Do the concepts nesting or nesting instinct sound familiar to you? You must have seen many nature documentaries where animals get ready for their upcoming newborns with hectic behaviour.
We can all picture birds building nests, so that they have a 'home' to incubate their eggs and raise their little ones. That's exactly where the idea of nesting comes from and, surprisingly, it's very common among a wide variety of animals - including humans!
Do you want to know how the nesting instinct affects pregnant women? Then, don't miss any details by reading the following lines.
Nesting: I'm in a frenzy
The nesting phase in pregnant women is based on a spontaneous reaction, both emotional and physical, that usually takes place during the third trimester of pregnancy, in their last weeks as expectant mothers. It's no more than the preparation for your soon-to-arrive baby that implies keeping every detail under control: tidying up the house compulsively, cleaning every corner thoroughly and doing excessive shopping are some of the most common nesting behaviours. Though it doesn't affect all women (so, no, don't worry if you don't have the nesting instinct), many experience a burst of energy that, somehow, allows them to have high physical activity, no matter how big their baby bump is. Experts see it as if these future mummies' bodies were getting ready for labour after many months of rest. At the same time, it's a way for future mums to keep themselves busy and relieve their pre-labour stress.
Do I have the nesting instinct?
As said earlier, the nesting instinct is a natural reaction, so don't look for it. Before you know it, you'll find yourself suffering from insomnia because of all the things you have in mind before the baby's arrival. Someday, you may get up and start organising shelves, changing curtains or dusting around like there's no tomorrow. Try not to get too obsessed with what you have to do, because you can be excited without putting your shoulders to the wheel. Also, don't forget that you are not alone, so this is the best time to get extra help from Dad, family and friends.
Nesting: A matter of priorities
Yet again, nesting isn't about killing yourself before you hold your baby for the first time. You can be active and full of energy, but try to redirect your energy into priorities and necessary things. In addition, keep in mind that you shouldn't do certain chores that could put you and your baby at risk, like using a folding ladder to clean the ceiling of the kitchen.
Here are some suggestions for you when having the nesting instinct:
- Restock your fridge: around your due date, you should restock your fridge with fresh foods that will come in handy once you leave the hospital.
- Cook extra: if your nesting instinct is making you hyper, use the energy to cook extra food. Trust us, if you work on some delicious meals that you can keep in single-meal containers in the freezer, your first day as a nursing mum will be a lot easier. For instance, don't miss out on the chance to make a yummy homemade lasagna that in a few days you'll be able to have just by turning on the microwave.
- Laundry time: Don't pass up the opportunity to do several loads of laundry, including those things that don't get washed regularly, like pillow cases, duvet covers or rugs. Keep in mind that once the baby is home, his clothes will 'own' the washing machine!
- Baby essentials: This is also a good time for you to complete your baby essentials list, in case you are missing something.
- 'Mummy' essentials: of course, you need to think about what you'll need as well. If, for example, you plan on breastfeeding your little one, go get nursing bras, along with comfy underwear so your postpartum recovery feels a tad easier.
Besides the listed ones, you should invest your time in creative activities that can keep you both busy and relaxed. Why don't you get a 'pregnant diary' to write down your experience? Or, instead, you could go out and have a nice walk on a sunny day. After all, the point is for you to save some of this extra nesting energy, because your body will be facing a big effort in just a matter of days.
What do you think about nesting? It does have some advantages, especially to have everything sorted out before your munchkin is born. That being said, when not managed properly it can put you in risky situations and also lead to fatigue, which is something you don't need right now. The burst of energy that comes with nesting is more than welcome, but use it wisely!