Are you pregnant and constantly cleaning and organizing in your third trimester? You may be nesting! According to a poll of BabyCenter moms, 73% reported that they experienced nesting during pregnancy. So what is this stage in your pregnancy, and what does it entail? Is nesting a sign of labor or just a regular pregnancy experience? Learn all about the nesting stage of pregnancy, symptoms to look out for, and tips on how to manage your urges safely and efficiently.
What is Nesting During Pregnancy?
The nesting phase is the stage in your pregnancy where you may feel the intense urge to prepare for your baby’s arrival. These urges can include physical tasks like cleaning the house, putting the final touches on the nursery, and doing laundry. During the nesting stage, it is also common to start emotionally preparing for your baby’s arrival and making sure you are well-read with your parenting skills.
Think of our feathered friends and how birds meticulously find the perfect materials to build nests. When we begin nesting, it’s not too far off from what is seen in nature. We strive to provide a safe and comfortable environment for raising a child. There is no medical diagnosis for nesting during pregnancy, just the natural instinct to prepare for our offspring.
When Does Nesting Start and Stop?
Nesting can start as early as 5 months along, but the third trimester is when the urges typically peak. While the desire to clean and organize may still exist when you come home with your baby, the honest truth is that you probably won’t have as much time to tend to these urges with a newborn. Because of this, nesting during pregnancy is far more expected and common than nesting after pregnancy. Nesting after birth is completely normal as you are ensuring your home is perfectly set up and comfortable for your baby.
Is Nesting a Sign of Labor?
Many women begin to enter the nesting stage toward the end of their pregnancy. As mentioned earlier, nesting is not a medical diagnosis, so nesting is not a scientifically-proven sign of labor. Anecdotally, however, the nesting phase can be an indicator that delivery is near. Whether it’s restlessness from waiting for your due date of your natural instincts kicking in to iron out those final details and put on those finishing touches, having a burst of energy to prepare for your new bundle of joy can be a sign of upcoming labor.
Signs of Nesting Phase
Every parent experiences nesting differently, but there are a few common signs of nesting to be on the lookout for. Luckily these nesting signs aren’t anything to be concerned about, unless you’re afraid of a tidy home. You might be experiencing signs of the nesting phase during pregnancy if you have the sudden and intense urge to:
- Wash and fold all your clothes, towels, and sheets
- Clean out and organize your refrigerator
- Deep clean all areas in your bathroom
- Meal prep the next week’s food
- Purge unwanted items that do not spark joy
- Build and set up every single nursery item
- Vacuum and dust every surface of the home
- Go on a shopping spree for new baby items
- Spend hours online finding nursery design ideas
- Run to the grocery store to stock up your pantry
- Pack everything on your hospital bag checklist
- Finish any incomplete home projects
Tips for Tending to Nesting Stage Urges
Nesting during pregnancy certainly is not a negative experience. The biggest risks are exerting too much energy before your baby arrives and becoming obsessive over every little detail. Learning how to effectively act upon your nesting urges can lead to a stress-free end to your pregnancy. Completing some items on your to-do list is a great way to manage your tendencies to clean, organize, and prepare, but knowing how to pace yourself is key.
Avoid burnout or injury by following these tips for nesting during pregnancy:
- Do not lift heavy objects to avoid pulled muscles and hernias
- Use cleaning products made of natural materials instead of harsh chemicals
- Avoid climbing tall items such as ladders due to balance and equilibirum changes
- To conserve energy for labor and a newborn, get plenty of rest and don’t stress over little tasks
- Accept the help of others to delegate some work off of your plate
Nesting during pregnancy can be a beneficial stage in your pregnancy as you make sure everything is in order for your new arrival. Just be sure to take it easy and not overdo the tidying and planning. While a clean home is nice, saving every bit of energy for labor and caring for your newborn is ideal. Chances are, you’re already extremely prepared to be a parent, so sit back and relax!