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J Am Board Fam Pract. 1993 Mar-Apr;6(2):117-22.

The pregnancy-related dreams of pregnant women.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia 65212.



This study examined the frequency and nature of pregnancy-related dreams in pregnant women in a family practice center and assessed the extent such dreams were discussed with providers of prenatal care.


Pregnant women 18 years of age or older who were receiving prenatal care at the University of Missouri-Columbia Family Medical Care Center responded to a two-page self-administered questionnaire. The major variables measured were frequency of pregnancy-related dreams, frequency of frightening dreams, content of dreams, and discussion of dreams. Health professionals providing prenatal care to these women were also surveyed.


Eighty-eight pregnant women, 41 family physicians, and 3 nurse practitioners participated in the study. Dreams about their pregnancy or baby were reported by 59 (67 percent) of 88 pregnant women, of whom 22 had experienced at least one frightening dream. Seventeen women reported being upset by a dream. The frequency of dreams increased with advancing gestational age. The content of the most common dream involved conflict with the father of the baby. Most women had talked to another person about their dreams, usually the baby's father. Only 2 women told their physicians about the pregnancy-related dream. One-half of the providers of prenatal care reported discussing pregnancy-related dreams with a pregnant patient at least once during their careers.


Dreams about their pregnancy or baby occurred frequently in pregnant women and could be a neglected source of information about the psychological state of the patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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