Moving can take months of planning and prep work, (especially if you’re going to a new city or region) not to mention brute strength. Meanwhile, new residences have to be found, addresses must be changed and minor details demand your attention just when you think you have a chance to catch your breath. Throw in pregnancy and the whole process can be that much more overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Even when pregnant, there are steps you can take to simplify your workload while reducing your day-to-day stress.
Early on, your physical limitations won’t have changed much, but you’ll still need to carefully manage your stress and health. If you’re able, start packing during this time. The earlier the better, both for your body and for the moving process in general. According to Parents Connect, light exercise can be very useful in keeping stress levels low. While there isn’t a set weight lifting limit for women during the first trimester, women should be careful not to push themselves too much. Lifting-related injuries won’t hurt the baby, but it will hurt the mother and make the pregnancy more of a challenge.
Even while packing or doing other physical work, do not to push yourself too hard. Women can be easily exhausted during the first trimester, so medical professionals recommend using frequent breaks and even naps to keep fatigue under control. Hydrate often to avoid any complications that could affect you or your body. And make sure to get good sleep at night. Consider looking at mattresses with memory foam or other sleep aids to improve your rest if you’re struggling during pregnancy. And don’t forget the stress-relieving value of massages.
After the first trimester, stay away from any heavy lifting, including furniture. As your baby develops, you might see your endurance decline, but don’t push yourself to work at the same levels as before. Listen to your body to avoid inflicting harm and increasing stress. If you start to feel tired, give yourself a rest. Healtline.com suggests 30 minutes of activity for women in their second trimester, and your heartbeat shouldn’t go above about 140 beats per minute.
Bring in extra help if you need it, whether it’s professional movers or friends and family. And seek out a new doctor in your new location, and have your records sent over. You can conduct this research in a variety of ways: friend and professional referrals, online reviews, online mommy message boards, etc.
At this point, it might be best to step into a more managerial role. Most doctors will caution against overexerting yourself and lifting heavy objects, so plan instead on ordering others around. There’s no research linking heavy lifting to pregnancy complication, but there’s also no need to stress your body and increase your risk of injury. The TODAY Show recommends reducing your lifting limit by 20 to 25 percent once you reach the late stages of your pregnancy.
Instead, put your efforts to decorating and logistics. Focus on making phone calls, filling out forms, scheduling appointments, etc.
After all, this isn’t the time for you to go into labor! You still have a nursery to set up.
Gerri is a mom and part-time chef who enjoys writing about green living, healthy eating and parenting.