Like other species, the instinct to prepare for and protect our future young is evident in many expectant moms. Part of it might be nervous energy in anticipation of the unknown of labor and birth.

The need to clean, organize and prepare, sometimes in frenetic detail, can really preoccupy some women! At a sensible level, “nesting” is normal and fine, and it serves a definite purpose. So before you polish the knobs on the stove, nest safely with these tips.

Safety first!

Your balance is affected during pregnancy; avoid tasks that require standing on chairs, ladders or awkward reaching. Take special precautions with paint, chemicals or harsh cleansers—let others do these heavy-duty tasks and always have them work in a well-ventilated area.

Many women report that there is just no stopping the energy infusion that propels nesting. So, if you are going to nest, use your energy for the things that most matter. Prioritize so that if you do go overboard, you have at least done the things that will matter most when baby comes.

Room By Room

Bedrooms: Clean and organize your bedroom. You will appreciate knowing the space for baby is especially clean. You will appreciate fresh bed linens when you come home. Make a bedside basket with extra care supplies: Diapers, wipes, baby linens, nursing supplies. Stock up on items you will need after delivery: Pads, extra underwear, comfy relaxed clothes, soaps and body wash for much needed indulgent showers.

Kitchen: Organize your kitchen cupboards and freezer with supplies for quick prep meals; pasta, sauces, legumes, soups, whole grain crackers and healthy snack choices. Cook up and freeze meal-size portions of favorite dishes to have at the ready for days when you will be tired. The “quick” run to the grocery store is about to change forever.

House: Do the spring-cleaning tasks that most matter: clean bathrooms, ready the family room, tidy the most-used closets. Prep the guest room for family who might be coming to help. Remember in your cleaning fury to take time to recycle and donate items to others.


Carolyn J. Lee, PhD, CNE, RN, is a nurse expert adviser to Healthy Mom&Baby.

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