When you plan to move, many elements may come into play that make it necessary to make special accommodations. Whether it’s finding care for small kids, hiring help if you are moving alone, or downsizing half your possessions into a storage unit, each situation is unique and requires careful planning. To make it work, every individual and family must approach moving at their own pace and budget.
Being pregnant is just one of the special situations that can come into play during a move. While carrying a new life is an exciting time, moving while pregnant can be stressful. It is already enough of a life-changing event without a move, so uprooting and going somewhere new makes it more important than ever to be prepared.
Thankfully, you can make this move as easy and safe as possible by taking extra precautions. By putting your health first, you can navigate this process safely and successfully. Here are 5 things to know when moving during pregnancy.
1. First Thing’s First: Your Health Is Top Priority
Moving is a physically exhausting job even for able-bodied individuals. Not to mention, it’s also mentally draining because of the emotional labor involved with managing utilities, numerous phone calls, and paperwork from lenders, realtors, or landlords. Add growing life into the mix and you have the perfect storm for stress. It’s important to keep your body and mind in good condition during this time of intense transition.
Do everything you can to delegate tasks to others. For example, have a partner or friend do all the heavy lifting while you handle more detailed tasks like placing lightweight items into boxes. If you feel burdened with too many “administrative” tasks regarding switching utilities and other phone calls, split this task up with your partner or schedule one call a day to make sure you have enough time to rest.
If possible, avoid moving during the third trimester. This is a when your body is usually the most tired and even minimal bending and lifting can be strenuous. Talk to your OB-GYN about what you can do to stay safe if a move during this time is unavoidable. If you must move during the later weeks of pregnancy, be sure to get plenty of help and avoid lifting anything. You can still do your part by labeling boxes, cleaning surfaces, and delegating where things go to your helpers.
2. Do Small Moving Tasks In Advance
To make sure you’re not rushed during a move, plan tasks in advance so that the official moving day isn’t one where you’re rushing to box up belongings and make a dozen phone calls. If you’re in a particularly tiring stage of pregnancy, be mindful of your limitations and take even more time to prepare for the move. It’s preferable to box up small items and organize seasonal items weeks in advance in small bursts each day. In this way, you won’t feel overwhelmed but make good progress over time. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done for just 15 minutes a day!
3. Get Help For the Heavy Lifting
If you’re moving while pregnant, this is the time to recruit an army of assistance. Friends and family are usually more willing than ever to help someone when they’re pregnant — so don’t be afraid to ask! If nobody around you is available, you must hire extra hands to lift furniture and boxes for you. Do not try to do this alone. This money will be well spent because it will protect you from doing any heavy lifting which can cause injury or even set off preterm labor.
Having other people do the heavy lifting keeps you from making strenuous movements that can throw your back or cause you to fall. When you’re pregnant, your joints are looser due to a special hormone and you don’t have the same muscular strength in your core. This change is temporary but it’s important to take these limitations into consideration and not push yourself. Any irregular movements can cause unexpected injuries, which you should avoid at all costs.
4. Fuel Your Body
Pregnant bodies need plenty of nutrition and hydration. Stay consistent with your prenatal vitamins, recommended daily exercise, and self-care routine throughout this season. Also, during your move, follow your doctor’s advice on your daily intake of water and be sure to not skip your meals. It’s easy to get carried away and forget a meal or to drink enough when you’re handling many tasks.
To put your health first, set reminders to drink and eat. Even taking 5 minutes to sit down and eat can do wonders for yourself — and anyone who’s helping you. While you should prepare healthy snacks like sliced strawberries and veggie trays in advance, there’s nothing wrong with a delicious pizza delivery if your doctor says it’s okay.
5. Take Breaks Whenever You Need Them
If at any point you find that you’re doing too much — stop! Your body will tell you when you’re doing too much. Depending on what stage of pregnancy you are in, you may have different levels of energy. You may feel like you can get by with minimal breaks and just need meals and snacks to recharge. It’s also possible that you are in the throes of the first trimester and are experiencing nausea and fatigue. You must listen to your body and rest when you need it— with zero guilt — and only return to your moving tasks when you’re ready.
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