Is Nesting a Necessity or a Myth?

Jacqueline Burt Cote
23

nesting pregnant momNow that even January Jones has entered the infamous “nesting” phase of pregnancy, I've been wondering: Does everybody really go through a nesting phase? "Experts" say that this pre-labor instinct is animal in nature, something we're hard-wired to do: Robins feather their nests, cats find a quiet place to give birth. I don’t think I went through a nesting phase though, unless all those prenatal trips to IKEA count, and those were out of dire necessity, not any deep-seated urges to create the perfect newborn environment. Is there a link missing in my DNA chain or something?

 

It wasn't like I didn't feel biologically motivated to prepare for my babies in other ways. I was religious about taking prenatal vitamins and putting lotion on my belly to prevent stretch marks and going to the doctor and eating lots of greens. Scrubbing the bathroom fixtures with a toothbrush until they gleamed, however ... yeah, that didn't really cross my mind. It never occurred to me to stock up on groceries and other supplies as if I were fortifying my family against a nuclear war (another classic symptom of nesting) or to pre-address dozens of custom-made birth announcements. But I still fell right into the business of mothering once my children arrived, so my maternal instincts must have been in place. That's why I'm convinced nesting is not a necessary part of the pregnancy process. Perhaps if one is inclined towards the Martha Stewart-esque, gestation encourages these tendencies; otherwise, if you're not feeling the undeniable urge to disinfect every surface of your home, don't worry that being a mom won't come naturally to you. It came naturally to me, and my house is still a mess.

Are you getting the urge to nest or not?

 

Image via Matt Steams/Flickr

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