Doula Relocating During Pregnancy

Relocating to a new city during pregnancy

I moved during one of my pregnancies. Or, more accurately, I *prepared* for a move during one of my pregnancies. The actual move took place on the day my daughter was born, after the main event was over and I went to the hospital from the old apartment and came home to the new one after I was released. It was not planned that way, just worked out that way. But it was HARD, and not recommended. And that was just a local move!

But sometimes, moving is unavoidable, or an opportunity too good to be passed up. I think it can work at most stages of pregnancy (though again, I really don’t recommend the same day as the birth!) and when you’re moving across the country or to another country or continent, there are a lot of things you can do to make the process smoother.

Throughout the process:

Don’t be afraid to accept help Gestation is hard work. Moving is hard work. If friends, family or neighbors offer to help or say “Is there anything I can do?” SAY YES.
Be gentle with your emotions Leaving your old home/city/friends and family could be hard, with varied emotions. Pregnancy has a way of magnifying everything and making them more evident. Those emotions are still completely valid, and it is okay to feel them. Give yourself space and grace to be emotional.
Communicate! Talk things over with your partner. Cut each other a lot of slack and be kind. Keep talking and working to understand.
Listen to your body and don’t overdo it The last thing you need in the middle of a move AND a pregnancy is a back injury! Take breaks, enlist help, and remember that it’s okay to have limits.

Before the move:

Start exploring the birth options in your new area as soon as you can This will help you find a care provider who is a good fit for you. You don’t have to have made a final decision before you leave, but it can be helpful to have a few names on hand so you’re not starting from scratch once you’re in the new area.
Find out the details on your insurance plan in the new area – This will simplify your search. Sometimes knowing the company isn’t enough.
Hire out as much of the moving as you can afford to! While this isn’t an option for everyone, this is definitely a time when it is worth the cost. If you’re moving for a new job, see if you can negotiate for the company to cover all or part of the cost.
Start building your community before you arrive – Talk to people you know in your current city to see if they have any connections in the new city. It’s a small world and could easily be the case. Join social media groups for parents in your area, and search the archives of the groups for information. When you feel ready to join the conversation, do it. You can also check to see if there are meetups in your new area for new moms, and also for any other interests or hobbies that can help you connect to people. If you like photography, join a group for photographers. Join neighborhood groups, see if anyone has a friend of a friend in the area.
Plan for a transfer of your records Talk to your current midwife or doctor and ask them how to best handle the transfer of your medical records. It may be easier to start the ball rolling when you are there in person.
Shop around, but wait to buy baby gear until after the move This will give you less to move, and yet you can have a plan for what do buy because you’ve already done the research.

After the move:

Explore your new city before baby comes Find out where the grocery store, bank, birth center or hospital, and clinics are. Try out new restaurants that have takeout options that could come in handy after the baby comes.
Use your nesting instincts to settle in Do as much as you can each day, and take advantage of those bursts of energy that are so common.
Order or go buy the baby stuff you chose I’m generally a fan of online shopping, but doing this in person will help you get familiar with the shops in your area.

If you’re reading this and are planning a cross country move to the Salt Lake City area, contact me and I’d be happy to spend a half hour or so on the phone to help you navigate your way in this area!

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