Dreams and nightmares in pregnancy

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Pregnancy and dreams

Why do pregnant women dream so much?

How many thoughts and how many emotions in pregnancy: joy, expectations and hopes but also insecurity, fear and doubts. During the day it is quite easy to keep everything under control. But not in the night: in dreams everything that worries future mothers comes out. Will the baby be born healthy? Will I be a good mother? Was it right to start a family right now? And what will the time of delivery be like? And the closer the moment approaches, the more frequent the dreams become.

Thanks to dreams we get used to changes. Many of these dreams are strong, some scary. But there is no reason to worry, quite the opposite. In our dreams we try to imagine what could happen to us and so slowly we become more and more familiar with the new life. Studies in Israel have even shown that women who dream a lot during pregnancy have a shorter birth than others. An explanation: they have already dealt with the subject within themselves, so the child can arrive.

Science has not yet clarified why pregnant women dream so intensely. What is known is that pregnant women have a rather light sleep. Towards the end of pregnancy, the belly makes any comfortable position practically impossible; moreover, the unborn children are particularly active when their mother would like to sleep. To remember dreams, it is necessary to wake up just before the end of the dream phase. This happens very often to pregnant women, so it is explained why they can remember so many dreams. The pregnancy hormone, the progesterone, causes the REM sleep phase to be quite rich and intense with dreams.

Are there typical dreams of pregnancy?

The closer the event gets, the more frequent the dreams become

Yes. The spring of many dreams in the first trimester of pregnancy it is the awareness of having a baby in the womb and the hope of a simple birth. Pregnant women dream, for example of puddles and tadpoles or of missing their own birth. Or they go to the hospital and the child is already at their side and can already speak.

In second quarter often the worry of being unattractive plays an important role.

And as the time of delivery, expectant mothers are increasingly wondering if they will be good mothers. For example, they dream of forgetting their baby or dropping it. Even the child becomes the object of dreams: what will he be like? Will he be healthy? Often in a dream the little one is tiny and shriveled, or he is faceless.

Jael Backe, German gynecologist and psychotherapist from Würzburg, study dreams in pregnancy. She has been able to establish that certain dream reasons occur during pregnancy: for example, following her studies, she found that in about one third of a pregnant woman's dreams there is a house. Other recurring themes of future mothers' dreams are animals, which Backe relates to her unborn child, ex-boyfriend, her own mother or the search for a child.

Read also: How to understand the message of dreams

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