There are many “side effects” that come with pregnancy. There’s the usual; morning sickness, restless legs, back pain, mood swings, etc. However, one very common pattern seen in pregnant women is known as pregnancy nesting or just nesting. This is a totally normal occurrence that you may or may not experience while expecting. Today, we want to go through what nesting is, why we do it, and how to manage it. Let’s get started!

What is Pregnancy Nesting?

Nesting is the term used to describe an expectant mother’s need to clean, organize, plan, and prepare the house for the baby. Much like mother birds preparing for her babies, women may suddenly be overwhelmed with the desire to make sure things are ready. While nesting can happen at any time, or not at all, most women see it in the third trimester. Signs of pregnancy nesting include behaviors such as:

  • Cleaning
  • Organizing
  • Sorting
  • Redecorating
  • Planning
  • Staying In The House
  • Limiting Social Interaction
  • Research
  • And More!

Pregnancy nesting is nothing to worry about. In most cases, it is totally harmless to both mother and baby, and the house looks great afterward! As with most “side effects” of pregnancy, women will experience nesting in varying degrees. Some women never get it, and others decide they have to finish a new project in one day! Because of the stress that the body is under, feelings of nesting can come and go throughout the day, week, and trimester. Cleaning/organizing is the easiest to recognize trait, but all other expressions are totally valid. One we want to draw attention to is limiting social interaction. If you notice that the mom-to-be is hiding out at home more often, don’t take it personally; she’s subconsciously protecting her baby! Many women don’t realize they are nesting. If they aren’t causing issues, just let them do what they want to do. Only interfere if she gets careless. Always offer to help with her project, but don’t be offended if mama bear says she wants to work solo.

What Causes Nesting?

It’s still pretty unclear what exactly can cause pregnancy nesting. Because the phenomenon occurs most often in the third trimester, experts have a few ideas; either the increase in estrogen provides an extra boost of energy, or mothers are feeling a lot of emotions and have to take them out somehow. Let’s face it, by the third trimester, most women are ready to not be pregnant anymore. Some are just exhausted while others are thrilled that the newest member of the family is almost here! Most expectant mothers want something to do, and they decide to clean, organize, or prepare the house! Researchers have yet to pinpoint what the exact cause is because it’s nearly impossible to track. Estrogen levels do rise in the body, boosting energy levels. It’s widely believed that this, combined with anxiety, anticipation, and excitement, leads to nesting behavior. Because it’s not a serious “condition,” doctors and scientists do not always spend time looking more closely into it. So long as the mother is doing everything safely and is following advice from her doctors, there’s no reason to try to stop pregnancy nesting.

Warnings and Precautions

While pregnancy nesting is mainly harmless, it is important to take the proper precautions and know your limits. Because you are at the tail end of your pregnancy, there are quite a few things to watch out for:

  • Avoid moving or lifting heavy objects
  • Try to not stay in one position for extended periods of time
  • Do not use any dangerous tools or equipment
  • Don’t forget to stop for breaks and food
  • If you notice any unusual pain or discomfort, stop and lay down

If you feel the desire to clean, by all means, go for it! That being said, don’t push yourself past your limits. You are creating life so it’s understandable if your closet isn’t the neatest. Be sure you take care of yourself and don’t let nesting consume your day. We know how tempting it is to want everything to be perfect, but it’s nearly impossible to achieve that; that’s okay. Your baby is going to love you even if the nursery isn’t overflowing with toys or if you haven’t gotten around to organizing their clothes into drawers. Just be the best mom you can be and enjoy your little gift!

If you want to learn more about pregnancy and everything that comes with it, check out Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Pregnancy But Were Too Afraid or Embarassed To Ask by the world-famous Twin Drs. The Q&N style book talks about all things pregnancy, the good, bad, and the ugly. Order your copy here:

Be sure to check out our website and please connect with us on all of our social media outlets at TheTwinDoctors.

About The Docs


Idris is the creation of twin OB/Gyn Doctors Jamil and Idries Abdur-Rahman. Jamil (Dr. J) and Idries (Dr. I) were inspired to start after participating on season 22 of CBS’ ‘The Amazing Race’.

Read More

Everything You Ever Wanted to
Know About Pregnancy:

But Were Too
Embarrassed or Afraid to Ask

by Idries Abdur-Rahman (Goodreads Author),
Jamil Abdur-Rahman MD, Nikia Bilal (Editor)

Buy Now

Follow us on Twitter

Follow Us On Facebook