Although moving while pregnant may not be the ideal situation, it is a reality for many of us. The alternative of moving with a brand new baby can be even more difficult.
I myself have moved multiple times during a pregnancy and it can be done, and I do have some great tips and tricks for you. One of the greatest perks is that you get out of all the heavy lifting!
In this article we will get into:
- When is the best time to move while pregnant?
- How can you safely participate
- Tips and Tricks to decrease stress while moving
Table of Contents
What Things Do I Need to Do Prior to a Move?
Moving during a pregnancy happens and sometimes it is totally out of your control. No matter the circumstance you can do things to improve your overall experience. I moved 3 times during my last pregnancy, which was not ideal, but did teach me a lot. Taking the time to prepare can really change the outcome.
Whether you move locally or to a new state you will want to do the following prior to your move:
Explore Your New Neighborhood
Locate the nearest 24 hour pharmacy, emergency department, grocery store, and convenience store. It’s good to know where to find your basic necessities easily. You will also want to start to become familiar with local community resources and mommy groups. Having a support network when you deliver is so vital.
Find a new Provider and Delivery Location
If you are not moving far from your current residence you can skip this section. If not this is something you need to do right away. Finding a new provider can be a challenge. You want to choose a provider and hospital that will support you in having the birthing experience you desire, and will not disrupt your perinatal care.
Understand your limitations
Your body has changed since becoming pregnant. Your joints, muscles, and ligaments are loose due to a hormone Relaxin that is released by the placenta and ovaries. This allows for your body to stretch and prepare for delivery. It can also make you more prone to injuries. Along with those changes your center of balance is also a little off due to the additional weight that you are now carrying in your abdomen and breasts. This puts you at a higher risk of falls.
Purge the Old
Now is a great time to purge the old and start fresh in a new home. By purging and decluttering you will have less to move. And as an experienced mom I also find the more minimal I am the less I’m cleaning up, which saves time as a new mother meaning more sleep, and more sanity. Believe me you will thank me later.
When is the Best Time to Move While Pregnant?
There can be risks involved with moving at any stage of pregnancy depending on your health level. If you are a high risk pregnancy it is best to defer as much of the moving as possible to your partner, outsource to a moving company, or get family or friends involved no matter what stage of pregnancy you are in. The last thing you need to worry about as a high risk pregnancy is moving.
However, if you are low risk the best time is definitely the second trimester. During this time you are likely feeling the best you will feel throughout your pregnancy. Your energy is high again, nausea has (cross your fingers) passed, and you baby isn’t so big that it can set you off balance. Still you should be cautious!
There is limited research regarding moving while pregnant, but a small research study suggested that moving during the first trimester could lead to preterm birth or low birth weights. There were several limitations to the study that made it difficult to determine if the move was the primary reason for the increase in risks. These results could have also been related to interruptions to healthcare, the physical strain of moving, disruptions to social support, and a biological stress reaction related the the move.
Moving in the third trimester can also pose some challenges and risks. First of all being health risks. It is important to avoid any heavy lifting, stay away from toxic chemicals (such as paint and cleaning supplies), and reducing stress near the end of pregnancy as those are all things that can pose a risk to mother and your baby’s safety.
So How Can You Safely Participate in Moving?
Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t contribute. You are still very capable of doing so much, but you do need to be more aware of your restrictions to avoid hurting yourself or stressing your baby.
A little organization can get you a long way. When you move while pregnant you want to reduce the stress levels. So taking the time to pack boxes in an organized fashion can limit stress. Packing small boxes and labeling everything in advance can improve your overall move experience. Once, you get into your new home you will know exactly where everything belongs and unpacking can go smoothly.
Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Using poor lifting technique can be dangerous at any time during pregnancy. Due to changes in your body that we discussed above you are at higher risks to injure yourself. Ensure that you are using proper technique and avoid lifting heavy items.
When hiring a company or organizing a group of friends to help you move, act as the director. As movers come in let them know where to put your bed, dressers, and other items so it can be easy to unpack. Moving can become chaotic if there isn’t someone in charge.
Things to Avoid
There are definitely some things you need to outsource to others when preparing for a move to ensure you and your baby’s safety.
Deep Cleaning: you may be tempted to deep clean your house prior to listing or your new home just after closing. This is something you need to pass off to a friend, family, spouse, or a cleaning company. Many cleaning products can be dangerous or toxic with extended exposure for an expecting mother.
Painting: When nesting settles in you may feel tempted to paint the nursery or other rooms in your new home. Although it’s not necessarily dangerous, you just need to ensure you have proper ventilation, take frequent breaks, wear a mask, and keep food and drinks away from any paint or solvents.
Moving during pregnancy can be a challenging but manageable experience, regardless of the circumstances that lead to it. I personally faced the trials of relocating three times during my last pregnancy, which taught me valuable lessons about preparation and self-care. As you embark on this journey, whether it’s a local move or to a new state, remember these key tips to ensure a positive experience. You can make the transition smoother and look forward to the new chapter in your life with confidence.
Jess is a registered nurse with over 6+ years of critical care experience for patients young and old and is the mother of two small children. After having her own children she felt inspired to provide mothers with real actionable guidance and education to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy and postpartum experience.