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Pregnant and nesting: Why you do it

Understandably, the third trimester isn't exactly known for high energy. But one day soon, you might wake up feeling a strong urge to get yourself and your home organized. This sudden burst of motivation is often called nesting. 

What is nesting?

Nesting is all about getting ready for your new baby's arrival. It's an instinct that's typically strongest during your final weeks of pregnancy. Not every mama bird will have the nesting instinct, however, and that's perfectly fine. 

And no two women nest alike. Your instincts might tend toward tidying up your home, or you might feel extra motivated to wrap up that big project at work. Here are a few other common examples of nesting:

  • Decorating the nursery.
  • Prepping meals. 
  • Organizing cabinets and closets.
  • Arranging baby's clothes. 

What causes it?

While we don't know precisely what causes the nesting instinct, the American Pregnancy Association speculates that it may be triggered by:

  • The realization that a newborn will take a lot of your time and energy, which leads to planning ahead.
  • Excitement and anticipation for your new family member, creating a desire to have things just right.
  • Boredom during the final stages of pregnancy. 

Nest, rest—and resist overdoing it

If you get the urge to nest, go with it! Getting organized can take your mind off your discomforts and ease any anxieties that you may be feeling. Just don't overdo it. You're going to need your strength and energy for labor, so don't spend all of it organizing your closet by color or cooking 17 freezer-friendly casseroles.

And while you may really want to get your gutters cleared out or deep clean your oven, you have to put safety first. Avoid chores that require heavy lifting or tasks that test your balance, like being on a ladder. You should also steer clear of harmful chemicals like bleach or oven cleaners. 

Keep in mind that this is a good time to delegate. Ask family and friends for help with projects that need doing but are too much for you to manage right now. 

More pregnancy news

Are you a working mama bird? Besides prepping your nest at home, you may be wondering when it's time to fly the coop at work. It's a good question. Find out when it might be the right time to stop working before baby arrives

Sources: American College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsAmerican Pregnancy AssociationMarch of Dimes 

Reviewed 2/11/2022

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