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Pregnant women should avoid moving during first trimester

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Expanding your family sometimes means you’ll need to move into a new home. But you might want to wait for scanning the real estate listings. A recent study looked at birth records of 30,000 women who had moved during the first trimester and found that it was associated with a 37% higher risk for low birth weight and 42% heightened risk of premature birth compared with pregnant moms who didn’t move during this period. The study does not, however, explain why moving can be detrimental.

We have a pretty good idea: The first trimester is when your rapidly developing fetus is most vulnerable to the negative effects of physical and psychological stress. Also, moving often demands redecorating. So does staying put, sometimes, and that can lead to exposure to environmental toxins. So, put off moving — and painting and decorating — until at least the 14th week of pregnancy.

If you do move, get help with packing and leave heavy lifting to others. Throughout your pregnancy, de-stress with doctor-approved exercise, meditation and plenty of sleep. (Plus, kick back and read our book “YOU: Having a Baby.”)

Redecorating? Use water- based paints in a well- ventilated room or, better yet, let someone else do it.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to

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