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Pregnancy and Birth Spur Anxiety Dreams in Mom

Pregnancy and Birth Spur Anxiety Dreams in Mom

MONTREAL, Sept. 4 -- Vivid dreams of babies in peril are common among sleep-deprived pregnant women and new mothers, often inspiring a need to check on the infant.

Among post-partum women (new mothers and those who have other children), these dreams were accompanied by severe sleep disruption and motor activity, such as searching for the baby among the bed covers, Tore Nielsen, Ph.D., of the Hpital du Sacr-Coeur de Montral here, and Tyna Paquette, M.Sc., reported in the Sept. 1 issue of Sleep.

Pregnant women who had the disturbing dreams were likely to awaken crying, holding their abdomen, and acting out fears of delivery disasters, they said.

The prevalence of pregnancy and postpartum dreams about infants and the associated behaviors may reflect the emotional influence of maternal concerns or changes resulting from severe sleep disruption, rapid eye movement sleep deprivation, and altered hormone levels, the researchers said.

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