Nesting instinct during pregnany FAQs

Nesting instinct during pregnany FAQs

Apparently 97% of pregnant women have the nesting urge. But what's more, for extreme nesters nothing short of moving house will do…


A survey by Milton showed that 97% of mums-to-be experience the 'nesting urge', with almost a third showing signs of 'extreme nesting' behaviours such as re-decorating, renovating and even moving house. Polling almost 30,000 Facebook mums, Milton found that the majority (68%) felt the urge to nest during their third trimester. A total of 70% of mums noted that they gave birth within six weeks of experiencing this feeling, confirming that nesting is a tell tale sign that the baby is on the way. We talked to midwife and health visitor Katie Hilton about what this all means.

What is it that causes the nesting instinct in pregnant women?

There is no scientific evidence with regards to what causes nesting. There is however an increase in the amount of adrenaline flowing through the body in the latter part of pregnancy, which could be a contributing factor. It is also thought to stem from a natural instinct to prepare for birth and the new baby. Both humans and many animals demonstrate a nesting urge. Some people relate it to boredom of being pregnant, recognising that caring for a new baby is going to take up a lot of time so everything needs to be ready before the baby arrives and a mixture of excitement and anticipation and wanting everything to be just right before bringing baby home.

When are you likely to experience this?

Nesting can occur as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy (5th month), but generally occurs from around 36 weeks (8th month) onwards with an increase in the last couple of weeks before delivery.

How long is it likely to last?

Most but not all women will experience the nesting urge just during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy whilst they prepare for the arrival of their newborn, this urge will then die down just before the baby is born when they will spend some time resting, putting their feet up and wondering when their bundle of job will arrive!

Are nesting urges ever on an extreme scale?

The Milton research showed that up to 30% of women will show signs of 'extreme' nesting with behaviours such as re-decorating, renovating and even moving house. Most women however will experience an urge to prepare their house and do basic household chores, some women may not even experience a nesting urge and worry why they haven't felt the need to prepare for their baby.

What are the most common signs of the nesting urge?

Anything from deep cleaning the entire house, painting rooms, organising cupboards and wardrobes, cleaning and arranging baby clothes, defrosting the fridge and freezer, cleaning all the tiles in the bathroom, stocking up the freezer with cooked meals.

What are the most common things for pregnant women to do?

For most women the nesting urge involves cleaning the house, washing all of baby's clothes and arranging them in drawers are also common activities.

What are the most extreme reactions you have come across?

What are the most extreme reactions to nesting you have come across?
I have come across a number of women who have painted entire rooms alone at around 40 weeks pregnant, climbing up step ladders to clean high-up locations, and scrubbing bathroom floors on hands and knees.


Related Articles

Airline policies for pregnant travellers
Airline policies for pregnant travellers
Airline policies for pregnant travellers Can you fly when pregnant? We round up...
All about pregnancy tiredness
All about pregnancy tiredness
All about pregnancy tiredness Having a baby is a big job and, as with any big...
Pregnancy pampering: Myth buster
Pregnancy pampering: Myth buster
Pampering in pregnancy: Myth buster Look good and feel great, not guilty, says...
Pregnancy exercise: Modern rules
Eating & Exercise
Pregnancy exercise: Modern rules
Exercising when pregnant: Modern rules Pregnancy used to be the ultimate...

email block


Airline policies for pregnant travellers

When is it safe to fly during your pregnancy? Have a look at current airline policies for pregnant women.

5 best baby name apps for undecided parents

If you're parents-to-be struggling to find the perfect name for your little one, we've rounded up our top 5 baby...

What is a 4D baby ultrasound scan?

4D scans are the latest in pregnancy ultrasound technology. We take a look at how different it is to regular...

WIN a Bump and Beyond fitness programme worth £420!

Leap into 2019 with your chance to win one year’s membership to the ‘Super Toned Up’ fitness level at Vicky...