Moving to a new house requires you to engage in a handful of physical activities, which is why it’s that much more challenging when you’re pregnant. There’s packing, cleaning, organizing, unpacking, and the move itself that can be straining for any pregnant person. To minimize the anxiety and stress, you need to have a plan that would help you brace for the move. If you want smooth sailing, you may want to follow a couple of tips to ensure that the move goes as planned without you having to worry or stress out. After all, you have your precious baby cargo that you need to be caring for!
So, here are a few tips for moving while pregnant that could come in really handy.
Jump Ahead To:
Talk To Your Doctor
The next time you visit your doctor, make sure you tell them about the move. Everyone has a different pregnancy and your doctor will help you figure out what is best for you and your baby. They know what’s good or bad for the baby and they’ll have some useful tips that could help you. Besides, you’ll get a detailed list of dos and don’ts that you can then follow when you plan the move.
Also, since you’ll be moving you’ll most likely have to get your doctor and hospital transferred. In that case, your doctor can help you answer all questions regarding the transfer and help you with the process in general. A conversation about the same is going to be important for you to follow up with. So, talk to your doctor, not just about the move but also the transfer and other important things you’d want to get clarified.
Pack A Pregnancy Essentials Box
Just like you have an essentials box when moving (filled with things you need for the first few days in the new house), you need to pack another one specially for yourself. This will be an essentials box that’d have everything that you probably can’t go without. It would include your snacks, vitamins, comfy maternity clothes, a cushion, etc. Basically, this box is going to be an explosion of all things comfortable for you. So pack up all the things you think you’d need and carry them with you in your car on moving day.
Ideally, anything that would help you get a comfortable good night’s sleep on your first day of the move, make sure you pack it up in the box. That way you won’t spend time unpacking and opening up random boxes looking for things you really would need. Using a big, clear box is the way to go. That way, you can see what’s in the box and know where to find it.
This is probably something you’ve already done, but if not, you better get it listed on your to-do list. Between the chaos of the move and the hassle of unpacking, you might not get the time to pack your hospital bag and keep it ready. Your hospital bag includes all the things that you require when you go into labor and after delivery. It typically includes birth balls, socks, dressing gowns, comfortable clothes for yourself and your partner, hair bands, pillows, baby clothes, your birth plan and pediatrician’s number, snacks, etc.
You’ve probably heard this many times before, but decluttering really helps you pack your belongings efficiently. So, before you move to pack all the belongings in boxes, go through a round of decluttering first. You’ll be able to sort things out better and also get rid of things that you no longer need.
You probably have a pile of things lying around that you don’t necessarily need in your new house or even use anymore. Take your time to sort all of the belongings out and put them separately according to importance. Discard or donate the things you haven’t used in a while or no longer need. This will help you pack more efficiently and make it easy to only carry things that you’d absolutely need. Plus, downsizing helps to lower your total moving cost!
Get Things Organized
Thanks to the pregnancy brain, you’re likely to forget things you need to pack and the things you’ve already taken care of. Dealing with brain fog is not fun, least of all when you have a move on your hands. To begin with, ensure you make a list of your inventory. It will help you stay organized and on track with your moving schedule.
You can also make a list of things you’ve added in each of the boxes, and make sure to color-code your rooms with the boxes. Having designated colors for each room and its boxes will help you stay organized. This is a good way to keep your belongings assembled when you’re unloading them from the truck and it helps you unpack more efficiently.
If constantly rushing for a paper and pen seems too messy for you, turn to some handy online apps. Zoho Inventory, Square, Shortly, and Odoo are some online apps that will help you have easy access to a digitized inventory of all your items.
Give Yourself Time To Pack
Your health and the baby’s well-being are of utmost importance. Even during the packing process, you need to make sure you’ve taken care of yourself and the baby. Rushing and overworking is never a good idea. No matter how much or intense the work is going to be, you need to take baby steps, pun intended!
Packing takes a lot of time, yes, but you needn’t start and finish it all in record time. You’d be surprised to know the number of items and belongings you’ve collected over years of living in a house. It’s bound to take ample time and effort to clean it all up and pack it all in. Give yourself as much time and rest as you need. Try to plan ahead and create a packing schedule. The recommended time to begin packing before a move is at least 2 months in advance. But considering the special circumstance you’re in, we recommend starting even earlier.
Do all of your packing over time and gradually settle into a groove by tackling one thing and room at a time. Make sure you give each room its own space and time. Start off with rooms that are not used by you as much. This will help you get started on a lighter note and will not have you going crazy. Planning in advance and giving yourself the time to do it all gradually will be an added comfort and give you peace of mind on the day of your move.
It goes without saying that planning things ahead of time will help you when it’s time to execute them. You won’t have to get into a last-moment panic mode and things will be relatively sorted for you. Since you’d be taking help from your family or friend or hiring a moving company (as you should), you’ll have some time to plan out your new house.
Get acquainted with the plan of your new house and the neighborhood as well. Whenever you visit the place before you move, take the time to know it better and adjust to it as much as you can. You can also start planning out the structure of the rooms and how you’d like to decorate the house. This is genuinely a great opportunity for you to think of how you’d want the space to look.
Planning the layout of what goes where in your new home helps you save tons of time when it comes down to unpacking. Plus, it’s a fun activity and can make you truly look forward to settling in the new house!
Hire Professionals And Gather Your Troops
Now is not the time to do everything by yourself. Carrying around a baby in your womb alone is a huge responsibility. Make sure you gather all your friends and family to help you share all of your packing and moving responsibilities. More importantly, look into hiring a moving company to help you with the packing process, or opt for a full service move.
While hiring professionals to do your packing is a recommended move, there are always a dozen other tasks that often need taking care of. These could be as simple as making sure you have enough packing material to actually pack some things you want to pack yourself. In some cases, you may also face a cash crunch and may not be able to hire movers to pack your furniture. This is when rallying your army of helpers will come in handy.
You also shouldn’t refrain from being assertive. You’re pregnant and need to get things done in time. So let your mover or friends know what things would go where. If you want some things that need to be changed, communicate them with them and follow your plan.
A color-coded label and a systematic inventory (as mentioned earlier) will help you sort things out very well. Also, since you have planned this, you’ll know how to decorate your house and keep things organized. This is one thing that will help you save a lot of time and work effectively.
When it comes to lifting things, especially heavy furniture, you definitely need to ask for help. DO NOT and we mean Do NOT lift heavy boxes, furniture, or anything even remotely heavy or bulky yourself. Lifting heavy things can cause a hernia, premature birth, or low birth weight as well. All of these are harmful to you and to your baby, so ensure you avoid any lifting at all costs.
You need to constantly remind yourself that there’s only so much your body can handle, and carrying boxes and heavy furniture is not one of them. You’re carrying a baby and that’s enough carrying for you, so leave those boxes alone!
Hire A Babysitter
If you have older children, hire a babysitter during the packing, moving, and unpacking days. Handing so many things together can go wrong on many levels. With a babysitter or a family member taking care of your older kids, you have the time to make the move without burning out or falling ill. Things can go really hectic and complex otherwise. And remember, it’s not embarrassing to ask for help when needed, especially from your family and friends.
When packing to move, you’re at risk of coming into contact with some chemicals, present in even the simplest things like cleaning products, paint, and mosquito repellent. These chemicals are harmful to you and the baby, and you need to stay away from them. Wear gloves and a face mask if you absolutely can’t avoid these products, but ideally ask someone else to take care of such items so you can avoid them.
Another thing you could possibly do is invest in chemical-free products. There are several products available that are made from natural ingredients and have no chemicals at all. So using these products as an alternative is a great option.
Unless your baby is due in just a few weeks away from the actual move, don’t buy all the baby gear and nursery things just yet. Wait until you move and have the house sorted out. This will do three things for you:
It will help you save money. Depending on your distance and the number of things you have to move, the cost of moving will increase or decrease. If you buy things earlier, it will cost you that much more while moving. So avoid it completely and only get your baby items after you’ve moved to the new house.
You’ll save time packing and unpacking these things before and after the move if you just buy them once you’re settled in.
Lastly, once you have moved, you’ll know what things you really need for your baby’s nursery. It will help you shop for just enough, and you won’t end up cluttering your nursery.
Stay Hydrated And Healthy
When packing and moving, it’s quite obvious that you’ll be getting rid of your food items from the cabinet and the fridge. It can be tempting to eat some unhealthy snacks and fast food while you’re at it, but this will affect your health. Eating healthy food and staying hydrated is only going to help you and your baby stay healthy throughout the move, and throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Using some apps can help make your life easier with respect to your diet. You can keep track of your diet and water intake with help of apps like Mealime and also use apps like HelloFresh to avail of some healthy and easy-to-make meals on the go. It’s an easy way to balance moving while not compromising your health.
Reduce Your Stress And Relax A Little
We can’t emphasize enough the fact that you need to chill out a bit and relax. You don’t have to drown yourself in moving and packing chores. Right now, it may not seem like the time to be relaxing and having fun, but there’s a way to balance both your moving chores and reduce your stress. Here are a few simple ways for you to enjoy the moving process while also relaxing and taking some time off.
Don’t miss out on your daily routines and exercise. If you indulge in yoga, walks, or exercises, give yourself the time to continue that. It helps reduce anxiety and stress, which in this case is important for you.
Reading will also help you stay away from the moving stress for a bit. Indulge in a book, some poetry, or any kind of interesting content that you like to read.
Socializing is also a good way to stay connected with friends while taking a break from your daily moving chores. Grab dinner with your friends and relax for a few hours a week!
You don’t have to forget to treat yourself once in a while. Go get the massage you wanted or the facial you deserve. These are some simple things that you can treat yourself with.
Meditation is a good way to stay healthy and give your mind a mini-break. A breather never hurts anyone and meditation is a good breather for you considering your pregnancy.
Yes, moving is stressful and we all know it. But, sacrificing your sleep is no good excuse for you to keep up with all the pending work. Make sure you get your 8 hours of sleep every day. If you’re tired from all the work, take a nap too. It’s all good as long as you are giving your body the break it needs.
And finally and most importantly, take breaks whenever you need them. Know that you can and are allowed to have some time off. So take a mini-break, grab something to eat, and watch a show if you like. Do things that will make you happy and enjoy the free time you get to indulge in them.
If you’re a working woman, consider taking some time off work after the move and before you welcome your baby. You’ll be exhausted from moving and need the time to settle in the new house and feel comfortable, so do that. It will be a good time to take care of yourself and embrace the new change.
Amidst all of the moving, all of the above-mentioned things will only help you take care of yourself and your baby. Alongside, you also need to have a positive outlook and take baby steps as mentioned earlier. Stressing and overdoing things will not help you any better. But remaining organized and asking for help will ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible while keeping you and your baby safe!
FAQs On Tips For Moving While Pregnant
Is Moving Harmful During Pregnancy?
Moving anytime regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not is a stressful job. If you take care of yourself and follow the guidelines of your doctor, moving should not be harmful to you or your baby. Just make sure you are cautious and mindful when dealing with the moving process and you’re good to go.
When Should You Stop Moving Heavy Things When Pregnant?
You need to completely avoid lifting heavy objects during pregnancy. It can cause some real harm to your baby and you don’t want to risk it. So it doesn’t matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, avoid lifting heavy objects.
Moving during your second trimester is ideally the best time to move during your pregnancy. The first trimester is when you are nauseous and sick while the third trimester is when you’re too close to giving birth and need all the rest you can get. The second trimester is the in-between phase and you can afford some moving around.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.