Did you know that nightmares during pregnancy is actually common?
Mmm-hmm…especially during the very first pregnancy that a woman experiences.
That’s when the statistics start to soar!
But moms aren’t the only ones who suffer from sleep disturbances during pregnancy…
Even soon-to-be dads are apprehensive and suffer from repetitive nightmares about the new baby, delivery or even parenthood.
I remember an instance when we were expecting our first child — and we have six now!
My husband and I were super young, but we were thrilled to be walking the pregnancy journey together!
We were so excited that we broke the rules and told everyone we were pregnancy — BEFORE the 13 week mark of pregnancy.
Psst! You might break a few pregnancy rules yourself. Don’t believe me? Check out these common rules of pregnancy that women break!
I rarely attended any doctor’s appointments without my husband. He was supporting me through everything and his mind was jumbled with the “what ifs” of labor, delivery and the responsibility of raising a child.
But one morning my husband woke up very upset.
His back was turned to me and I knew something was bothering him.
Finally his voice broke the quietness of my thoughts.
“I had a really bad dream about the baby.”
Immediately I tried to gently listen and offer him comfort.
He continued to tell me his nightmare…
The details of his dream went something like this:
He was playing with our new baby boy, but the baby was super tiny. To keep the baby happy, he bounced the baby on the couch cushion and sang a silly song to him. But then, the baby fell between the couch cushions. Immediately the baby’s uncle came to visit and vacuumed up our new baby while he was cleaning the couch cushions.
What was my response?
I burst into giggles.
Loud, uncontrollable giggles.
To this day my husband remembers me laughing at his pregnancy nightmare!
But not all pregnancy nightmares are THAT funny.
Some are downright scary because they’re super realistic.
We’ve had those frightening nightmares too.
I’ve woken up 2 a.m. in tears because I dreamed I had left my newborn baby in the car for hours on a hot, sunny day.
And when those pregnancy nightmares happen, it’s almost impossible to go back to sleep.
Why share this with you?
Because I want you to know that you’re not struggling alone with nightmares!
Most first-time moms have them — at least four times during their pregnancy!
What causes nightmares during pregnancy?
During a first pregnancy, every single aspect of bringing a new life into this world is crazily different!
Daily nausea, fluctuating hormone levels, difficult sleeping, lower energy levels and then some all affect your mind and body — and it’s mostly negative.
But, I wouldn’t just be a negative Nelly and tell you that truth without offering you bucketfuls of help and hope! <3
How to Avoid Nightmares in Pregnancy
- Relax. Women have been having babies since Adam and Eve. You can do this. Before you know it, the pregnancy, labor and delivery will all be over and you will be the mom of a beautiful new bambino. Worried about the health of your baby? Check out the statistics. The majority of babies are born healthy with all ten fingers and toes! Yay for that!
- Think happy thoughts! Instead of focusing on the fears of motherhood and pregnancy, focus on the good things you know. You know that babies are cuddly and soft. You know babies have a natural attachment to their mothers. You know that little ones are a symbol of love expressed between you and your spouse. You know that birthdays and holidays will be even more fun as you celebrate it with your bambino! Focus on happy thoughts tohelpyou combat anxiety!
- Take some breaths. When stress and anxieties do come over you, take a breather. Go to a quiet spot and inhale deeply and exhale for 10 breaths. Relax your muscles and just enjoy the quiet and serene atmosphere.
- Play some soft music. Most public places play music that is loud and fast. Put on your jammies and turn on some soft and slow music to help you unwind. Think about the soothing melodies and concentrate on peaceful thoughts.
- Eat super-foods! We have a huge list of super-foods you can check out to give your body an extra boost during the day so you can enjoy optimum slept night. And yes, your daily diet does affect your nighttime sleep — including nightmares!
- Get a pregnancy massage. Massages during pregnancy can relieve you of a lot of tension and put your body at ease. Make sure the massage therapist is trained in pregnancy massage so you are not harmed and have a pleasant experience. If you desire a natural birth, keep your masseuse in mind during labor! Those massages help a ton with the pain!
- Slow it down. In the evenings, cut back your smartphone, Netflix and Youtube time. try to end all screen time one hour prior to climbing in your bed. Your mind needs time to unwinding relax before drifting into a peaceful, dreamy mode. And we want peaceful dreams, not nightmares!
- Avoid chocolate and caffeine. This is so hard for me, but it’s worked wonders! During the late afternoon and evenings, cut out coffee and chocolate. Oh no…for some of you this is like asking you to give up oxygen. trust me, it’s tough for me too! But these two crazy-popular treats have been known to increase your chances of having unpleasant dreams. Enjoy your cup of Joe and choclately goodness in the morning instead. But hey — if you’re preggo, avoiding caffeine your entire pregnancy is always the best choice!
- Exercise. If you’ve been given the green light by your OBGYN, enjoy regular, moderate exercise during the day. Exercise gets those happy endorphins moving in and also helps you rest better at night! And staying fit can make your labor and delivery go much smoother — especially if you’re opting for a natural birth! More happy endorphins during the day can help prevent bad dreams at night!
Have you struggled with nightmares during pregnancy? Let’s chat about your experiences in our All Things Mommy Group on Facebook! See you there!
Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. I’m just sharing tips that have worked for my friends, acquaintances and myself.