bring the gifts to her. It's not quite the same, but it'll leave her feeling special and help her get what she needs before baby arrives.
Whatever method you choose for throwing the shower, make sure she gets one. So many moms have missed out on having baby showers because they were on bedrest. Don't let your friend become one of them.