Moving into a new home requires a lot of physical work – from packing and deep cleaning to the physical move itself. While this can be a lot for anyone, it’s a significantly more exhausting life event to tackle during a pregnancy. But with preparation, outsourcing certain tasks and utilizing online tools, moving during a pregnancy doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem.
If you’re expecting, here are some important considerations for before, during and after your move, along with tips for making it as seamless and stress-free as possible.
The pre-move: Things to consider ahead of moving when pregnant.
If possible, plan to move during the second trimester.
According to certified midwife Emma Clark, CNM, of Washington D.C., the best time for someone who is pregnant to move is during the second trimester. It’s typically when women have overcome morning sickness, have more physical and mental energy and aren’t experiencing the discomfort that happens during the weeks just before the baby is due.
Seek help getting and staying organized.
Pregnancy brain – forgetfulness and trouble with memory while pregnant – is real. According to a report in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 80 percent of pregnant women have memory impairment. Between that and trying to keep up with health appointments, baby classes, books and other what-to-expect education, it may seem impossible to keep up with the dozens of to-dos that arise when moving.
Make lists, or take advantage of online tools, resources and apps that help you stay organized. For example, Wunderlist lets you create to-do lists with attached deadlines, schedules and reminders – and even lets you assign tasks to others!
Purge the old to make room for the new.
Be sure to sort, sift through and get rid of any and all unneeded items before moving day. Use a carrier service to pick up and deliver donated goods to a local Goodwill or shelter. Alternatively, online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Let Go allow you to make some extra money ahead of your new baby’s arrival!
When buying new baby furniture, clothing and other supplies, be sure to have them delivered to your new address, and include a note on your baby registry to have gifts shipped to your new home address to minimize what you will need to physically relocate on moving day.
What to do during the move.
Pack a moving day kit.
It’s critical for anyone to have a moving day kit with the essentials like a change of clothes, toiletries and towels, toilet paper and other immediate needs. As a parent-to-be, be sure to include plenty of healthy snacks, water and something to sit on when you need rest.
From professional movers to home cleaning services, ask for help with every element of your move. Packing and moving while pregnant can be incredibly difficult. Moving companies will take care of every step of your move process– from packing your belongings, safely getting them to your new home and unpacking everything – so you can rest easy.
Avoid toxic chemicals.
Glue fumes, fresh paint and cleaning supplies all can have toxic chemicals and strong fragrances that are dangerous for both mom and baby. This is when hiring a cleaning service will come in handy. If you need to paint, be sure fresh coats are applied when the mother-to-be is nowhere in sight.
Avoid heavy lifting.
For some women, lifting heavy items while pregnant can increase the risk of premature labor and low birth weight, especially after the first trimester. If possible, try to avoid lifting boxes altogether. Pregnant women who are lifting and carrying items for more than an hour in a day should avoid anything heavier than 18 pounds if they are less than 20 weeks, and 13 pounds if they are more than 20 weeks, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. For any lifting that must be done, be sure to follow proper techniques to avoid injury, like bending at the knees and not the waist. If you feel cramping or discomfort, do not attempt any further physical labor.
Settling into your new home.
Once the toughest part is over – the physical move itself – there is still much to be done in your new home including unpacking, babyproofing, transferring accounts and doctors’ visits. But don’t let these keep you stressed or take up all of your time. Schedule time to relax, exercise and don’t forget about nutrition.
Getting to the grocery store alone can be challenging while adjusting to a new home. There are several healthy meal delivery services like Daily Harvest or Freshly that deliver meals that can be prepared in minutes.
Finding a local yoga studio that offers prenatal classes is a great way to meet other expecting mothers and make new friends. If you don’t have time for that, there are dozens of online resources that allow you to practice in the comfort of your own home.
Fortunately, there are tons of resources to alleviate the stressors of moving. Hire where you can and call on the support of friends and family where you can’t. And most importantly, don’t forget to prioritize mom’s health at all times!
Have questions about how to plan a move while expecting? Contact us here.
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