Pregnancy Week 19: Nesting

Pregnancy Week 19: NestingTo say I’ve been a bit obsessed with organizing and cleaning is an understatement. It is amazing how the pregnancy hormones start to take charge and you begin to zero in on a certain task or job that must be done. For me it has been cramming my two older boys into one room and figuring out how to share that space.

Pregnancy nesting instincts can begin at any time around or after the fifth month–some earlier, some later, some not at all. It can be a sudden urge to clean or even an urge to organize something. For the mothers to be, it is a primal urge to prepare for the new baby, to get things in order so that your energy and focus can be on this next addition to your family. Women have been known to scrub the entire kitchen with a toothbrush, to organize and then reorganize the baby’s room, scrub linen closets and iron and refold everything in sight before baby comes. These often make for great post-pregnancy stories.

There is nothing unhealthy about nesting, except when it gets out of hand. Pregnant women should avoid painting, ladders, any harsh chemicals and heavy lifting, especially in the latter months. Many oil based paints have many chemicals and volatile compounds that can irritate a pregnant woman’s airways, not to mention cause fainting. If painting must be done, have a friend or spouse help out and look for a Low VOC or natural Paint to help off set the fumes.

Cleaning chemicals are generally a no-no for pregnancy, but to tell a nesting mother that she can’t clean her house would be a bad idea. Aim for using natural cleansers, baking soda and vinegar, and essential oils for freshening your house. Ladders and step stools are also not good ideas as the center of gravity is off by the belly and it’s even easier to fall off a step stool while pregnant.

So far, I have repapered and organized my entire kitchen, scrubbed my bathrooms with baking soda and relined the shelves in every closet. I’m a bit obsessive about my instinct to be home and cozy–even to the point of avoiding social situations and wishing to be only around close friends and family. Soon this will pass, but in the meantime I am enjoying my clean, organized home.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom of two boys with a third due in November. She is not an avid cleaner or organizer but is trying to become one.

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