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Scientific Evidence on the Point of the Pregnancy Nesting Phase

PregnancyI think I am hitting the part of this pregnancy where the nesting is beginning. I won’t be doing a nursery, so my energy is not focused on making a room perfect, but out of nowhere I have been getting this urge to have all the things ready for something that’s still 3 months away.

This past week, I had this unexplained desire — well, more like need — to get the few items we need for the baby in house and ready. When that desire hit, it HIT, as in “must do this now no matter what.” And so I did. If you’ve ever had the nesting urge, you will know that to others you may seem a little crazy, and that was me for sure. I was texting my husband at work asking him if we should get this swing or that swing and all he could politely say was that he would be happy to look at it when he got home from work — which we did. I’ll be honest, it was hard for me to wait because that urge was saying “do it now.”

After my husband got home and took a look at the items I was debating between, I didn’t waste any time before I started buying. In two days, I had all the clothes I needed for the baby, and bought the few products we will use — a swing, a co-sleeper bed, and bedside bassinet. All that is left for me to do (with three months still to go) is get some diapers and then we’ll be totally set.

A study published in this month’s issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior  took a scientific look at why pregnant women go through the nesting phase and what purpose that must have now or in the past.

The Huffington Post took a closer look at the study, which was conducted using an online survey and a longitudinal tracking study, and compared women who were not pregnant with those who were to see what the deal is with this nesting phase. Research was done at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, which found: “that nesting peaks in the third trimester; that the behaviors involved are more often ones of organizing and sorting rather than cleaning and disinfecting; and that it includes the sorting of people as well as things, as seen in a tendency to retreat to the comfort of home and the company of familiar people.”

The research authors suggest that the point of the pregnancy nesting phase can be traced back to our ancestors, who lived in caves where more preparations needed to be done for safety reasons as they neared the birth date. “Anthropological data suggest that having control over the environment is a key feature of childbirth preparation in humans, including decisions about where birth will take place, and who will be welcome in the birthing environment,” is all just another experience us pregnant women can expect to have.

:: What does your nesting look like? Share in the comments! ::

Photo credit: istockphoto
Source: Evolution and Human Behavior 
H/T: Huffington Post Parents

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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three kids and expecting baby #4 at the end of this year. Read more from  on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!

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