UW News

November 29, 2007

Patient’s stay inspires award-winning children’s book

By Mary Guiden
News & Community Relations

Former patient Annette Rivlin-Gutman gave birth to son Jory three years ago at UW Medical Center with the help of UW midwives and obstetrician Dr. Thomas Benedetti.

She was on partial bed rest with this second pregnancy when she experienced preterm labor at 28 weeks and was subsequently hospitalized.

Daughter Anabelle, 18 months old at the time, was frustrated with the bed-rest situation, said Rivlin-Gutman.

“All of a sudden I was in the hospital and it was the first time I was away from her,” she said. “I couldn’t pick her up, couldn’t go to the park and couldn’t do anything. And she was and is a very active child,” she added.

While on bed rest, the author said she explained what was taking place to her daughter, but also recognized that it would have been helpful to have a related, illustrated and easy-to-understand children’s book.

Among the numerous points such a book would cover, Rivlin-Gutman said it would portray in pictures and words how she “was going to be okay and we could still have fun, even though I was going to be in bed.”

The first-time author jotted down ideas for the book during the pregnancy and wrote Mommy Has to Stay in Bed after giving birth to Jory.

The book, self-published by Rivlin-Gutman, was released in December 2006. The book recently received a 2007 Adding Wisdom Award from Parent to Parent, an internationally syndicated parenting/family newspaper column. It also received an Honorable Mention in the Children’s category at the 2007 DIY (Do It Yourself) Book Festival awards in October.

“A lot of people say, ‘I know someone who’s been on bed rest,'” she said. Sales are “flowing,” she added, while specifying she didn’t start the project expecting to make millions. “I felt it could be beneficial to other parents in the same situation.”

UWMC’s Kathy O’Connell, perinatal clinical nurse specialist, said Rivlin-Gutman was hospitalized in the medical center’s antepartum unit and also experienced home bed rest. “Our antepartum unit serves women with complications during their pregnancies. Moms may stay anywhere from a few days up to several months,” she said.

The medical center has on average 10 to 15 patients daily in the antepartum unit. In the outpatient setting, health care providers also see women in the prematurity clinic, said O’Connell. UWMC is recognized as a regional leader in low-risk and high-risk pregnancy care and the team members are “truly innovators,” she added.

Mommy Has to Stay in Bed is available online at Amazon.com, Borders.com, BookSurge.com and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide. For more information, please contact the author at annette@arproductions.net.