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Moving across the country can feel chaotic and stressful, and adding a pregnancy into the mix during your move can overwhelm you. However, with some preparation and organization, cross country moving isn’t out of the question, even if you’re far along in your pregnancy.

Here are some projects and advice to consider as you start your long distance moving planning.

Start Planning Early

It makes sense to plan early for your move even if you’re not pregnant. Taking care of responsibilities like arranging for a switch of your utilities, setting up quotes with long distance moving companies, and making “to do” lists are important well before your move date.

Planning early is particularly important if you’re moving in the summer when many other families move, too. Creating a list of projects and their deadlines is a lot easier to accomplish when you’re writing that list months in advance rather than a few weeks before you have to move.

Consider Comprehensive Moving Services

When you start calling moving companies for a moving estimate, ask them about their packing services. Not only can your movers put everything in the truck and transport it to your new location, but they can also pack everything in your house.

Companies that offer packing services train their movers to work with fragile items, so you don’t need to worry and feel stressed that those heirloom dishes are going to get packed correctly. Professional movers also know shortcuts and methods for reducing the time it takes to pack.

Don’t try to be Superwoman and pack everything yourself. It’s important to ask for and accept help.

If you’re adamant that you want to pack things on your own, start as early as you can. You probably have closets of out-of-season clothes and other things in your house that can sit in a box for a few months. Better yet: consider a yard sale or visiting the donation bin before you move so you don’t have to move as much stuff.

Visit Your Doctor and Get Recommendations

Before travel, you may visit your doctor to get an “all clear” for a vacation, and a visit to your doctor is also recommended before you move. Consistent prenatal care is important for all pregnancies, but make sure you don’t miss appointments before your move because you’re trying to get everything done in time.

Additionally, make sure you have copies of your medical records or have your doctor forward those records to your new health professional. You may also want to locate other resources in your new community like a midwife or a new gym where you can continue pregnancy workouts.

Tip: Ask your doctor for a recommendation for a new health professional in your new town. You might be able to set up an appointment with a new doctor after you arrive.

Avoid Pregnancy Brain with Labeling

Something they don’t tell you when you get pregnant for the first time is that you’ll probably go through a phase that many women call “pregnancy brain.” Labels on your boxes are so helpful for reducing the stress and confusion that comes after a move when all your boxes are stacked to the ceiling and are waiting to be unpacked.

Your moving services can label boxes and ensure they end up in the right rooms at your new home, but if you’re packing on your own, you’ll want to make liberal use of labels. There’s nothing worse than looking in a dozen different boxes for that “one thing” you need and being unable to find it.

Pack a Few Bags Before Moving Day

Moving advice commonly suggests that you pack a bag of your essentials when you move, even if you’re just relocating across town and your local movers are scheduled to load and unload everything on the same day. You’ll want to pack items you frequently use like your toiletries, and you’ll also want some extra clothes.

Don’t forget items you regularly use for comfort during your pregnancy. Do you have any special pillows you use for sleep? Make sure you have those items available to you before, during, and after your move.

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