Tips for Moving Cross-Country While Pregnant
Remember that big move I’ve been referencing? Well, I’m happy to report that we successfully completed it! Packing up your belongings and taking a 20 hour U-Haul ride generally doesn’t sound appealing to anyone, but it sounds even less appealing to a nearly-30-week pregnant woman. I learned a few things along the way, though, about how to make the event as bearable as possible.
Tips for Moving While Pregnant
1. Do NOT lift anything. This should not be new news if you’re pregnant. Despite the numerous warnings for pregnant women against lifting anything heavy, though, I had to learn this one the hard way. It can be a hard “suggestion” to listen to, because you feel able. Your muscles are not the same, though. I carried a box about ten feet and thought I was fine, despite my husband’s warning when he saw me doing it. The next day, back spasms awaited me, and I had to admit that my husband was right this time. Just play it safe, and leave the heavy lifting to someone else.
2. Occupy yourself while the truck is being loaded. We hired movers to load and unload our truck, which I highly recommend. Even so, it can be tempting to help out and carry a few things out to the truck yourself. Instead of taking the risk of injury, occupy yourself with something else. Start cleaning in a room that the movers won’t be in (bathrooms are usually a good option). Or leave to grab a carry-out dinner for yourself and your family or spouse. There are ways to be helpful that avoid threatening your well-being.
3. Pack snacks. Eating for two can sometimes lead to increased hunger. Instead of satisfying your cravings with whatever junk food they’re offering up at the gas station, pack some healthy snacks ahead of time. Not only will baby appreciate it, but so will you when your stomach starts rumbling and the nearest stop is 40 miles away!
4. Get comfortable. U-Hauls and other moving trucks don’t exactly hold a reputation for comfort and luxury. So, do what’s within your power to make the trip more comfortable. Wear comfortable clothes, and wear layers so that you can adjust accordingly. Bring a pillow or a blanket. Do whatever you have to do to make the ride more enjoyable.
5. Make frequent stops. As you probably know, sitting for too long can increase your risk for blood clots. We made it a point to stop every two to three hours. We spaced it out so that we were either filling up the gas tank or stopping for a meal in those increments. These frequent stops probably increased the duration of our trip, but it’s not something that can be ignored. At the end of the day, your health and your baby’s health are more important than those few hours that you may have gained back by not stopping.
Ultimately, there isn’t anything that can make a long-distance move the best day(s) of your life, but you can make it as enjoyable as possible. Take pictures. Use the time with your spouse to have meaningful conversations about the future. Because one day you’ll hopefully happily look back on your move as the beginning of a new chapter in your life. So try not to dread it, and instead, try to make the best of it.