Moving is hard enough, now add pregnancy. I have had the pleasure of PCS’ing in the first trimester of my first pregnancy and the third trimester of my second pregnancy. Both were quite a journey for different reasons.
Here are a few recommendations I have for anyone heading into the same experience:
Ask for help!
Growing a human requires a lot of energy. You will not have the same mobility or energy you did for previous moves. Hopefully your sailor will be available to participate in the whole PCS process. My sailor personally was able to help with pack out as we moved ahead of him, but unable to help receive goods. I recommend finding people you trust to help prep for the move and help unpack if your sailor is unavailable or maybe even in addition to your sailor depending on your situation.
Help may be found in the FRG in your new command or other local organizations you may be apart of. Another option to consider is having the moving company do a “full unpack” where they unload the truck then unpack and unwrap all of your goods. The movers will only unpack not put away, so I would definitely take that into consideration if you are opting for this service. I personally have never done this but know you must ask at the time of booking the PCS to be able to utilize this service.
Mentally prepare for everything to take longer.
Due to having less energy – prepping and unpacking will take more time. Give yourself grace especially if you are like me and like your house unpacked in 3-5 days. You will likely need naps, time to sit and drink water, snack breaks, etc. Try setting small daily goals and prioritize spaces that are most important for your household’s daily function.
Have your OB lined up for arrival.
It will allow for you to have a continuum of care and hopefully avoid emergency room visits for any possible pregnancy concerns. Deciding on an OB once is hard enough and doing it twice is not ideal. Use of reviews and local military and mom groups should assist you in starting the process again. Don’t forget if you are changing Tricare regions to ensure you switch your coverage and find a PCM at your new duty station for any possible referrals.
Obtain copies of your OBGYN records.
Records can be sent ahead of you to your new OB and ask for printed copies to physically keep with you as well. If you’ve had any extra ultrasounds or tests get disc copies of those too so you don’t have to request them later if something comes up. At my last appointment before moving I had them print the most recent notes, so I had them on top and easy to find. If for some reason you require OB care while you are in the process of making your way from one duty station to another this is very helpful for emergency room personnel.
If you are a high risk pregnancy you may get special accomodations.
Your spouse may be able to speak with his or her current or future commands to adjust the move schedule to accommodate care. Also consider what hospitals may be able to accommodate your needs as local small hospitals do not always have the staff required for those with more complicated pregnancies and deliveries. I was a high risk delivery requiring specialist consults, so my husband asked if we could move early so I would be able to establish care. The Navy was kind enough to grant us an early departure. I know not everyone has been so lucky. It’s always worth asking in my opinion.
I strongly recommend thinking about what you’d prefer moving while pregnant or moving with a newborn depending on the timing of your PCS. Everyone has different preferences and options. Sadly in this navy life we don’t always have choices but discussing situations openly may allow for greater support from your sailor’s command.
Remember communication is key with spouses, doctors, and commands to improve the process of moving pregnant. Congratulations and best of luck to all those embarking on this journey! For more baby-related content, check out this submarine-inspired baby gift guide or bookmark this check-list after you have a baby.
What are your moving pregnant tips and tricks?