Nesting Instinct During Pregnancyby Katlyn Joy | March 29, 2011 12:00 AM
Cooking and cleaning. Organizing and sorting. Packing and preparing. It's all quite common and sometimes even comedic. The nesting instinct doesn't hit all pregnant women, and may not be restricted to women. Some men have their own little versions of nesting, such as making new financial plans, clearing out the garage or doing maintenance around the house or on the car.
You can expect the nesting instinct to set in as early as the second trimester when energy is higher and hormones at a more stable and comfortable level than the first trimester. However, many women don't have it until the final weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes it's seen as a sign of impending labor, indicating it's only hours or days away. However, no real research exists to either substantiate or refute this hypothesis. If you are near your due date and find yourself knee deep in laundry and more focused on cleaning supplies than beauty supplies, it may be a sign that you are kicking into pregnancy preparation high-gear for a good biological reason.
Little is known for certain, but nesting is seen throughout the animal world not just with pregnant humans. Having a little burst of energy and organization drive is a plus after months of aching, swollen, nauseated time. Mothers have a need to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their new child. What that may entail will likely depend on the individual woman.
Nesting can include tearing apart the house room by room destroying every atom of dirt. Or it may be a late night laundry marathon. Some women need to decorate and organize the nursery. Others become obsessed with meal preparations or making lists for family members, or packing the labor bag. The nesting instinct varies greatly from woman to woman, or even pregnancy to pregnancy.
Nesting isn't something to worry about unless the woman ignores common safety rules like too much heavy lifting, standing on ladders or chairs without a helper nearby especially. Painting should be OK, just keep the room well ventilated. It's fine to be busy and physical just don't overdo and exhaust yourself or risk injury is the only caveat.
Positive Outlets for Nesting Instant Urges
- Wash up the baby's clothing, diapers, blankets and put them away.
- Make up baby's crib.
- Pack the bag for the hospital.
- Make up some easy meals to freeze for later.
- Make a honey-do list for dad. Have heavy lifting or more intense cleaning jobs on this list.
- Make sure you have all the post-baby items you might need ready to go. Nursing bras, gowns, slippers, pads, panties in shapes you'll likely only wear for this limited time, a robe, breast pads, and toiletries.
- Get your thank you's and birth announcements all ready to go.
- Have your baby memory book started and set for those special little inked footprints and first baby pics.
- Make sure your video and digital cameras have fresh and spare batteries and are packed to go.
- Clean anything that is driving you crazy now, because later all you'll be able to do is stare at it and hate that you didn't get to it before the baby came.
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