Do you feel the sudden urge to clean your house up as your pregnancy progresses to your third trimester? Do you experience this overwhelming desire to set your house in order before you go into labor? Well, you aren’t alone. The condition called nesting, affects most pregnant women. Here, Momjunction has put together some important information about nesting during pregnancy. So, read on to learn more about the subject.
What Is Nesting During Pregnancy?
Nesting is a term that refers to preparations a mother makes before she gives birth to her baby. It is not only common in humans, but birds and other animals also indulge in it. Nesting during pregnancy is akin to putting your house in order before your baby arrives. In humans, it simply means making necessary arrangements or preparations in the house and keeping the baby-to-be safe.
The term ‘nesting’, as the word indicates, refers to birds who carefully prepare their nests when they are about to give birth. It is a natural urge – a process that many expectant mothers experience and go through during pregnancy. It need not be the same for all pregnant women. While some may feel the need to clean all sheets and rugs in the house, others may arrange and rearrange the nursery or restock the refrigerator with supplies that would last a few weeks .
Nesting During Pregnancy – When does It Begin?
Women experience the urge for nesting around the end of the second trimester. But, your nesting instincts become stronger as your due date nears. Some women experience nesting urges just a few weeks or days before their labor begins. So, there is no set time for this unusual pregnancy experience .
[ Read: Getting Ready For Baby’s Arrival ]
Reasons For Nesting During Pregnancy:
No one knows the exact reasons for nesting during pregnancy. There are not many studies on the pregnancy phenomenon yet. Some pregnant women may experience it while others may not. But nesting is instinctual. So, your reasons for nesting during pregnancy might differ from other expectant mothers.
The trigger for nesting during pregnancy can include:
- The desire to set the house in order, for the safety of your new baby.
- The awareness that you won’t have time for cleaning and organizing once your baby arrives and you may want to get a few tasks like cleaning the house out of your way.
- The wish to remove the boredom that can come as your due date approaches (not in your control) and which can prompt you to get busy with things that are in your control such as organizing a closet.
- The feeling of joy that comes with the arrival of a new baby and prompts you to buy new things or make the house beautiful for the occasion.
- The inclination to freshen up the house or your mood after a long winter pregnancy or the need to soak up some freshness during spring or summer months.
Safe Practices For Nesting During Pregnancy:
Going through the nesting phase during pregnancy can be important for women who experience it. You may want to paint your entire house or just your baby’s room. Perhaps you want to clean and organize every closet in the house including the kitchen cabinets. Or maybe you are happy with just buying new clothes for you and your baby. Whatever nesting during pregnancy may mean to you, it is crucial that you know what is safe and what can be harmful to you and your baby.
Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind when it comes to nesting during pregnancy.
- Avoid working with chemical agents or toxic fumes. Certain chemicals in household cleaning products may harm the fetus via the mother’s use of it. You might inhale the fumes and transfer the toxins to your baby. If you want to clean the house, opt for safe cleaning agents. Read the warning labels on packaging before you buy a cleaning product. You can opt for organic cleaning products now available in the market. Another option is to use kitchen ingredients such as baking soda as alternate cleansers. Do not use oven cleaners or any cleaning agent with a strong smell.
- Same goes with paints. Most paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may be harmful to your baby. VOCs are chemicals and gaseous byproducts of many substances. So, you may want to contribute by just choosing the colors and leaving the actual paint job to professionals or perhaps your partner. Ventilate the house well during and a few days after any new paint job. Avoid oil and latex paints and anything that contains lead.
- VOCs are also present in many other household products. So, avoid waxing the floors. Refrain from using paint strippers, disinfectants, floor-to-floor carpeting and moth repellents. So, essentially, you need to avoid direct contact with many cleaning and decorating supplies during your pregnancy. VOC exposure can cause wheezing in newborns and risk your child to birth defects or respiratory problems later in life .
- Avoid climbing ladders or doing activities where you may risk a fall. You want to wash the curtains, good. Now, ask your partner or someone else for help in removing them if you can’t reach the curtains without the use of a ladder. Practice the same caution with cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your house.
- Keep things simple. Refrain from making your baby’s crib pretty with fancy toys and accessories. These can become choking hazards for newborns. When the nesting instincts hit you, you may want to clean and make things pretty for your baby. But it helps to remember that just basics are fine. Yes, buy a nice crib but don’t overload it with toys. Purchase new clothes for your baby but do not buy anything with buttons or bows that can become choking hazards .
Indulge in your nesting urges during pregnancy, but avoid tiring yourself with one task after another. Take frequent breaks. Include your partner in the activities so that you can share the load. Nesting is not frivolous. If you feel the urge to clean and organize during your pregnancy, do it. But practice caution, don’t exert yourself and simply enjoy the process.
Did you experience the nesting urges during your pregnancy? Tell us here.
[ Read: Painting During Pregnancy ]
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