It happens to every expectant mother in the third trimester of pregnancy: The powerful urge to nest. Suddenly you’re filled with a burst of energy. You feel the urge to refold all your linens, rearrange your entire pantry, clean out the basement and the attic, or paint the nursery a completely different shade of blue. No task seems too big or overwhelming. You can take on the world.
But there’s a downside to the pregnancy nesting instinct: Overdoing it can be dangerous. In the late stages of pregnancy, your placenta secretes a hormone to prepare you for labor that makes joints loose and ligaments unusually flexible. At the same time, your body also retains water, affecting your grip and sensory perception. The result can be a recipe for accidents.
“Slow down. Be easy and don’t push yourself too hard,” advises Mark Moore, M.D., an anesthesiologist in Tallahassee, Fla., with a sub-specialization in obstetric and gynecologic anesthesia. His advice: Avoid rushing and overscheduling, especially in the late third trimester. “Control the nesting urges -- the feeling of needing to have everything perfect before the baby comes.”
You don’t have to fight the feeling completely. Here are some safe and fun ways to indulge the pregnancy nesting urge and prepare for baby’s arrival: