Have you ever had a sudden burst of energy that’s led you to an unscheduled house cleaning? Expectant moms (and dads) go through a range of emotions and instincts throughout pregnancy. One phenomenon that’s unique and exciting is the nesting instinct.
You’ve seen mama birds, cats, and other animals do it. They prepare their nest for the little baby that’s coming their way. It’s a strong urge and it’s nature’s way of getting them ready to nurture their newborn. Is it the same for human parents-to-be?
Sit back, get yourself comfy and cozy, let’s dive in and learn all the great joys of nesting.
What is the Nesting Instinct?
Nesting is a natural instinct that can be described as the urge to nurture and prepare your baby’s environment. It’s often a burst of energy that women get in the remaining few weeks of their pregnancy. As a result, most moms-to-be start cleaning, organizing, or protecting their homes all in preparation for their baby’s arrival.
While it can make some moms a bit too restless, it’s also a gift of productivity. Some parents get to clean out drawers, organize refrigerators and refill pantries. This research concludes that controlling the environment is the main reason parents go into nesting mode. They found that this phenomenon peaks in the third trimester of pregnancy, and it doesn’t just involve cleaning the house but also being selective socially.
It doesn’t mean however that ALL moms will experience this urge and burst of energy. It’s perfectly normal if you don’t get the nesting bug. It does not, in any way, define the kind of parent you will be.
If the nesting instinct overwhelms you just as you’re nearing your scheduled childbirth, don’t disregard it. Instead, make the most of that energy. Once your bundle of joy is out, things will be completely different. The first few months will be hectic in your household!
How Should I Nest?
If nesting will strike you, remember to keep safety the priority! Be sensible about the activities you choose to do. So maybe stay off the ladder and let someone else clean the lights or ceiling. Ask your partner to do the heavy lifting. Avoid cleaning chemicals that you might inhale.
Plan and prepare before you get started. Schedule frequent breaks and prepare lots of water and snacks to bite on in between.
Here are a few fun and safe things you can do as your ride on the nesting phase.
- Pack Your Bags
What most moms don’t tell you is that motherhood involves a lot of packing. Seriously, you’re always packing! What better time to warm up and get you ready than by packing your Go Bag.
Notes from our midwives: Don’t forget to pack going-home clothes for you and your baby! In the rush of things, some parents forget to bring clean clothes they can wear from the birth center to going home.
- Baby Proof The Home
If you haven’t yet, make sure to check all the corners that need baby-proofing. It’s also normal to withdraw from social commitments at this point and being more selective. You want to create a safe environment. Limit your visitors and check all your furniture.
- Restock Your Fridge
As you gear up for your birth, stock up and healthy essentials. You’ll need loads of good food to energize you post-labor. Stock up on fruits, salad greens, and other ready-to-go meals.
- Deep Clean
Imagine coming home to fresh pillows, curtains, and sofas? Bust out the vacuum and start deep cleaning. Wipe down surfaces, and perhaps you can even dispose of old things. Make it a fresh start for you and your newborn.
Satisfying your nesting instinct without going overboard is the key here. You want to find the balance between getting things done (which make you feel good) and getting good rest (which also makes you feel good). Focus on what you need at the moment and pay attention to your feelings.
Talk to your midwife for help and guidance. Nesting is all about taking control of your environment. And during this season, we hope that you can create a safe, warm, and calming space to welcome your baby. Experience the joy of nesting!