Do pregnant women develop a nesting instinct like birds and animals? What is it? When does the nesting instinct set in? Find the answers to all these questions and also some useful tips for safe nesting from this article.
You must have noticed a pregnant cat restlessly wandering around in search of a safe place for her kittens; birds rushing towards trees with straws or cotton in their beaks to make a safe and secure nest for their little ones. As birds and animals experience a natural instinct for nesting during pregnancy, pregnant women may also develop such an instinct.
The nesting instinct that women develop during pregnancy is a pregnancy symptom, like food craving or morning sickness. An uncontrolled urge to clean the house during pregnancy, it is an expectant mother’s biological or emotional instinct. Women start rearranging the cupboards, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the car, and keeping the house neat and tidy for the arrival of the baby. Most women don’t even know that such an instinct or symptom is listed in the pregnancy books. Here is a list of activities which pregnant women might perform as a part of nesting.
- Cleaning the toilets, bathtubs
- Mopping the floor
- Scrubbing the floor
- Rearranging the furniture
- Disposing unwanted things from closets
- Rearranging the wardrobes
- Cleaning the kitchen cabinets
- Stocking the kitchen with food
- Preparing, decorating, and color coding the baby nursery
- Washing and cleaning the car
- Purchasing new clothes
- Packing and repacking the labor bag
- Discarding sheets and towels and bringing the new stock
- Washing, ironing, folding, and sorting the baby’s clothes again and again
- Disinfecting the kitchen and other rooms
You can mark the difference between a normal woman performing the above tasks from a pregnant woman doing the same. A pregnant woman performs them more meticulously and persistently than usual.
Points To Remember
Usually, the nesting instinct sets in around the fifth month of pregnancy. Sometimes, the moms-to-be tend to do something that might hamper their health. Here are some points that they should take care of:
- Avoid painting the baby’s nursery.
- Perform the pregnancy exercises suggested by the doctor regularly.
- Check the safety of the chemicals while disinfecting the house. Do not expose yourself to strong fumes.
- Wear rubber gloves while cleaning the cat litter box to avoid infection, or let someone else do it.
- Avoid contact with pet’s feces
- Avoid yard work or gardening.
- Dispose off outdated food and restock the fridge with fresh food. Follow a healthy pregnancy diet.
- Keep your clothes, sheets, and towels ready.
- Address the envelopes for birth announcement and keep them ready.
- Make a ‘whom to call’ list.
- Complete the hospital registration formalities in advance. Pre-registration will save your time when you arrive for the delivery.
- Check and pack your bag according to the list provided by the hospital.
- Arrange for a caretaker if you have older children at home.
- Buy and install the infant car seat.
- Make a list of emergency contact numbers and check that you have your insurance card, a photo ID, credit card, and ATM card in your wallet.
- Arrange for baby clothes, diapers, and diaper rash ointment. You will need them as soon as you bring the baby home.
- Restock your pantry with healthy food items like soups, nuts, whole-grain crackers and cereal, canned beans, fruits and vegetables, pasta, brown rice, and sauces.
- During the last two-three weeks, cook in large quantities and store the food in the fridge. This will help you consume healthy and homemade food after returning from the hospital.
In some cases, nesting can be experienced for a few weeks or even a day prior to the onset of labor. Nesting occurring close to 40 weeks of pregnancy can be a sign of the onset of labor. It is quite possible that some women may not experience it. Moreover, some would-be fathers may also feel the urge to clean and organize. They might start looking for a new job; they might clean the garden, car, and garage. If the mother-to-be takes proper precautions while doing the activities and enjoys them as well, nesting can be a safe process for her and the baby.