1. Pregnancy
  2. Nesting
  3. Preparing for baby

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Nesting During Pregnancy Explained

If you’ve ever watched a bird building its nest, you’re seeing nesting in action. Birds, dogs, and many other mammals, including humans, engage in this instinctual process. That flurry of activity towards the end of pregnancy is an effort to get homes, or nests, ready to welcome a newborn. But what is nesting in pregnancy, and will it happen to you? Read on to discover what nesting during pregnancy is all about.

If you’re newly pregnant, the concept of nesting may seem foreign. Perhaps you’ve never experienced it, but you have heard it mentioned as an important part of preparing for the baby. So what exactly does it mean?

While there is not a specific nesting definition, it can be thought of as an instinctive ritual that involves preparing for your baby. Nesting, meaning a biological urge to prepare your home, or human nest, for your baby, is experienced by animals and humans alike. It can include cleaning, organizing, decorating, or designing the baby’s room. 

Cleaning out bathroom closets or organizing and labeling every item is another common nesting activity. It is also considered a sign that your body is getting ready to have the baby. For this reason, nesting often happens towards the end of the third trimester, though it can happen earlier, too.

This instinct is sometimes seen in nature, and animals like pigs, dogs, and birds all engage in preparing a home for their babies. Nesting isn’t a medical condition  — nesting is a reminder of our primal connections and desire to connect with our soon-to-be-born baby. 

The nesting instinct is sometimes seen in nature, and animals like pigs, dogs, and birds all engage in preparing a home for their babies.

While it is very common, not every pregnant person experiences it, and some experience a stronger urge than others. Some believe it to be the same as spring cleaning. Here are some other common reasons why people may nest:

  • Growing eagerness for the  baby’s arrival and wanting everything to be just right
  • Doing all that you can beforehand so you can devote all your time after birth to the baby
  • Feelings of frustration that the pregnancy is dragging on  

As the time for labor draws near, these instincts tend to intensify. Typically, towards the end of the third trimester is when the urge is strongest. But just as every pregnancy is different, each woman’s pregnancy nesting experience is also unique. 

Because experiences differ, the urge to nest could kick in as early as month five, but it’s also normal to never experience the desire to nest. Not wanting to nest is perfectly normal and is not a reflection of your abilities as a parent.

Giving birth can change life dramatically, and having a baby can sometimes make people question or struggle with their identity.

Finding yourself thinking about nesting may also mean you are thinking about what life will look like once your baby is here. Giving birth can change life dramatically, and having a baby can sometimes make people question or struggle with their identity. Starting to think through what life might look like after birth might help you anticipate how to best nurture yourself and baby.

Signs of nesting while pregnant can range from deep-cleaning your kitchen to decorating the nursery. At the same time, it can be more subtle. You might find yourself wanting to spend more time around the home and becoming choosier about who you spend time with. 

While the process can be internal as you think about how to transition to motherhood, it is most often seen around the house. You may feel like decluttering every dresser drawer or deep-cleaning the bathroom cabinets. Some people focus exclusively on the nursery, painting it the perfect shade and poring over furniture and room furnishing options. 

Preparing for your baby means creating the safest, most secure space possible. Surrounding yourself with comforts can go a long way towards creating that environment.

There is no wrong way to do it and no set plan to follow. It can also look like staying closer to home and wanting to spend time only with those closest to you. Preparing for your baby means creating the safest, most secure space possible. Surrounding yourself with comforts can go a long way towards creating that environment.

It might be an old wives’ tale that it’s a sign of labor, but the truth is that nesting is not like your water breaking. It doesn’t mean that you will give birth soon. For most moms, it only means they’re getting ready to welcome their baby home.

If you are feeling the urge to nest and your due date is looming, then chances are that labor isn’t too far away. But it’s not a sign that contractions are right around the corner.

There is a reason this belief persists: most expectant mothers report feeling nesting urges sometime during their last weeks of pregnancy. However, this doesn’t make it a sign of impending labor — everyone's experience is different, and some people get the urge to nest much earlier in pregnancy. If you are feeling the urge to nest and your due date is looming, then chances are that labor isn’t too far away. But it’s not a sign that contractions are right around the corner.   

While there aren't any obvious risks, it is important to use common sense, especially in the third trimester:

  • Delegate tasks to those closest to you. Think of them as your nesting partners and let them help you tackle your to-do list.
  • Be careful to avoid cleaners or paints with noxious chemicals. If you do use them, make sure the area is well-ventilated.
  • You may experience a burst of energy, but don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Remember to take regular breaks and drink plenty of water.
  •  Avoid standing on tall ladders, lifting heavy objects, or doing any task that could result in a fall or injury.

You may want to embrace this time of pregnancy as an opportunity to get your house in order before the baby arrives. At the same time, if you're not feeling the urge, don't worry about it and do as much or as little as you’d like to get your home ready. These activities are just one way of preparing physically and mentally so that after delivery you’ll be able to focus more energy on your baby and your health.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/signs-of-labor/art-20046184

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