David and I decided to move when I was 38 weeks pregnant with our first baby. The concept of moving at such a moment may sound terrifying and may even confuse a lot of people but when we saw the chance to move, we didn’t even batter an eyelid. I don’t even think we thought about it twice and I don’t even think we asked each other, “what do you think?”. It was an instant decision that we both knew was right. That being said, there are most definitely steps and obstacles that you need to address and think about before moving. There was almost a virtual checklist in my head that I consulted before moving that really helped me know, “is this right for me and my baby?”
Our situation is quite unique since we had been wanting to move for over a year but unfortunately the pandemic (COVID-19) hit and we weren’t able to. The situation of where we used to live was also something that I had been extremely anxious about and after a year, I was definitely in a rut. This is where my maternal guilt instinct had kicked in and most definitely took over my emotions and it was far more overwhelming than me or David could handle. I’ve spoken about my anxiety and how I dealt with this in a “healthy” way on my blog if you want to take a read!
Moving apartment or house is a BIG thing. It is not something that you or your partner should take lightly. Do not underestimate the process that moving from one place to another brings and even the stress on your physical AND mental health. No matter what stage you are at in your pregnancy, moving is a huge mental and physical obstacle for you. If you are in your second trimester (particularly towards the end), you should be asking yourself these questions:
Has my pregnancy been categorised by my healthcare provider as a “risk” ?
This is the first thing that you need to rule out right away. If your pregnancy is considered a risk, you absolutely should not be moving this far into your pregnancy. If you are a risk, you would have been told early on in your pregnancy and you would be closely monitored by your midwife.
Is moving going to improve my mental health?
In other words, is this WORTH the hassle? In our situation, we had discussed the prospect of moving since the beginning of our pregnancy and we had a clear mutual agreement that moving was something necessary. My mental health throughout my pregnancy quickly deteriorated and it was something that my husband didn’t know how to handle and still to this day we are both learning how to speak to one another when I am having anxiety. Is moving going to improve your mental health? Will you feel HAPPY in your new place? If you have to think it twice, it’s probably not worth it.
How far am I moving?
Are you planning to move across the street? Are you planning to move to the next town? You definitely shouldn’t be planning to move from city to city at this point in your pregnancy. This can wait until after you have given birth. If you are moving nearby, you should consider how many times you will need to travel to and from your new place before you have finished unpacking.
How long am I moving for?
Is this something for the long term or short term? We all have different definitions of these words since we all perceive the world and the way we do things differently. Are you at least planning to live in your new place for a year? Anything less than a year is not worth your move right now. After you have your newborn, you will need to rest and settle down with a routine.
Do I have help with the moving?
Who will be doing the packing and moving? You should definitely not be lifting a finger when it comes to packing and moving. You can take on the role of directing your partner, friends and family where to place things once they have arrived at your new place. Beforehand, lifting is not an option at this point in your pregnancy.
Am I able to move (financially)?
Does my baby have everything he/she needs? Have I been able to buy the basics before I make this decision to move and potentially spend more money? Speak to your partner about any financial worries and see where your financial situation is. Perhaps for the first year money will be tight. This is absolutely normal. I decided to have children at a young age because I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Not having a lot of money but spending more years with my children is something that I fully accept and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Is this something you are able to compromise?
Is the new place safer than where I currently live?
Think about your new neighbourhood (if you’re moving that far), is it safe? What are the people like? Where is your nearest doctors office? Do you have a pharmacy? What about the local supermarket? Is it far? How is the local school or nursery rated? All of these things are worth considering before you make your decision.
Only you and your partner will know if moving is right for your family. Only you will know your tiredness levels at this point in your pregnancy and how your mental state currently is. Ask your midwife or doctor if you have any doubts. Remember to have your support network around you during the process and don’t rush to decorate (even though it’s so damn tempting!!!) once you move.
Sit back and let everybody else worry and do the physical work for once! Remember, you got this Mama!!