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October 7, 2020
When a baby’s on the way, many families consider moving to a new home – in search of more space, better location, friendlier community, or greater opportunities. The urge to create the ideal living environment for their child may send expectant parents to a different neighborhood, a new city, or another state. Regardless of the distance, however, a house move in such a physically and emotionally demanding time is quite a challenge.
From finding anappropriate new home to avoiding health risks, there’s a lot to consider whenmoving during pregnancy. Every decision must be well thought over and everydetail must be properly handled in order for the mother-to-be and her unbornchild to stay safe during the relocation and the entire process to go smoothlyand successfully.
So, if you’re expecting and planning a move, you need to be well informed and well prepared – know your options, find out what’s safe and what’s not, and learn how to make the relocation experience as easy and stress-free as possible.
Here are some expert tips for moving while pregnant to help you ensure a safe and successful transition to your new home and your new life with your little angel:
Is It Better to Move Before or After the Baby Is Born?
First thingsfirst, before you start organizing your relocation, you need to decide whetherto move or after having the baby. There are many considerable advantages anddisadvantages to both options, so you need to carefully weigh them out in orderto make the best decision for you and your family:
Pros and cons of moving while pregnant
If you chooseto move before your baby is born, you’ll have more time for moving preparationsand your family nest will be ready by the time your little angel arrives:
- You won’t be busy tending to your newborn’s needs, so you’ll have more time and energy to dedicate to searching for a new home and dealing with moving tasks;
- You will have less stuff (there will be no baby items to relocate – you can have them delivered directly from the store to your new home), so your move will be easier and cheaper;
- Your nesting instinct will be of good use – by the time your instinct to create a safe and comfortable living environment for your baby kicks in (usually during the last trimester), you’ll be already in your new home – so you’ll be able to use that zest to clean and organize your new place and make it cozy and beautiful;
- You will be able to set up your new home and prepare everything necessary before the baby is born;
- You will have the chance to get to know your new area and your new neighbors before the baby arrives, to meet other soon-to-be parents and build a support system in your new area.;
- When the baby comes, you will be able to enjoy your time with your little one without dealing with moving preparations and stressing about the forthcoming relocation.
On the other hand, though, it may bevery difficult and even risky to move while pregnant:
- The baby bump and the aches and pains ofpregnancy make it difficult to move around, bend over, and handle laboriousmoving tasks;
- Lifting heavyitems and straining yourself endangers your well-being and the safety of yourunborn child;
- The stress thatcomes with moving increases the risk of premature birth;
- Your baby maycome earlier than expected (or there may be some complications during yourpregnancy);
- You may not beable to keep your trusted doctor and midwife (if you’re moving to another cityor state).
Pros and cons of moving after the baby is born
Waiting tomove after having your baby will allow you to focus on the birth of your childand will give you a better idea of what type of home you need:
- You won’t be dealing with moving plans and relocation tasks, so you will be able to take better care of yourself during your pregnancy and better prepare for the birth of your baby;
- It will be easier to pack and handle other laborious moving tasks when the baby bump and the aches of pregnancy are gone;
- After spending some time with the baby, you’ll know exactly what you need, what to look for in a new home, and how to best set up the place.
Moving with anewborn, however, comes with a whole set of challenges:
- Postnatal recovery can take a long time and you may not bephysically able to deal with moving tasks for quite a while;
- You will have little time and energy for moving preparations whilecaring for a newborn;
- Organizing and performing a house move and setting up a new homewill take away from your precious time with your little angel;
- It will be difficult to tend to your baby’s needs in your new home– it will take some time until your items are unpacked, the nursery is ready, andyour new place becomes comfortable and cozy;
- Moving will disrupt your baby’s daily routine and sleep patterns.
Related useful information: Tips for moving with a baby
All thingsconsidered, most mothers, medical professionals, and professional movers recommendmoving before the baby is born – so the relocation is over and your family nestis ready by the time your little angel arrives.
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Tips for Moving While Pregnant
Ifyou decide to move before having your baby, safety must be your top concern. Youneed to do everything possible to ensure the well-being of your child (and yourown) – be cautious, avoid potential risks, take precautions to prevent injuriesand accidents during the relocation, take good care of yourself, and find anefficient way to reduce stress and anxiety.
So,if moving house while pregnant, you’re advised to:
1) Talk to Your Doctor Before Scheduling Your Move
Beforeyou start organizing your move, you need to be sure that it will be safe foryou to deal with such an emotionally and physically draining endeavor in yourcurrent state. If there are any complications with your pregnancy or if yourdoctor has reasons to believe the relocation process may endanger your healthor your unborn baby’s safety, you may need to reconsider and postpone your moveuntil after the baby is born.
Evenif everything is fine and you feel well, it’s best to ask your doctor foradvice – the experienced professional will be able to tell you what you can andcannot do while you are pregnant, how much weight it is safe to carry, howoften you need to take breaks, etc.
Also,if you’re moving to another area, don’t forget to ask your trusted health careprovider if they can recommend a good doctor in your new city.
2) Find a Reliable New Doctor
Settingup prenatal care must be your highest priority when moving cities whilepregnant.
Startby researching local hospitals and doctors in the area (if you have any familyor friends in your new city, ask them for recommendations). Look for doctorswho are covered by your health insurance network and have high approval scoresfrom patients – once you have narrowed down your choice to three or fourreputable professionals, call them to ask if they accept new patients and seeif they meet your needs and preferences.
Onceyou find the right doctor, have your prenatal and medical records transferred tothem and schedule an appointment for as soon as possible after the move.
Bonus tip: If you’re moving to another state whilepregnant, be sure to check if you need to update your health insurance plan.
3) Time Your Move Well
If you have a choice of when to move, opt for earlier in your pregnancy rather than later – while you’re still in a good physical state and can take on more of the work yourself, but also so that you have more time to unpack and prepare your new home for the baby, settle into your new life and establish a comfortable routine, get to know your new surroundings and build a support network in your new area, build a good rapport with your new health care team, etc.
Mostexperts recommend moving in the second trimester when the morning sickness ofthe first months has passed and the physical discomfort of the last trimesterhas not yet begun (most women feela surge of energy and excitement in thesecond trimester).
Ifpossible, avoid moving during the summer, as the extreme heat poses additional healthrisks and moving costs tend to be higher in peak season (from May toSeptember). Schedule your move for a weekday in the middle of the month whenmovers are less busy (so you have a greater choice of reputable professionals) andmoving rates are lower (so you can save some money on your move).
Related: Important things to consider when deciding on a moving date
Bonus tip: Moving while pregnant in the third trimesteris very risky – you are strongly advised to choose a move date well before yourdue date or well after that.
4) Organize Your Move Efficiently
Planningis key to a successful relocation – even more so when moving while pregnant. So,be sure to plan well ahead and to plan in detail:
- Make a detailed moving calendar (a day-by-day to-do list) – Write down all the tasks that need to be taken care of before moving day and set appropriate time-frames for their completion. That way, you’ll be able to break down larger goals into achievable mini tasks and to prioritize them according to their importance and complexity. Besides, you’ll know exactly what you need to do every single day, will be able to focus on one task at a time, and will not forget anything important. You can find an expert moving checklist to guide you before, during, and after your relocation here.
- Bonus tip: Allow plenty of buffer time in your plans – you may need more rest than usual, you may not be able to take on as much work as you think, you may have to urgently see your doctor, etc.;
- Declutter your home – The fewer items you have for moving, the easier and cheaper your relocation is going to be (moving costs are based on the weight of the shipment and the complexity of the job). So, sort out your possessions and get rid of everything you no longer need or love before the move – take to your new home only items of high practical, aesthetic, and/or sentimental value, so you can make your family nest as cozy and comfortable as possible.
- Bonus tip: Do not buy baby supplies and nursery furnishings before the move. It makes much more sense, both financially and logistically, to wait until after the relocation – you’ll be able to bring smaller things directly to your new home and to have larger items (such as a crib and an eating chair, for example) delivered directly to your new place instead of packing them for moving, paying extra for their relocation, and putting them at risk of damage during the move;
- Make a moving inventory – Once you’ve decided what to bring along, make an inventory of the items you have for moving – your moving inventory will double as a packing list, will serve as a proof of the pre-move condition of your items, and will help you keep track of your belongings. Besides, it will help you estimate the final cost of your move;
- Bonus tip: You can use specialized moving apps to create your moving inventory in a quick and efficient manner;
- Set up a moving budget – Assess your finances and make sure you have enough money to cover the costs of the necessary packing supplies and required moving services. Factor in travel costs, post-relocation expenses, and contingency expenses, as well. (See also: How much money to save before moving)
- Bonus tip: Don’t forget that you will need a lot of extra money for your baby.
Planningeverything ahead of time makes moving predictable – and the more predictablemoving is, the less stressful it will be.
See also: How to plan a move – relocation planning at its best
5) Start Packing Well Ahead of Time
Start packing as early as possible, so you’re not pressed for time and can work at your own pace. Get appropriate packing supplies and start boxing up out-of-season items and rarely used items months in advance – while you’re still feeling good and don’t need to contend with a big baby bump.
Follow an efficient packing timeline (so you don’t box up something you still need) and take frequent breaks (so you don’t strain yourself). Pack your belongings with utmost care to ensure their safety during the relocation and be careful to avoid rookie packing mistakes. Be sure to label all boxes with their contents and destination rooms to make unpacking faster and easier (and to be able to find anything you need within minutes). Clearly mark boxes containing fragile items and write any necessary handling instructions in big bold letters.
Related useful read: Fundamental packing rules for a successful move
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to pack an essentials box (or bag) with clothes, medications, toiletries, bottled water, healthy snacks and all your pregnancy-related necessities and comforters (specific items like a scent-free body lotion, a body pillow, or a favorite book that will help keep you calm and relaxed during the move). Pack enough to last you for a few days and bring your essentials box with you (especially important if you’re moving cross country while pregnant – you need to have your essentials available during the trip to your new home and the first several days in your new place until the rest of your items arrive).
If you’re in your last trimester, be sure tohave your hospital bag packed and ready to go and keep it with you all the time– just to be on the safe side in case the baby comes early.
6) Get as Much Help as Possible
Whenmoving out while pregnant, it’s important to get help. Even if you would notnormally ask for help, you should do so when you’re expecting – you don’t wantto risk your baby because of your reluctance to accept assistance.
If you can afford it, your best bet is to hire full-service movers – the experts will take care of all the aspects of the arduous relocation process, so you can sit back and focus on what’s really important – your unborn child. Not only will the pros do all the work for you (and do it in the safest and most efficient way possible), but they will also take away the stress from your move and will ensure your smooth and successful relocation experience.
If you don’t have the finances (or prefer to complete your moving preparations yourself), you should hire professional movers to at least load and unload your belongings and transport them to your new home – the thought of performing a self-move while pregnant should not even cross your mind (unless you’re moving literally around the corner and have a bunch of good friends ready to help you). Book the services of a top-rated moving company (get recommendations or read moving reviews to find reputable movers near you, verify their licensing and insuring information to make sure you’re dealing with honest professionals, get free moving quotes to find out the approximate cost of your move, request in-house bounding estimates from at least three moving companies that seem to suit your relocation needs and available budget, compare the offers, and choose the best movers for you) to ensure a safe and hassle-free relocation and keep stress at bay.
You can find more details on how to choose a moving company here.
Donot hesitate to ask friends and family for help either – even if you’re usingprofessional moving services, there are many ways your pals and relatives canassist you in this challenging period. From organizing your belonging andpacking them for moving to providing healthy meals and looking after older kidsand pets, your family and friends can help make the move much smoother andeasier on you.
Bonus tip: There are other kinds of moving help you canget when moving to a new place while pregnant as well:
- You can hire professional packers to prepare your items for shipment – so you save yourself all the time and effort for packing your belongings and ensure the best possible protection to your items during the move;
- You can use moving labor services for specific relocations tasks – loading and unloading, disassembly and reassembly of furniture, etc.;
- You can book a professional cleaning company for move-out and/or move-in cleaning (so you don’t need to strain yourself and breathe in harsh chemicals while scouring your old home or your new one).
7) Take Good Care of Yourself
Nomatter how much work there may be or how many things you may prefer to doyourself, your health and your unborn baby’s health should come first – beextra careful, listen to your body, and don’t overexert yourself:
- Do not lift heavy items – Pregnancy involves a lot of physical changes to your body – your center of gravity shifts, your ligaments are loosened, etc. – that increase the risk of injuries. You can easily strain your back, sprain your joints, or hurt yourself in some other way if you try to lift something heavy while pregnant (not to mention that lifting heavy objects greatly increases the risk of premature labor). So, avoid lifting anything heavier than 15 pounds and be very careful when bending and lifting – bend your knees, keep your back straight, take a good grip on the item, keep it close to your body, lift using your legs, and make small, careful steps. Remember: moving heavy furniture while pregnant is out of the question – let others take care of your larger pieces;
- Eat healthily – Food is likely to be the last thing on your mind when preparing for a house move, but you need to eat well when pregnant. So, make sure you find the time to eat even on the busiest moving days and make sure you eat quality food (even if your kitchen is already packed up or still unpacked) – keep nutritious snacks at hand (sliced fruits and vegetables, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, peanut butter sandwiches), order healthy meals from local carry-out restaurants or meal delivery services, go to nice family restaurants, etc. Do not feed on pizza and burgers during the entire moving process (no matter how convenient that may seem to be) and do not skip meals (set an alarm if you have to!);
- Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water, milk, green tea, and other healthy, weather-appropriate beverages (fruit juices in the summer, herbal teas in the winter, etc.) during your move. Avoid icy beverages, carbonated drinks, and energy drinks that can be harmful to your health;
- Get enough sleep –Good sleep is essential for your well-being when pregnant, so don’t be tempted to stay up late or get up too early in order to get some more work done – be sure to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. And don’t hesitate to take naps during the day whenever you feel like it;
- Take frequent breaks – Do not work too long without resting – take a break every hour or so and sit down whenever you feel tired or dizzy. Avoid pushing yourself too much when pregnant and moving – take some time to relax, unwind, and dream about your new life with your baby;
- Avoid chemicals – Be cautious with cleaning products as some of them may contain harmful chemicals – avoid bleach and ammonia, wear gloves when cleaning, etc. It’s best to use natural cleaners like distilled vinegar and baking soda, but they’re not as quick and effective as specialized cleaning agents;
- Keep stress at bay.
Ina word – prioritize self-care when moving while pregnant. Opt for tasks thatdon’t require a lot of strenuous work and don’t try to be a moving hero – takeit easy, stay calm, and do what’s best for you and your unborn child.
8) Ensure Comfort and Safety After the Move
When moving to a new place while pregnant, you have the chance to create the perfect home for you, your family, and your new baby. To achieve that and ensure your safe, comfortable, and happy life after the relocation, you need to:
- Make your new home safe and comfortable:
- Have the utilities running in your new place – Contact your new service providers a couple of weeks before the move and arrange to have the utilities in your new home turned on on move-in day. You’ll need water, electricity, and gas as soon as you arrive (See also: How to transfer utilities when moving);
- Unpack your essentials immediately after arrival and try to make the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen usable on the very first day in your new home (sleeping on the floor is not a good idea for a pregnant woman). Don’t rush to unpack every single box right away though – take your time arranging and decorating, so you don’t overexert yourself and so your new home turns out just the way you want it to be (See also: Room-by-room unpacking checklist);
- Set up the nursery and get all the necessary baby stuff, so everything is ready when your little angel arrives;
- Bring cheer and warmth to your new place and make it as cozy and peaceful as possible (See also: How to make your new place feel like home);
- Baby-proof your new home – Identify potential hazards and take the necessary precautions to ensure your little one’s safety and comfort.
- Explore your new area and your new community:
- Locate key places in town – medical facilities, banks, post offices, police stations, DMV offices, auto services, shopping centers, recreational areas, entertainment locales, etc.;
- Walk around your neighborhood, visit local coffee shops, restaurants, and stores, take walks in nearby parks, etc. – knowing what’s available in the vicinity, which the best spots are, where to find what you need, etc. will make your new life much easier and will help reduce stress and anxiety (as you will be able to overcome your fear of the unknown, build a daily routine, etc.);
- Meet your neighbors and get involved in your new community life;
- Join local prenatal classes, new mom groups, etc. – you will be able to make new friends and adapt to your new environment within weeks after the move (not to mention how much this will help with playdates in the future).
Moving while pregnant is a great challenge – you need to not only deal with moving plans and preparation, but also to ensure the safety of your unborn baby. The notoriously difficult moving process gets even more complicated and more stressful – the work that is usually done in two days may take a week to complete and the strong emotions that come with a house move are further exasperated by pregnancy hormones and worries about the birth and well-being of your child.
The only way to successfully overcomethe challenge and ensure a smooth and stress-free relocation is to prepare well– so, if you have a baby on the way and a move on the horizon, there is not a momentto lose. Start organizing your move now and be careful not to overlook a singledetail. And whatever you do, remember – your health and your baby’s health iswhat matters the most.
Safe relocation and happy newlife!
Posted on Monday, December 23, 2019, Last updated on October 7, 2020
Jessica Ryan is an experienced moving expert and regular contributor to MyMovingReviews.com with in-depth informative articles and useful relocation guides.She likes to focus on the small details that make every person unique and every moment worth living by incorporating non-traditional ideas, solutions, and points of view in her work.For the last 5 years, she has been focused on helping people make the right relocation decisions as she has covered a wide range of moving-related topics.You can contact Jessica at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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