Pregnancy brings out a plethora of new experiences and behavioral changes for moms-to-be.
For instance, you may suddenly have a strong urge to clean the house until everything is impeccably clean and orderly. This sporadic change is called pregnancy nesting, and if you wonder why you’re experiencing this phenomenon, it all boils down to natural instinct.
What is Pregnancy Nesting?
Nesting is the sudden urge to maintain a sparkly and orderly living space in preparation for the baby’s arrival. Commonly observed behavioral changes include excessive cleaning, stocking, and organizing things. You may find mundane things like dust and skewed decorations a bit more bothersome than before.
Just like our innate fear of something unknown, nesting is considered an evolutionary instinct to protect newborns. According to research from McMaster University, nesting is primary a maternal instinct that is characterized by controlling the environment to minimize danger.
Does Every Pregnancy Involve Nesting?
Not all pregnant women catch this cleaning craze, and that’s okay. According to a poll conducted by Baby Center, 73% of the participants shared that they experienced nesting during pregnancy. If you’re one of those in the 27%, you don’t have to worry since nesting does not indicate anything about your pregnancy health.
Is Nesting a Sign of Close Labor?
Most expecting moms consider nesting as a sign of the baby’s arrival soon, but that’s not really the case. Nesting can appear in any stage of pregnancy and is not considered by medical professionals as a sign of labor. Fun fact, if you’re expecting labor in late spring or summer, you will likely have a stronger urge to nest according to American Pregnancy.
Signs of Nesting
Nesting behaviors and intensities are not equal for every mom-to-be. There are women who are contented after cleaning the nursery room, while others indulge in a cleaning spree at 3 AM. Nesting signs and their intensity might vary from one person to another. But all in all, the signs below commonly occur in the majority of expecting women.
1. Deep Cleaning
Maintaining cleanliness in the commonly-used living spaces is often enough for a lot of people. But for a nesting mom-to-be, all the parts of the house should be sparkling. A single dot on the floor or a light smudge in the mirror will haunt them all day. This includes cleaning areas that are rarely used until all are clean as new.
2. Hunting For Random Household Items
Another commonly-observed sign of nesting is the sudden urge to search for a very specific item. The involved items are usually things that are essential in caring for the newborn. But it could also be anything random such as mugs, notebooks, or an item purchased 5 years ago.
3. Overstocking Baby-Related Items
Yes, your urge to start planning a registry or listing things for the nursery can also be considered as a nesting behavior. You might find yourself buying diapers, baby towels, toys, clothes, and other supplies. Obsessive stocking can also take other forms such as doing meal plans for the next week and beyond.
4. Re-organizing Furniture
The furniture’s positioning is a significant factor in the safety and comfort of a room or overall environment. And due to this, nesting mothers would often have the impulse (and ungodly amount of energy) to arrange furniture until they’re satisfied.
5. Completing a Project
Nesting appears in a lot of forms, it’s not always cleaning, organizing, and shopping things. It can also be about finishing all outstanding projects that you’ve been procrastinating on for months. If you suddenly find yourself focused on finishing an art project, then nesting might be the reason.
6. Obsessing Over the Nursery Room
And completing a project can also mean finishing the nursery room. Parents often focus on building this room because it is a central place in the baby’s growth and development. You may find yourself very determined to finish this room (paints and all) as soon as possible to prepare for the baby’s arrival.
7. The Laundry Marathon
Have you been going more frequently in your laundry room trying to wash and organize clothes? Excessively doing laundry is also a sign that a pregnant woman is nesting. You would be strongly tempted to wash and fold every clothes, towel, and sheet in your home.
How To Handle Nesting Impulses Properly?
Nesting impulses can be useful in coping up with pregnancy stress. It also helps in mentally preparing the soon-to-be mother for some challenges after birth. You can use these urges to your advantage to avoid some inconveniences later on. Here are things you can do to nest safely and productively.
1. Plan Your Activities
The best way to have a productive nesting is to plan ahead before working on any task. Doing all things at once gives off mediocre results at best and unsuccessful execution at worst. So instead of multi-tasking, prioritize your task and break it into a smaller checklist.
Focus on finishing your current item before moving on to something else. As for shopping, go back through your list several times to make sure that you’re not missing anything important.
2. Opt for Online Shopping
You can also opt for online services to get your items for convenience and possible discounts. Amazon gives frequent discounts on their baby products, especially when you set up a baby registry. Checking out items online is often enough for some to alleviate the nesting urge.
3. Don’t Forget to Rest
Even if you enjoy the cleaning process, taking a quick break when tired is still a priority. Overexertion can be fatal for pregnant women due to some risks of complications. Don’t exhaust yourself to the point wherein you feel uncomfortable or uneasy. Always make sure that you constantly have enough rest.
4. Avoid Climbing, Lifting, and Other Heavy Tasks
Be mindful of your planned nesting activities to avoid getting injured. Ask your partner to assist if the task involves climbing, lifting, and tasks that involve harsh chemicals. Never attempt a job that requires you to work on heights and balance-related activities. Try to pick lighter tasks such as prepping meals, packing things for the hospital say, or folding clothes.
Even better, you can spend your time looking for the perfect nursery designs.