I am the kind of person who really likes to cram all of life’s major events into one year. Case in point: moving to a new house while pregnant last Thanksgiving. Let me set the scene for you. While many have cute little turkeys, corn husk wreaths, and cornucopias adorning the home the only thing garnishing our house was ceiling high brown boxes, packing tape, and piles of junk that hadn’t been sorted since we got married 9 years ago.
I consider myself a packing and moving pro. We have actually moved around 9 times in 9 years due to various job changes or just not feeling like an apartment was a good fit for us. But doing this with a toddler and one on the way was a challenge I hadn’t seen before.
But hey, we all survived the move and are loving settling into our new forever home. We can’t wait to raise our son and soon-to-be daughter here. Here are a few tips to help you survive an upcoming move while pregnant and/or with children:
- Avoid heavy lifting and toxic cleaning products. The biggest concern is always the threat of preterm labor or injury while pregnant. Steer clear of these by leaving the heavy lifting to anyone else. And by heavy, I mean anything over 20 lbs., but check with your doctor because everyone is different. Ligaments naturally loosen in pregnancy to help with labor. This combined with a new center of gravity means you’ll be more likely to hurt yourself. Back strain, pubic symphysis dysfunction, carpal tunnel pain, and sacroiliac joint problems are the most common injuries during pregnancy (aside from falling). When it comes to move-out or move-in cleaning, avoid ammonia and bleach, use cleansers in well ventilated areas, and opt for products with natural ingredients to be safe.
- Delegate and hire help whenever possible. If you can make room in your budget to pay for help, do it! Hire a housekeeper to do the cleaning, a professional organizer to help you get your ducks in a row before packing, and movers to physically get your stuff from point A to point B. If you can’t afford this or would rather save the money, ask friends and family to help. They’ll probably be more than happy to come to the aid of a pregnant woman. Be specific with what you need help with, but then try not to micromanage (that will only add to your stress). Thank them with pizza and beer.
- Wait to buy baby items. It’ll cost you to move these things. From packing supplies to having to rent a bigger truck to paying movers to handle more of your belongings, it’ll add up in one way or another. Wait until you’re in your new place to nest (unless the baby is due shortly after your arrival, and even then just get the basics). The idea of moving less leads to my next point.
- Organize and declutter ahead of time. If you have a lot of stuff, hire a professional organizer or call in reinforcements! You have to get serious about letting go of things that will ultimately cost you. Plus, moving into a new place is an opportunity for a clean slate. The less baggage, the better. Have someone drop off your donations to save you from having to add one more thing to your to-do list. For the items you decide to keep, group them into categories. Not only does this mean you’ll be able to find everything and easily unpack when you get where you’re going, it also means having someone else help you pack will be foolproof. No one wants to pack or unpack a mess. And don’t procrastinate; as soon as you know you’ll be moving, start the process so you won’t feel rushed
- Make lists. Outsmart pregnancy brain by writing everything down in a single notebook (not random pads of paper in every room) and keep it with your purse, so you always know where it is. There’s so much to do and many dates to remember, from turning off the cable to changing your mailing address to paying the moving company. It’s easy to lose track. Whether you’re a pen and paper lady or you’d prefer to use an app, figure out a simple system that’s right for you. Key word: simple.
- Research and establish new doctors ASAP. Find out which doctors are in your insurance network. Then book appointments as soon as you can. You may end up on a waitlist when you finally decide which one you’d like to go with. Be sure to get your medical records transferred to the new doctor’s office, so you can be seen without delays and receive the best care.
- Finally, make time for self-care. Don’t burn the candle at both ends. Stay hydrated, remember to eat, and take frequent breaks. Get off your feet whenever possible and prop them up at the end of the day. Schedule yoga and light exercise to reduce anxieties. Read, socialize, book a massage, and get plenty of sleep.
Have you ever moved while pregnant or while your children were young? Do you have any tips that I missed? Hope settling into your new home sweet home will offer you the same experience it has with me!