Nesting During Pregnancy

I’m Nesting During Pregnancy. What Can I Do?

Nesting during pregnancy; it’s not in your head, honest. And if you’re planning to pump, no doubt you’ve wondered how to most thoroughly prepare for this new and unknown experience. This time is known as the nesting phase or nesting stage of pregnancy.

If you’re nesting during pregnancy, we have advice on thoughtful and efficient ways to apply this energy.

If you ask friends and family, they will recall their personal instances of near-mania—a somewhat primal and extraordinary urge to create the perfect space their baby’s arrival.  

For instance, one of our mothers-in-the-know shared her nesting phase memory of disinfecting every kitchen cabinet, to the extent of removing the hinges and soaking them in bleach. No kidding. Now that’s what we mean when we say, ‘nesting during pregnancy’.

If you’re at that level of cuckoo, fear not, you’re not alone.

In fact, this is all quite natural. It’s just your nesting instinct kicking in.

Isn’t Nesting For the Birds?

If you don’t already know what nesting is – that’s okay.

In an attempt to answer the oft-asked question, “what is nesting?“, we turn to the pros.

According to a recent study published in the journal of Evolution & Human Behavior, nesting during pregnancy is designated as a primal instinct that is “characterized by unusual bursts of energy—not irrational, but a result of a mechanism to protect and prepare for the unborn baby.”[1]

What is notable about nesting during pregnancy is that these bursts of energy most often occur during the third trimester, when your body is most fatigued.

Nesting During Pregnancy and Pump Preparation

Always consider the cost-benefit of expending the energy required to, for example, clean your cabinets with maniacal extensiveness. Ask yourself, is it better to potentially fatigue your body with this than to let the persistent bother of the task rattle your consciousness?

This must be a personal assessment and choice.

But let us at least advise you to pick your battles—or rather, choose your cabinets—wisely.

Although these bursts of nesting stage energy might feel boundless, they are not.

As always, be careful with your body and kind to yourself.

These nesting instincts or urges extend beyond the desire to control and into the space of self-preparation, especially for those of us who planned to pump.

What might seem frustrating as you prepare to pump is that you can’t technically practice before your baby’s arrival; you won’t have any milk with which to practice. (For more on this read our earlier post Breast Milk 101).

However, there are a variety of pump-preparedness tasks you can accomplish while nesting during pregnancy.

Preparing to Pump

The following are a few ways you can be better prepared for when the nesting stage ends and your little one has arrived.

Make sure to order your pump

There are a variety of excellent pump models.

If you need help determining which will best fit your needs visit our earlier post, Choosing the Best Breast Pump.

Once you’ve made your decision, visit Byram Healthcare to order your breast pump, covered under your insurance and therefore at no-cost to you. In only a few simple steps your order can be placed and Byram will deliver your pump, door to door.

Once you’ve received your pump the next important step is to open the box. This might sound silly, but many of us didn’t do this simple task prior to our baby’s births. Suddenly we found ourselves home from the hospital, only to first open our pumps as teary-eyed, sleep-deprived mamas with engorged breasts. So please, if nothing else, use some energy derived from your nesting instinct to get to know your pump.

Open the box. Take out the pieces and handle them. Charge the battery. Turn on the motor on and off. Leave the motor on for a full pump session to become accustomed to its rhythmic whir.

Read and follow instructions

We strongly urge you to read the instructions to avoid any overwhelming feelings when the time comes to use it. Invest time in reading instructions, including how to assemble your pump, sterilize your pump, and operate your pump. 

We all have different learning styles and thanks to this digital age in which we live, you can instantly find instructional videos online for every pump model. We suggest you begin with videos published by your specific manufacturer.

Here are the links for a handful of videos for the six specific breast pumps provided by Byram Healthcare.

Medela Pump In Style Advanced

Ameda Purely Yours Ultra

Freemie Freedom Hands Free

Spectra S2

Hygeia Q Model

Lansinoh Signature Pro


Handle your pump

True, you cannot practice pumping any milk yet, but you can wear your pump.

Attach the flanges to your breasts and connect the tubing properly. Turn the pump on for a few moments to experience the slight tugging sensation.

Remember, choosing the appropriate flange size is crucial to breast pumping success, as well as your health and comfort. (For more on this visit our earlier post Why Do I Have Sore Nipples.)

Also remember to watch your nipple’s behavior as it is being pumped. While you will not be able to make this determination until your milk has arrived, you can detect if an improper fit is clearly visible. If this is the case you can purchase a different size flange to have on hand as you being to pump.

Most manufacturers will advise you to initially sterilize pump parts and bottles in boiling water. However, do not do so until you are familiar with your specific pump and the instructions published directly by the manufacturer.

Set up your pumping station.

With practice, pumping will become routine. Establishing a specific pumping station in your home will help create this routine efficiently. You can start this when nesting during pregnancy. Sometimes we are at our most creative and efficient during this time.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Choose a room that has a relaxing energy. This is different for everyone. If being in front of the TV is relaxing for you, great. If sitting in a quiet room is bliss, go for it. All that matters is that the energy of the room is calming for you.
  • Choose a comfortable chair with an ottoman or footrest, ideally.
  • Set a small table next to your chair.
  • On/under/near this table, establish a place to store or rest your pump once you’ve returned with, whether from out with friends or from work. If you are bringing your pump to and from work, set it in its “home” as soon as you return so that you’re never bothered to fetch it at pumping time.
  • Get a hands-free pumping bra and keep it close by.
  • Have an entertainment source on hand: a music source, TV, gossip magazines, and/or reading material. Many of these examples can be found using your smart phone.
  • Keep your spare parts here. Most moms recommend having 4 breast shields with valves and membranes and 4-6 extra bottles clean and on hand. Because membranes can easily tear, you might consider having a few extras here as well.
  • Keep a small towel or sanitizing wipes on hand.
  • Keep a source of water here. We like the idea of designating a specific pumping cup, perhaps an easily cleaned, BPA-free, straw cup (you really do drink more when you use a straw).
Order and assemble your pumping bag.

If you plan to pump at work or on-the-go, you will need a pumping bag. Think of this as your portable pumping station in which you will want:

  • A small towel and/or sanitizing wipes.
  • A water source (perhaps another special cup?)
  • Collection sources (bottles, bags, etc.)
  • Labeling materials to date breast milk.
  • A cooling source (which obviously will need to be frozen prior to use).
  • Any spare parts you might need.
  • A picture of your baby to help you focus on the task at hand (there was also a study done on this…it works!)


If you are nesting during pregnancy, use this nesting phase energy and your nesting instinct to prepare. As you enter your third trimester and you begin to sense the nesting stage urges, we hope this bit of guidance and motherly wisdom helps.

You can easily apply nesting in pregnancy for a cause that productively channels your precious energy. As always, we remind you to reach out to your friends and family for help and encouragement.

Pumping is doable, although sometimes difficult. Settings goals, such as breastfeeding for 12 months, is an effective way to keep your eye on the bigger picture during those tough times. Some prefer shorter goals with smaller steps, such as 1 or 3 months. Whatever is ideal for you is fine.

Once you have your goal identified, select who your cheerleaders will be. Having the loving support of friends or family members was essential for most of our moms-in-the-know. When the nesting phase kicks in, having mothers to speak with who’ve been through nesting during pregnancy is extremely helpful.

Most importantly, don’t forget to love and be proud of yourself. You’re going to be awesome! Now go take that nesting instinct and enjoy the excitement of nearing the day you and your little one meet.