Having Bad Dreams While Pregnant? New Study Points to Stress

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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Are you having bad dreams while pregnant? Bad dreams have become trending topic among moms to be and researchers. And those bad dreams may be related to stress and anxiety.

Having bad dreams while pregnant is not uncommon, Dr. Taraneh Shirazian of NYU Langone Medical Center told the New York Times. “It’s something that we see from time to time,” she says, “as well as just a general sense of anxiety and feeling emotional.”

The bad and bizarre dreams while pregnant include:

  • Forgetting to feed your child that has yet to be born.
  • Husbands covered in cocaine.
  • Not being asked to have a C-section.
  • Doctors not following the pregnancy plan.
  • Being buried in an avalanche.

Despite having bad dreams while pregnant, they are common and could indicate deeper pregnancy issues. A very recent study examined pregnancy, childbirth, and the tendency of those bad dreams.

Related: 4 How to Get Pregnant Tips for Twenty-Something Women

11 Percent of Women Reported Experiencing Bad Dreams While Pregnant

Are your bad dreams messing with the joy of your pregnancy? Or is it stress that is causing those bad dreams while pregnant?

A new study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2016) examined the frequency of bad dreams in 406 pregnant women and 496 non-pregnant women.

The research involved asking those women the amount of bad dreams while pregnant. A stress test was also given to the study’s participants. Most pregnant women noted they had dreams about their baby.

The study found that 11 percent of pregnant women had nightmares at least once a week. This is a significant difference to the 2 percent of nightmares non-pregnant women were experiencing.

Related: Depression During Pregnancy Risks Women Need To Know

Having Bad Dreams While Pregnant? New Study Points to Stress

34 Percent of Women Had Monthly Bad Dreams While Pregnant; Stress May be the Cause

The recent research did find 34 percent of women had bad dreams while pregnant at least once a month. And pregnant women were able to recall their dreams better than women who were not pregnant.

The stress questionnaire given to the participants of the study also highlighted some interesting pregnancy issues. The frequency of nightmares was associated with more daily stress. However, it is difficult to know if baby-related dreams were an indication as well.

Increase in Estrogen May Play a Role in Bad Dreams While Pregnant

Why are you having bad dreams while pregnant? Is it really daily stress? Researchers believe that your hormones may be playing a role.

Your body is certainly going through monumental changes, and bad dreams while pregnant are part of those changes.

Dr. Shirazian explains, “You have elevated hormone levels, twice the blood volume, you have the splaying of the rib cage to accommodate the uterus.” The increase in estrogen may be the culprit, but stress and anxiety is a vital pregnancy issue to examine.

Having Bad Dreams While Pregnant? New Study Points to Stress

Stress and Anxiety During Pregnancy Increases You and Your Baby’s Risk for Poor Health

Stress and anxiety can have an impact on you and your baby’s health during and after pregnancy. Bad dreams while pregnant may be a warning sign for you to relax more in order to keep you and your baby healthy.

Here are a few stress related pregnancy issues that can arise, according to Emory University School of Medicine:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage
  • Smaller birth weight
  • Premature labor
  • Poor attention of baby after birth
  • Hyperactivity in childhood
  • Emotional issues in childhood


Related: 4 Most Common Miscarriage Causes

You and your baby’s health is important. And if you are having bad dreams while pregnant, talk with your OBGYN or a doctor online to discuss stress and anxiety during pregnancy.


Ways to Reduce Stress During Pregnancy . . .

Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp






Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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