Tips for Moving to Colorado When You’re Pregnant

Tips to make moving to Colorado easier, like finding a new OB-GYN for prenatal care and Rocky Mountain altitude adjustments

Pregnant woman enjoys scenic mountain view after moving to Colorado | CU Medicine OB-GYN East Denver (Rocky Mountain)We’re glad you’ve decided to move to colorful Colorado, home to the majestic Rocky Mountains and endless outdoor activities. Many people move to Colorado from California, New York and all states in between. We’re proud that a lot of these women have chosen us as their new OB-GYN practice, particularly those women who are pregnant.

Pregnancy is a huge life change in itself, and negotiating pregnancy while relocating to another area is quite a handful.

The doctors at CU Medicine OB-GYN East Denver (formerly Rocky Mountain OB-GYN) have helped our new patients from other areas adjust to Colorado. I hope the following tips will help you feel right at home as well.

How to find an OB-GYN when moving to Colorado

It can be daunting to find a new OB-GYN when moving, especially if you are already pregnant. We want to make the transition as easy as possible for you. Here are some important things to consider during your search.

Stay in network

Research which OB-GYNs take your insurance. You can do this by calling your insurance provider or visiting their website.

CU Medicine OB-GYN East Denver’s doctors only deliver babies at Rose Medical Center. Occasionally, there are insurance plans that our office accepts but the hospital does not. One example is Humana. Rose Medical Center is out of network for all Humana plans. So, if you are considering our practice, please check that Rose is in network too.

Get a referral

If you are interested in establishing prenatal care with our practice, please call the office at (303) 399-0055. One of our schedulers will help set up your first visit. If you are past 12 weeks of pregnancy, we will want to review your records before seeing you. Please reach out to the provider you are currently seeing and ask them to fax records to our office (303-315-6270).

You can conduct your own research by asking for referrals from family or friends as well. We also suggest checking reviews of OB-GYNs on sites such as Google or Yelp and reading testimonials on the practice’s website. Most PPO insurance companies do not require you to obtain a referral to our office. If you have an HMO plan, a referral from your current prenatal care provider might be required.

Find the right personality fit

Take the time to research the biographies and care statements of OB-GYNs you are interested in. Do you want someone who is humorous or more serious? Patients’ online reviews can help guide you to the most fitting provider personality. What would you like the doctor’s certifications or specialties to cover? You can often find this type of information on a clinic’s website.

Search “OB-GYN near me”

Convenience is golden when it comes to pregnancy care. While you shouldn’t let a little distance keep you from seeing the right OB-GYN for you, finding someone close enough for your prenatal and postnatal visits will save a lot of time and stress in the future. You may also want an OB-GYN who is affiliated with a specific hospital where you plan on giving birth.

Our office is near the intersection of Colorado Blvd. and E. 9th Avenue. We see patients who live nearby, but also have patients who live in Evergreen, Highlands Ranch and the Eastern part of Colorado.

Remember, you aren’t stuck

If you find you are not connecting with your chosen OB-GYN, your decision doesn’t have to be final. It is important you feel comfortable with your provider, so pick up your search with the other doctors who were on your short list if the first OB-GYN you visit isn’t a fit.

Sometimes OB-GYNs will not accept patients who are close to their due date. But if you are moving from out of state, that is a different situation. Again, sending your records prior to your first visit will often help facilitate an easier transfer of care.

Transferring your medical records from out of state

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives you the right to obtain copies of your medical records or to have them sent to a new provider. Ask your current practice what their protocols are when obtaining or sending records and work with them to get the information to your new OB-GYN.

You should also ask your new OB-GYN what they will need from your previous provider, such as your entire medical file, or simply a summary, and how they prefer those records to be sent. For example, some OB-GYNs prefer to receive records by email while others prefer them to be faxed to the clinic.

To cut down on wait time, request a record transfer as soon as you have chosen your new OB-GYN. It may take a while for the records to be sent over, so the sooner the process begins the better. You may also have multiple providers who need to send records over, so a timely request is key to getting everything set up before your move.

We also recommend asking your current provider for a paper summary copy of your records for this current pregnancy (including your blood type and other lab results). In case you have to seek care along the way, having your records in your bag (not in a moving box!) will allow the providers to take care of you safely.

Altitude sickness & other considerations when moving to the Rocky Mountains

Denver is the Mile High City, and the nearby mountains are at 14,000 feet in elevation and above. If you are moving to Colorado from a lower altitude, the best thing you can do is listen to your body.

Take time to acclimate and keep an eye out for signs of acute altitude sickness such as insomnia, headache and nausea. These symptoms are often associated with pregnancy as well, so be cautious not to write it off if the symptoms increase after your move. Driving to your new home, instead of flying, allows your body time to adjust to elevation changes along the journey.

While we love our outdoor and indoor recreation in Colorado, please do not become too physical too quickly. Give your body time to adjust before exercising and take extra caution if you have conditions such as high blood pressure or preeclampsia.

Hydration is also really important. We recommend that our pregnant patients drink a minimum of 64 ounces of liquid every day. If you are new to elevation, you might need more than 64 ounces per day. Dehydration can sometimes lead to Braxton Hicks contractions (also called practice contractions). These contractions are not dangerous to you or your baby, but they can be uncomfortable and nerve wracking.

The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women should not sleep above 9,800 feet in elevation at any time during their pregnancy. We recommend that our pregnant patients try to remain under 10,000 feet of elevation. Spending a short time at a higher elevation is not dangerous to you or your baby, but you can expect to feel lightheaded, dizzy or short of breath if you are higher than 10,000 feet.

We encourage our pregnant patients to enjoy the beauty of the mountains, and driving across a mountain pass higher than 10,000 feet to reach your destination is just fine. But maybe wait to climb a 14er until after the baby is born!

Skincare in dry weather

Dry, sensitive skin is common during pregnancy, no matter where you live. Hormonal changes can cause skin to lose some of its elasticity and moisture as it stretches to accommodate a growing belly. Moving to the arid Rocky Mountain region can increase this symptom for many women.

We suggest sticking to a strict moisturizing routine to avoid discomfort from dryness. Using a salt or sugar scrub on your skin can also help to exfoliate any dead skin. Applying a rich moisturizer after the scrub will help your skin feel less uncomfortable. Taking very hot showers or baths dries the skin too. We recommend keeping the shower or bath water at a cooler temperature during pregnancy.

Moisturizing dos and don’ts


  • Moisturize daily.
  • Stay hydrated from the inside out by drinking plenty of water.


  • Use soaps with harsh fragrances, alcohol or dyes.
  • Take long hot showers, which can strip natural oils from the body.

Considerations for moving to Colorado by flying

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that most commercial airlines allow pregnant travelers to fly until 36 weeks gestation, though this can be different with some international travel. You should check with the airline before flying to see if it has any specific requirements or guidelines such as the need for documentation of gestational age.

We often recommend not flying after 34 weeks of pregnancy. If labor were to occur after 34 weeks, then you are having your baby wherever you are. A good rule of thumb after 34 weeks is to be within a two-hour radius of the hospital where you plan to deliver, just in case the baby has other plans for you.

It is also not a bad idea to have a pretravel evaluation from your healthcare provider. You may also ask for a note of travel approval, which could save time answering questions at the airport.

Women with preexisting cardiovascular problems, sickle cell disease or severe anemia could experience low arterial oxygen saturation (hypoxemia) during flight and should be especially cautious.

It is particularly important for pregnant women to avoid exposure to communicable diseases, particularly COVID-19. This can be done by properly masking, using sanitizer with frequent hand-washing, and wiping down seats and trays before taking your seat on the plane.

Flying recommendations by trimester

First trimester

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) notes that it is most common for pregnancy emergencies to occur during the first and third trimester. Women are also more likely to experience nausea and fatigue during the first trimester, making flying uncomfortable. While the first trimester is the most likely time a woman may miscarry, flying does not cause miscarriages.

Second trimester

The second trimester is considered the best time for a pregnant woman to fly. Nausea has usually subsided by this point, but the stomach has not grown large enough to make plane seatbelts uncomfortable.

Third trimester

As mentioned, it is not advised to fly after 34-36 weeks of pregnancy. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your OB-GYN may recommend you not fly even earlier in the pregnancy. This is why it is important to go to your prenatal visits and speak with your OB-GYN before you schedule any travel or buy plane tickets.

Lifting tips for moving to Colorado while pregnant

It is important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and you should talk to your provider or OB-GYN before taking part in any strenuous physical activity – including lifting boxes, furniture or other items during the moving process. Women at risk for preterm labor may be advised not to lift objects after the first trimester.

During pregnancy, your hips are loosening to prepare for delivery. This can make things such as lifting more difficult than they were before. As your body changes, it is more important than ever to have proper lifting form if you are approved for this type of activity.

Proper lifting technique

  • Bend at your knees, not your waist, using your leg and butt muscles to carry most of the weight.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible during the entire lift and do not make any sudden or jerking movements.
  • Take frequent breaks and remember your body will need more rest than it did before pregnancy.
  • Avoid putting extensive pressure on your abdominal region and protect your belly.

Colorado laws concerning midwives and doulas

Colorado laws may be different from those in your current state, and that may affect your birthing plan. First things first: What is the difference between a midwife and a doula in Colorado?


There are two primary types of midwives. The first is a certified nurse midwife (CNM), which is an experienced nurse who typically works in a healthcare setting, though the CNM can also assist in home deliveries.

The second is a direct entry midwife who primarily attends to home births and can have varying degrees of certification. Midwifery works toward providing the most natural birthing experience possible, though midwives can offer pain medication depending on where they are practicing and can induce labor if appropriate.


Doulas are nonmedical birth attendants and are typically present in addition to a midwife or OB-GYN to provide emotional and physical support to the pregnant person and their family.

Colorado laws

Colorado Birth Equity Bills SB121-193, SB21-194 and SB21-101 combine to authorize certified professional midwives who provide out-of-hospital care to practice in birthing centers in addition to homes. These laws also require hospitals to allow a doula to assist the pregnant person during labor, in addition to a partner or spouse.

Whether you want to have a midwife, doula, OB-GYN or combination of the three present during the birthing process, Colorado protects that right. However, neither midwives nor doulas are trained to be interventionalists for high-risk pregnancies or patients with serious illness. In these cases, an obstetrician would step in.

At CU Medicine OB-GYN East Denver, we only have physicians who are OB-GYNs participate in prenatal care and deliveries. We do not work with midwives. The reason for not having midwives in our group is quite straightforward. In practices with midwives and OB-GYNs, if a C-section, vacuum or forceps are needed, the OB-GYN is called in to perform these interventions.

The midwives perform most of the low risk, uncomplicated vaginal births. If we are already on call, we like to participate in the full course of our patients’ labor and delivery, especially the low risk, uncomplicated vaginal births! If the patient or her baby need more intervention, then we have already been a part of their care, they know us, and we can move forward together.

We are very comfortable if our patients want a doula to be present during the birth experience. Rose Medical Center has a wonderful doula program. Patients can also work with a private doula. Rose Medical Center requires all doulas to present their doula certificate to the care team in order to participate in a patient’s birth.

Pregnant and moving to Colorado? Schedule an appointment with one of our OB-GYN doctors.