Moving can be a physically taxing and emotionally draining venture--being pregnant during the experience may only increase your stress and exhaustion. Doctors say that if you are going to relocate during a pregnancy, the best time to do so is during your second trimester--morning sickness has subsided, but you are still able to move around pretty easily. However, no matter what point of your pregnancy you decide to move, it is important that you listen to your body, take it slow, be careful not to strain yourself and take every safety precaution possible to ensure that both you and your baby have a safe and happy move. This guide will provide you with some tips to move your new family to your brand new home with ease.
Start packing early
Moving requires a multitude of tasks, which can sometimes feel overwhelming. Packing is often the most time-consuming chore to complete during a move, and can create a lot of unhealthy stress for a pregnant woman. Be sure to begin packing as soon as possible (at least six weeks before your move) to accomplish the task in a timely fashion without feeling pressured. Begin by packing items that you won't need before your move--such as knickknacks, collectibles, and other items with little utility or purpose other than ornamental. Be careful bending--pregnancy can affect your balance because the baby alters your center of gravity. Pack items that are light and easy to pack to limit the strain on your body.
Hire a moving company
Moving is hard work, and entails a great deal of back-breaking labor. Hauling furniture, loading a moving truck, and lots of heavy lifting require the strength and skills of able-bodied movers. While hiring a moving company will cost you some extra money, it will certainly facilitate the process. When you are pregnant, you have many other concerns and matters to tend to, such as shopping for your new baby and attending frequent doctor appointments. Hiring movers will take most of the responsibility of your move off of your shoulders and give you time to focus on the upcoming addition to your family. However, you may be tightening your budget to prepare for your baby's arrival, and hiring movers might be out of your current financial limits. In this case, you should definitely...
Get extra help
Enlist the aid of your partner, friends, neighbors and family and do not attempt to handle the hard labor if you are not hiring movers. Host a packing party to get help wrapping up and boxing your goods quickly and without the extra stress to your body. You shouldn't try to disassemble furniture by yourself, reach for items on high shelves, lift anything extremely heavy, or bend to retrieve low-level items. Some strenuous activity associated with moving can increase your risk of injury--your health and the health of your baby should be your first priorities. If you can't afford to hire movers, your friends and loved ones will surely be more than happy to rally behind you and make your move a successful and safe one.
No heavy lifting
Pregnant women experience hormonal changes that affect the ligaments in their bodies. Lifting heavy boxes or furniture can put strain on your joints and increase your risk of painful injury. Opinions on how much a pregnant woman should lift vary depending on the doctor, but it is generally agreed upon that you should exercise caution lifting anything that weighs greater than 25 pounds. Be sure when lifting anything to bend at the knees, not at the waist, and hold the item close to your body. Lift slowly, and avoid any sudden twisting movements. It's always a good idea to consult your doctor before doing any strenuous physical activity.
Take it easy
While women with healthy pregnancies are typically able to keep up with their normal levels of physical activity, it's important to be careful, take frequent breaks, and stay hydrated. If you are moving during the summer, be sure not to over-exert yourself in the heat and drink plenty of water. Remember that while being pregnant doesn't resign you to total bed rest (unless of course you have been instructed by a doctor), there is no harm in putting your feet up, taking it easy and letting those around you pick up the slack!
Cleaning and remodeling
Moving to a new home may require a great deal of cleaning, painting, repairing and redecorating. However, fumes from certain chemicals should be avoided by a pregnant woman. Doctors recommend paints with zero VOC--paints without the fumes. You should also avoid using any cleaning products if the fumes make you feel ill, and wear a mask and gloves to limit your exposure.
Find a new doctor
If you are moving to a new city, you should choose a new doctor in your neighborhood prior to moving. Ask your current obstetrician for referrals to a doctor in your new town, and handle the transfer of all of your medical records before you move. This way you will be able to continue with your prenatal care easily after you arrive in your home. Be sure to check if the new doctor is accepted under your health insurance provider.
If you are moving long-distance, there are certain things a mommy-to-be should remember while traveling. If you are driving to your destination, be sure to make frequent stops to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Pack healthy snacks to enjoy on the ride so you won't have to stop for greasy fast food. If you will be flying to your new home, remember that women up to 36 weeks in a healthy pregnancy can travel by plane safely and without permission from their doctor. Be sure to stay hydrated during the flight, and request an aisle seat for comfort and to accommodate your frequent trips to the bathroom!Photo by: David Castillo Dominici (Freedigitalphotos.net)