Congratulations! You’re expecting your new bundle of joy - maybe it’s your first, or maybe this is round two or three of growing your young family. It’s an exciting time in life, and chances are you’ll be putting a lot of effort into normalizing your schedule and getting into a bit of a routine that you’re comfortable with in these crucial next 9 months.
Should you or your spouse be in the midst of career change that’s requiring you both to move, or you’ve stumbled on a real estate gem that you just couldn’t pass up, choosing to undertake a big move when you’re expecting can be a daunting task. When you’re eating, sleeping, relaxing and caring for two, it’s important to make sure that baby is getting everything they need from you first and foremost.
So, should you postpone that move? Can you put it off?
Maybe that’s not in the cards, and you’re in a situation that requires action. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to strategize and plan your pregnancy around a move that can’t wait:
If you haven’t considered hiring the extra help, do it now. Adding a crew of experienced and knowledgeable movers can hugely reduce your stress levels during the entire process of packing, saying goodbye to your old address, and unpacking at your new home.
Further, movers handle all of the heavy lifting, taking away the chances you could bite off more than you can chew and potentially injure or exhaust yourself in a time where you’ll need every last ounce of energy you can muster. Hiring movers eliminates a lot of the initial worries about organizing, packing, lifting and storing your stuff in an efficient manner.
When you’re undertaking a move, consider what your sleeping patterns have been thus far during your pregnancy. Do your best to schedule your move around your ideal day, and don’t overexert yourself by staying up too late, or losing sleep in general by staying up late to pack, or by waking up crazily early to get a jump on the big day.
If your move requires you to fly, consider how you’ll fare sleep-wise on a crowded flight, and if driving is at all possible.
Also consider how far along you’ll be in your pregnancy and if boarding a plane is even possible. Usually, airlines prevent expectant mothers around the last month of pregnancy, or require a medical certificate. Other airlines discourage travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy. If your move means an international flight, the cutoff point for travelling with international airlines is often earlier.
If you’re having trouble scheduling a flight because of your due date, or can’t seem to find a good way to get enough rest or sleep throughout the pre-move hustle, you may be better off moving after you have your baby as a way to better accommodate travel.
Use Those Nesting Instincts!
One of the benefits to moving ahead of having your baby is being able to take advantage of the body's natural nesting instincts. This overwhelming need to clean and organize your home during the later weeks of pregnancy means you could be subconsciously preparing for the arrival of your little one. If you’ve made a recent move, this is a perfect time to get the house in order, set up the nursery, clean the yard, and take on any last minute preparations that will help you to feel more settled and ready.
Using a new address where unpacking and organizing is already a prevalent job you’ll be undertaking is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak - just remember to not take on more than you can handle. Enlist the help of friends and family to help with this last minute push for those odd-jobs that need to be done.
Potential for Cost/Time Savings
A big consideration to take into account is where you’re moving to. If you’re moving across town, to another community or province within Canada, you won’t have much change to worry about in terms of additional costs to the birthing process. If you’re moving to the US, you may find yourself with a hefty hospital bill after delivering your babe. Consider how important moving internationally will be in terms of hospital costs, healthcare amenities, etc.
Time wise, maybe you’ll want to consider transferring care to another midwifery group if you’ve opted for a midwife. Likewise with a Doula - give yourself enough time in your new community to seek the help and care that you’re most comfortable with and assess whether or not you want to move before or after your baby's arrival.
Anyone with children can attest to the time-consuming process of setting up cribs, dressers and drawers, and other nursery accoutrement. If you’ve yet to purchase a nursery set, or haven’t taken delivery on your order - from a retailer, or a family member or friend - consider waiting to set these things up if you’re planning to move first. There’s no sense in adding to your list of pre and post moving chores. Opt to set up a nursery once, rather than twice.
How Well Can You Relax?
Having a baby doesn’t leave you with much spare time - for other people and tasks, and even for yourself. Practicing relaxation is meant to keep your body and mind in the best state of mind to help you care for your unborn child and yourself. If you’re feeling like the stress of moving is going to affect your ability to relax and care for yourself either before or after moving - put it off. The health and happiness of you and your baby is the most important thing to remember here, so if you’re having significant doubts, do without them.
If moving is something you’re committed to, make sure you can find some time to help yourself build a space where you can relax and take care of yourself. A good, well-deserved sigh of relief at the end of each day is important to everyone’s health - especially a pregnant mother.
Tips for relaxing include giving your move the right amount of time to take advantage of those nesting instincts so you can create time to enjoy our new home and begin to build the feeling or home prior to delivering. Maybe relaxing involves getting the right amount of exercise as well - it doesn’t mean you have to sit in front of the fire with a book every night. Invest some time in finding a good gym, public rec centre, a local yoga studio, or a trail network that you can use at your own discretion to give yourself some well-deserved R&R, whatever that means to you.
Finally, be accepting of people’s concern for you, and try to accept their help during this emotionally stressful time. You’ve got a lot on your plate, and your family and friends are going to want to help you to balance out the steady requirements of a last minute move. Let your family and friends know what you need help with, and accommodate their offers to give you a helping hand.
Check in with your movers about adjusting dates as early as possible if you’re having second thoughts about moving before your delivery. Many groups will require ample notice if they’re to accommodate a schedule adjustment, and some may charge an additional fee, so be sure to take their advice and only move the date if it’s doable. Further, check in with the respective agencies in your new community for info about places to make you feel like home. A few good restaurants, a gym, parks, etc. Do what you can to feel good about moving before your delivery and reap the benefits of this preparation.
At the very least, sit back and ask yourself what you really want to do. If moving isn’t one of them, don’t do it. You and baby are what’s important at the end of the day, not where you lay your head at night.
Best of luck, and happy moving!