How I Endured Sickle Cell Pregnancy on Bed Rest


pregnant woman couplePaula K. is a new mom who has sickle cell that is sharing her experience with everyone. I hope this helps all the new moms and moms-to-be out there. ~SCW

I was expecting my first child, no my only child at the age of 25 years. There were myriad of emotions connected to my pregnancy since I was single and still staying with my folks. In an African setting, this was shameful but forging through with the pregnancy was my only option.

Sickle-cell pregnancy

My pregnancy was very special. I had sickle-cell anaemia – an hereditary blood disorder. In this condition my body would produce abnormal haemoglobin cells. These sickle-shaped cells would sometimes stick through blood vessels and tissue, thereby depriving organs from getting sufficient oxygen supply. This resulted to frequent painful episodes known as “crises”. Sickle-cell anaemia in pregnancy could lead to miscarriage, low-weight baby or preterm labour. My prenatal check-ups were intense. Towards the end of the 2nd trimester, on my way to the hospital for these routine health checks, my doctor settled on placing me under compulsory and monitored hospital bed rest.

Hospital bed rest

This being a high-risk pregnancy, I spent my last 3 months literally on the hospital bed. My variables were lying or sitting on the bed to taking regulated short walks. In bid of making the long months bearable, I would journal my daily experiences and read newspapers, magazines – especially on parenting. When I was tired of all that reading, I opted to knit mittens, sweaters and socks for my baby.

Unwavering support

Around the 9th month, it was so unfortunate for me to have lost my mother. This was the worst hit ever; I’d last seen her 4 months earlier. She had been unwell for a while and had died while hospitalized. She couldn’t have died this soon while her grandchild was pretty much near-term. My doctors allowed me to attend her burial on condition that I would immediately embark on the hospital bed rest. I got counseling sessions to deal with this pain. My nutritionist put me on a diet that would boost my immunity as well as increase my haemoglobin production.

My lessons

At the end of it all, I got my healthy bundle of joy; my priceless prize. The bed rest at first wasn’t a very good idea but I can attest that it helped in reducing the complications I had. In that regard, bed rest isn’t a punishment but a helpful tool in pregnancies. The best way out is not to resist but embrace it for all its worth.


  1. I am going to be a mother On February 28. N I can relate to this story because I’m single still living with my parents. I have sickle cell anemia.

  2. Your article is inspirational,thank u for sharing your story. I’m a 30 year old newly wed expectant warrior. I experienced some bleeding at 13 weeks and low pcv so was placed on bed rest. It was very difficult and after I was discharged,I had a relapse and have since been abiding by the rules. I still get restless and frustrated but I remind myself its all worth it and my reward is the greatest of all gifts.

  3. Dear ladies, you are not alone I too have been in this position married and unmarried and God has blessed me with a daughter first who is healthy 38 married with two children who are healthy and I have a 30 year old son who has no children and isn’t married yet. God has blessed me tremendously through bleeding in my fourth onth with my son and pulmonary embolisms with my daughter in both lungs and hospitalized for one full month before her birth, Listen to your body and your doctors stay hydrated and get your rest elevate your legs and you will do well. Lyn


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