Moving While Pregnant: Everything You Need to Know

Moving While Pregnant: Everything You Need to Know

Couple sitting on the couch next to moving boxes

Moving to a new home can already be an exhausting and difficult task. Adding a pregnancy to the equation can cause even more stress and make the task of moving seem that much more daunting. When pregnant mothers are moving there is a lot they need to consider. The combination of planning their pregnancy and planning the move can create a long list of chores and responsibilities.

This article will help give mothers-to-be a helpful hand in knowing what they need to consider when they are moving and what things they need to consider with their own and their baby’s health on the line. From the first to second to third trimester, you’ll learn everything you need to know to move while pregnant. We’ll handle the moving need to know’s while letting a couple of our friends in the medical community handle the pregnancy need to know’s.

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Buying the New House

You may find yourself moving for a variety of reasons related to or unrelated to your growing family. A big reason for buying a house when you are pregnant is to have more room for the new baby.

The new baby will need a nursery and sometimes parents want an additional room to make into the child’s playroom. This means when you are pregnant and house hunting you need to consider the number of bedrooms and rooms with flexible purposes in the house. Most expecting parents will be in the market for a home that has at least two to three bedrooms.

Expecting parents should buy a house that will be easy to babyproof. Babyproofing is essentially creating a home that is safe for your baby to live in.

This means having locks on the cabinets that contain unsafe items such as cleaning chemicals, prescription medicine, knives, and other dangerous items. It also means putting soft barriers on hard surfaces where the baby could bump their head and making sure all outlets are fitted with babyproof electrical guards. 

Tip: When buying a new house it is best to plan ahead. Think about your future and how many kids you may want later in your life. This will help you plan the amount of bedrooms you need, so you won’t have to move again later on down the road.

Big house in the country

Things to Consider When Moving to A New Town When Pregnant

Moving often involves living in a new town, or even in a different state. When you are pregnant moving to a new town can lead to a lot of stress. There are many factors you need to consider and it it can help to consider them ahead of time. Planning ahead can help you realize what needs to be done and if the new location is right for you.

Will I Need a New Doctor?

If you are moving to a new town or state while pregnant, you will most likely need to find a new doctor. This includes not just a general physician but also an Obstetrician and Sonograph Specialist.

It is best to find new doctors before your move because it allows you to schedule appointments in advance. This leads to the question; will they have to redo all the lab tests and sonograph images that I have already had done? Most doctor’s offices keep notes on each patient, and you should be able to have all those reports sent to your new doctor’s office.

According to Josabeth Deer, RDSM, “Doctor’s offices are able to send ultrasound images to other offices. The patient has to sign a medical release form and the images have to be copied onto a disk for viewing on a computer. Some offices will print them on a report, however, the images aren’t very clear.”

In the cases where the images sent are not clear to view, it may be easier to have certain tests and imaging redone. This is especially the case when it comes to sonograph images, where your new doctor may want to redo the images so they can better analyze your pregnancy.

Tip: When finding a new doctor look at their reviews online. This is one of the easiest ways to find out which doctor is going to be best for you and the kind of care you want to receive.

Family in the Area

gGandparents caring for grandchildren

Another thing to consider when moving to a new home is how far away you are from the family members who don’t live in your household. Moving to a new home while pregnant is a lot of work, both physically and mentally. It can help to have family in the area so you can have someone to lend you a hand.

Knowing which family lives nearby can help you decide who you want in the delivery room or who can be a future babysitter. While you don’t always have a choice, it is something to consider when you are moving, especially if you are close to certain family members.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask your family for help during your pregnancy and your move. Having an extra set of hands or someone to talk to can help make moving while pregnant less stressful.

Things to Consider During Different Trimesters

When it comes to pregnancy, there are certain things you will have to consider depending on which trimester you are in. Pregnancy trimesters are broken down by weeks, with the first trimester being 0 to 13 weeks, the second trimester 14 to 26 weeks, and the third trimester being 27 weeks up to birth.

The best thing you can do is listen to what your doctor tells you about what you should do during each trimester. Whether that be when to schedule doctor appointments, what exercises to do, or certain things to avoid, always listen to the advice given to you by a medical professional.

Labor and Delivery Nurse, Jamie Capel, stated, “Each individual should follow the advice of their physician as far as what is best for their personal physical health and experience.”

Moving While Pregnant- First Trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy can often involve a lot of change and can often be what leads people to realize they need to move into a new home. With the thoughts of a new family member joining your household, you may realize you need a bigger house or want to start fresh somewhere new.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, you may find yourself not having a lot of time to plan your move. A lot of women experience symptoms such as nausea, achiness, and fatigue, which are just a few possibilities.

Along with those symptoms, pregnancy comes with a lot of planning of its own including finding an OB physician, Doula, or Midwife, scheduling prenatal appointments, talking to your work about maternity leave, and other decisions involving your pregnancy.

Prenatal appointments are used to check both the health of the mother and the health of the baby. During these appointments, they will often do physical exams, lab tests, and go over any questions the mother may have.

The first appointment is typically the longest since they are gathering your medical history. The follow-up appointments will normally be shorter in length and are scheduled throughout the duration of your pregnancy. According to Capel, BSN, RN, MBA, “For checkups, they are typically once per month until 36 weeks, at which point they come in once per week.  This would be for an uncomplicated pregnancy.” 

These responsibilities may make it hard to find time to plan your move during your first trimester. It’s important to remember you can always plan your move in stages. Take a little time each day to figure out one moving-related issue.

Tip: If you’re going to move during your first trimester, give yourself a flexible schedule to take breaks and find comfortable positions.

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Moving While Pregnant- Second Trimester

Baby shower sign

The second trimester is often known as the honeymoon period during pregnancy. During this time a lot of women stop experiencing the harsh symptoms of pregnancy and start gaining their energy back. This makes it the perfect time to start planning for both your pregnancy and your move to a new home.

During your second trimester of pregnancy, it is important to have an idea of where you are moving to. Planning for moving while pregnant in your second trimester will allow you to also better plan for your pregnancy. Knowing which town you are moving to will allow you to plan for future doctor appointments, choose the hospital where you’ll give birth, and help you plan for future childcare.

While in your second semester of pregnancy, it is also time to start planning some of the fun activities. You can find out the sex of your baby around 18 to 21 weeks. This is the perfect time to plan for a baby shower and/or gender reveal party if that is something you want to do.

Something to consider if you are in the process of moving is possibly having your baby shower at a location other than your home. This way you won’t have to worry about the guests being in your home as you’re in the process of packing to move.

Tip: When planning your baby shower or gender reveal party, you should create a baby registry. Try to only include essential items to maximize space in your moving vehicle. You may choose to ask for gift cards instead so you can buy what you need after your move.

Moving While Pregnant- Third Trimester

Planning to move while pregnant in your third trimester can be a very busy time, especially if you are in the process of physically moving into your new home. At this stage, you should be preparing to bring home a baby in a few weeks. This includes buying baby supplies and preparing their nursery. If you are moved into your new home, creating a nursery should be one of your first priorities.

During the third trimester, you should also be creating your birthing plan. This plan will look different for everyone, but it typically includes the location where you want to give birth, the post-birth care plan for yourself and the baby, creating a hospital bag, and anything else that will help you physically and mentally prepare for giving birth.

It is important to plan out your hospital stay. Almost all mothers end up staying in the hospital after they give birth. When asked about hospital stay after delivery, Capel, stated, “I have seen first-time mothers take anywhere from a couple of hours to days, so it really just depends on the person. A typical, healthy vaginal delivery is usually a 24-hour stay, or the following morning if this lands at an unreasonable hour. Cesarean sections may require longer stays, as well as any complications with mom or baby.”

Tip: When preparing your hospital bag make sure you pack items not just for the baby, but for you and your partner as well. You never know how long you will be at the hospital so you want to prepare for all situations.

High-Risk Pregnancies  

Having a high-risk pregnancy is something no mother wants, but unfortunately, it does happen. High-risk pregnancies can occur for multiple reasons such as maternal health problems, pregnancy complications, or lifestyle choices.

If you are in a high-risk pregnancy, your schedule may be even busier during your pregnancy. It is common to have more doctor appointments, ultrasounds, and tests to ensure both you and the baby are healthy.

According to Josabeth Deer, RDSM, “Depending on if the woman’s pregnancy is high risk or not, the amount of ultrasound exams that should be done varies. High-risk pregnancies are usually seen weekly whereas low-risk pregnancies can be seen every 3-4 weeks.”

In some cases, high-risk pregnancy patients are admitted to the hospital weeks or days before they are supposed to give birth. This allows them to be closely monitored during the end of the third trimester. This can cause them to have less time to physically help with the moving process.

If you are bedridden during pregnancy, you may not be able to help pack or direct the movers where to set items. This can put a burden on the rest of your family when it comes to moving. To help ease their burden you can do tasks such as making a floor plan, creating a list for packing, hiring movers, and renting a moving vehicle.

While high-risk pregnancies can make your schedule even more packed, with the help of friends and family, it is still possible to plan for your move.

Tip: If you are in a high-risk pregnancy try to avoid moving to a new home unless absolutely necessary. Adding the additional stress and the physical strain of moving can put you at an even higher risk for complications during pregnancy.

Flying While Pregnant

Airplane flying through grey skies

The ability to travel via airplane while pregnant will vary for everyone. In most cases, doctors will say flying on an airplane is safe as long as you are not close to your due date. However, in cases of high-risk pregnancies, your doctor may tell you not to travel since you are at a higher risk of something going wrong throughout your pregnancy and it would be hard to treat you if something went wrong during your flight.

The best stage of pregnancy to travel during is the second trimester. This is because most women no longer experience nausea and fatigue, yet they are not far enough along in their pregnancy that sitting for a long time would be uncomfortable. If you are going to travel via airplane while pregnant, the best thing you can do is talk to your healthcare provider and ask them if they think it would be okay.

A doctor might tell you not to fly while pregnant, which may put a delay on your move. If driving to your new home isn’t an option, you may have to wait until after delivery to officially move in. That would also mean you would have to travel with a newborn baby, which may not be possible until a few days after they are born.

Tip: If a doctor gives you the go-ahead to fly while pregnant, do it. It is a lot easier to move now than having to wait in long lines and fly on an airplane all with a newborn baby in your arms.

What to Pack

When it comes to packing for your move while pregnant, it is easiest to pack a little each day. This strategy will allow you to get everything packed while still allowing you time to do other activities.

The Essential Baby and Pregnancies Items

Besides packing the items you already have in your home, it’s important to think about how much room you’ll need to pack baby and pregnancy items that you will receive during your pregnancy.

If you have a baby shower before your move, you will most likely already have a lot of baby supplies you will need to move to your new home. These items may include small things such as baby clothes, diapers, and toys, or bigger items such as a playpen or stroller. Regardless of the items, it is important you leave room in your moving vehicle to pack these items. One way to plan how much space you’ll need is to make a baby registry so you have an idea of what items people may buy you.

When it comes to other pregnancy-related items one thing to consider is how much your wardrobe has possibly grown during your pregnancy. Having to buy maternity clothes, possibly for multiple seasons, can easily cause your wardrobe to double. This means you must keep room in your moving truck for all the extra clothes.

Tip: If possible, hold off on having a baby shower or accumulating lots of things for the baby until after your move.

Items to Buy After the Move

Cute toddler playing with wooden rattle

Something you may want to consider is what items you can buy after you move. Buying items after your move that you don’t need right away will help you save space in your moving vehicle. This can potentially help you cut the cost of renting a moving vehicle if you are able to rent a smaller one.

Some items you could possibly buy after the move would include the baby’s cradle or crib, stroller, larger toys, changing table, and any other large item that you won’t need until the baby is born.

Tip: Another way to save money on baby items is by looking at second-hand items on Facebook Marketplace and going to second-hand stores such as Once Upon a Child.

Hiring Movers

You will need to hire movers if you are moving while pregnant. Having someone else there to do the heavy lifting while you are pregnant can be both safer and make your life easier.

According to Capel, BSN, RN, MBA, “Most healthy women can continue to do their normal activities.  If they lift weights regularly before pregnancy, then I’ve seen women lift throughout their pregnancy. I would not try to set a bunch of new personal bests during this time. However, my doctor told me to avoid lifting over 30 pounds when I became pregnant.” 

If you are looking for someone to solely help with moving your items, consider looking into a labor-only moving company. Labor-only moving companies help move items from one place to another, whether that be from your house to the moving vehicle or from the moving vehicle to your new home. This allows you to still be in control of packing your own items but helps you avoid doing any heavy lifting.

Tip: If you are hiring movers make sure you have a floor plan created ahead of time. This will help make sure the heavy items like furniture are placed where you want them, so you won’t have to move them later by yourself.

Conclusion

Moving to a new home while you are pregnant can be a very stressful time. It involves a lot of planning and consideration both for your pregnancy and for the move itself. Taking everything step by step can help ensure you get everything accomplished and help make the situation less stressful.

So, take a deep breath and take each situation as it comes, allowing yourself to successfully plan and execute moving to a new home while pregnant.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.