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Congratulations, you’re expecting a little one and moving to a new home! Both of these life events are hugely exciting – and both can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when you’re moving while pregnant. In part 2 of this series, “How to Survive a Move with Kids or While Expecting”, we share insider tips from our experienced moving team on how to ensure a smooth, minimally stressful move if you’re moving to a new home during your pregnancy:
Talk to your doctor first. You may not have a choice about moving while expecting, but what you personally can do to facilitate the move may be limited. Before doing any heavy lifting, check in with your doctor to ensure it’s safe to participate. If you have any complications in your pregnancy, such as an increased risk of pre-term labor, heavy lifting is not advised. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, pregnant women who are lifting for over an hour a day should avoid lifting anything heavier than 18 pounds if they are less than 20 weeks pregnant and 13 pounds if they are more than 20 weeks pregnant.
Get the help you need. Tackling a move without adequate support isn’t wise for anyone, but it is essential that pregnant women undertaking a move get the help they need. Every stage of moving is incredibly strenuous: packing, moving day and unpacking. It’s important to ensure you have support in place to help with every stage of moving.
Moving Long Distance? Connect with a new healthcare provider. If you’re moving locally, you won’t have to worry about changing healthcare providers. But if you’re moving long distance, make it a priority to find a new health care provider before you move, so there are no gaps in care during your pregnancy. Keep in mind that many obstetricians do not accept new patients who are more than 24-28 weeks pregnant. If you can, move before your third trimester so this is a non-issue. If you have to move toward the end of your pregnancy and are having a hard time finding a new provider, ask your current obstetrician if they can help. It’s also important that you bring your medical records along with you.
Say “Yes” to Extra Help. Moving is challenging for anyone, but especially so for women in pregnancy. If friends and family extend an offer to assist in any way during the moving process, strongly consider saying “yes!”. Just because you’re capable of doing something – be it staying up late, lifting heavy boxes or moving furniture – doesn’t mean it’s wise or safe to do so on your own. Being able to let go and delegate responsibilities can make moving while expecting much more manageable and less taxing.
In addition to seeking support from friends and family, you may want to consider hiring cleaning help, a professional organizer/declutterer or even a college student to help you pack.
Hire Reliable Professional Movers. There are countless reasons everyone should hire professional movers rather than tackling a DIY move or using unlicensed movers. Moving is taxing enough when competent movers are involved. Inexperienced movers come with a laundry list of issues that cause unnecessary stress that should be avoided during pregnancy. You don’t want to worry about movers not showing up or haggling over an agreed upon price, breaking or losing valuable furniture or possessions, or damaging your home during the moving process. With experienced movers like the team at All Jersey Moving & Storage, you can have peace of mind knowing your move will be executed by professionals from start to finish. In addition to executing 1000s of residential moves and apartment moves, we also specialize in piano moving, fine art moving, antique moving and last-minute moving.
Learn to lift and bend safely. We’ve already talked about the merits of minimizing lifting, asking for help and hiring professionals to assist with packing and unpacking. But if you will be assisting with the packing and unpacking process, it’s important to learn how to do so safely in pregnancy. Pregnancy produces increased levels of a hormone called Relaxin, which loosens ligaments to help with labor. This hormone, along with posture changes and weight gain weight, makes getting injured more likely. Injuries that are common in pregnancy include back strain, pubic symphysis dysfunction (SPD), carpal tunnel pain, and sacroiliac joint problems.
While lifting, most people bend their spine and lift from the lower back with their arms outstretched. This causes strain to muscles in the lower back increases the risk of injury. The proper way to lift is to straddle the item, bend your knees and bend from the hips with a straight back, then hold the object close to you and lift using your legs. It’s also preferable to move things in smaller, lighter and more frequent amounts rather than trying to lift heavy loads more quickly.
If you’re pregnant, one thing you can do to increase your stability and protect yourself is wear support belts and carpal tunnel wrist splits. It’s also important to wear supportive shoes with good arch support and shock absorption.
Take regular rest breaks. We can’t stress enough how taxing moving can be on your body. It’s important to be mindful of this and take regular breaks, both during the packing process and on moving day itself. When considering how much time you need to pack, factor in the time you will have to take for rest breaks (which should occur every half hour or so). During breaks, put your feet up to help with circulation and prevent lower extremity swelling, not to mention back pain. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Beat “Pregnancy Brain”. Some pregnant women find themselves feeling unusually forgetful or distracted. If you find yourself struggling to remember details or focus on tasks as you normally do, you’re not alone. Casually referred to as “pregnancy brain”, this feeling is very common amongst pregnant women and new moms. Taking steps to “beat” pregnancy brain will give you greater peace of mind that nothing will be forgotten or left to chance during your move. Make and print “to do” lists, even if you aren’t normally a list person. Create a clear, simple labelling system for boxes to make the move and unpacking process easier. Hang a calendar up and mark key dates in advance, so you don’t forget to transfer the cable or book your movers.
Embrace decluttering. One way to make your move more manageable is to decrease the number of things you need to take with you to your new home. Decluttering your home can be incredibly liberating. Getting rid of unwanted or unneeded possessions is even more rewarding when you have limited space, are moving and are making space in your life and home for a new addition! Give yourself lots of time to sort through your possessions into categories – keep, sell, give away or donate. Remember that selling items at a reasonable price takes time. Even giving away unwanted items can take time. Don’t leave these tasks to the last minute. If possible, try and begin a few months before your moving date – especially if you’re juggling other professional and family responsibilities.
Be Careful on the Stairs! During pregnancy, your center of gravity shifts. It’s inevitable that you’ll be making more trips up and down the stairs than usual as you prepare for your move. And often you’ll be carrying things rather than holding onto the handrail. Be careful on the stairs. Don’t carry loads that are too heavy to carry with ease, and walk slowly and cautiously. Avoid walking on the stairs in your socks, rather wear shoes with good support and use a support belt.
Pack a Moving Day Kit. Moving day can be exhausting when you’re pregnant, even when you’re moving with seasoned professionals. Plan accordingly. Leave yourself something to sit on so you can take rest breaks (remember, your movers will be packing up your sofa and kitchen chairs). Keep bottles of water, juice or drinks with electrolytes in the fridge, as well as fruit and snacks to avoid dehydration and dips in blood sugar. Leave enough toilet paper and hand soap in the bathroom to get you, your family and your movers through moving day. And pack a bag an overnight bag so that upon arrival at your new home, you’ll have everything you need to settle in for the night without having to worry about unpacking. This back should include medications and prenatal vitamins, a few changes of clothing, toiletries, linens, a pillow and a phone charger.
All Jersey Moving & Storage – Movers You Can Trust
All Jersey Moving & Storage has had the privilege of helping thousands of families and expectant mothers move to their new homes. We understand how important it is that your upcoming move go smoothly and why you’re eager to get comfortably settled in your new home before your little one makes their debut. Our team does everything we can to make your move as stress-free as possible, from using the proper equipment and expertise to protect your possessions throughout the move to doing our utmost to accommodate last minute moves.
Contact us today for a free moving estimate.