Yes, it’s true: I was living with my husband in a one-bedroom walk up when my pregnancy test came back positive. We were both thrilled, but any excitement I felt about the baby’s arrival was dimmed by the depressing prospect of bringing a newborn home to such a small apartment. Despite the inevitable trouble that comes with moving while pregnant, I ultimately preferred those issues over sharing our already cramped space with a screaming baby.
And that’s how I wound up moving while six months pregnant.
The bad news is that pregnancy complicates an already exhausting process. The good news is that I survived—and you can too. Below is how I managed to move into my new place.
Plan to Work During Your Second Trimester
The famous real estate mantra is location, location, location, but a positive moving experience (especially while pregnant) also depends on timing.
That’s why you should capitalize on your second trimester.
Most women feel a surge of new energy after the initial morning sickness dissipates. Even if you can’t move into the new house yet, use that valuable energy in productive ways—for example, box up items you won’t need until after the move (like books or holiday decor), research paint options, or just use that time to reserve the moving truck.
Always Prepare for How You Will Feel Later, Not Just Now
Your body and your overall mental state change rapidly during pregnancy. What you feel comfortable with one day, you may dread just a few days later. Welcome to the moving while pregnant rollercoaster.
Early in the packing process, I filled probably a dozen cardboard boxes with books. Even at the time that I packed these boxes, they seemed heavy, but I was largely unconcerned. Weeks later, I was experiencing major back pain—and after having others move the boxes into the house, I couldn’t even manage to push them along the floor to where I wanted them. I had to leave the books scattered in inconvenient locations for days. Anticipate your body’s changes better than I did!
Care for Your Body, Because Someone Depends on It
Your sleep, diet and other health choices impact not just you, but your child too. Even if you feel you are coping well with the strain of moving while pregnant, don’t neglect your physical well-being.
Set an alarm to eat (seriously)
There were days when we spent hours packing or painting or somehow preparing for the move without any consideration for food. With my already decreased appetite, I sometimes forgot about entire meals. But not eating will only make you feel sicker. Before you start a long project, designate a specific time to stop and eat, then mark it with an alarm on your phone.
That includes everything from taking frequent naps to making sure that you have a bed situation sorted for the first few nights in the house. We didn’t leave enough time to assemble our Ikea bed on move-in day, so we wound up on the floor in the living room—not ideal for a pregnant woman!
You CAN Help Moving While Pregnant—Just Not at Your Own Expense
Remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to friends and family even if you’re already enlisting a moving company (which I recommend, because honestly.) On moving day, more is always merrier.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help wherever possible
Some may welcome the excuse (or rather, extremely valid reason) to kick back and watch other people work, but if you’re anything like me, you might actually struggle not to jump in and contribute when you see your friends sweating and straining.
Find alternative ways to contribute
I guarantee no one will think you are lazy for not moving boxes—there is plenty to do that doesn’t involve heavy lifting. You can do a deep clean of each room, direct other people about where to put boxes, run out to grab food for everyone helping, etc.
Whatever you do, if you’re moving while pregnant you will likely grow tired quickly like I did, so remember to take frequent breaks.
Overall, the key to survival when moving while pregnant is to embrace the positive aspects of the situation rather than dwelling on the complications. When you’re at your most stressed, just remember that the final outcome will be a home for your baby, where you can create sweet new memories as a family.