Not Just Pregnant Women
Pregnant women aren’t the only people who experience the nesting instinct. Men who are expecting a baby often feel the urge to clean and organize too! Many take a newfound interest in finding a new job, working on their car, or landscaping the garden.
Other times that you may also experience the nesting instinct inlcude:
- at the change of the seasons
- after the loss of a loved one
- when your child heads off to kindergarten or college
What to Expect
Every pregnant woman’s experience with the nesting instinct is different. If you don’t experience the urge to clean or reorganize, you have no reason to feel guilty or abnormal.
Many women are simply too tired and worn out by the end of their pregnancy to experience this instinct. If you do experience the nesting instinct, you may find yourself doing some of the following things:
- packing and repacking your labor bag
- cleaning every room in the house
- joining new activities that you were previously uninterested in
- reorganizing your baby’s clothing
- painting and repainting your baby’s nursery
Is the Nesting Instinct Safe?
For the most part, the nesting instinct is a completely safe part of pregnancy. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing and not pushing yourself too hard, you can feel free to indulge in your pregnancy nesting urges.
Just be sure to take frequent rest breaks and maintain a proper diet, to ensure that you are getting enough energy. However, there are a few activities that you should try to stay away from when you are pregnant:
- Painting: Many women experience the urge to paint their baby’s nursery during their final months of pregnancy. However, it is best if you resist this urge and assign the painting to someone else in your household. Some oil-based and latex paints contain lead and mercury, which can be dangerous for both you and your baby. If you do have to paint, choose a water-based paint and read the label carefully. Always paint in a well-ventilated area and wear protective clothing and a mask, if necessary.
- Kitty Litter: Though kitty’s box may need cleaning, it is important that you leave this job for your partner or roommate. If your cat goes outdoors, it is possible that he might be infected with toxoplasmosis, a parasite that can be transferred through fecal matter. If your baby contracts this parasite, it can lead to severe health complications, including blindness, deafness, and mental development problems.
- Certain Household Cleaning: Some household cleaning tasks should be avoided during pregnancy (no matter how much you want to do them!). This is because certain cleaners can give off dangerous fumes, which may cause you to faint or become sick. Try to avoid working with oven cleaners and dry cleaning products. Also, never mix any ammonia products with those that contain chlorine, as this can produce toxic fumes. Generally, most household cleaners are safe to use when pregnant. Just be sure to wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area.