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Maternal representations in the dreams of pregnant women: a prospective comparative study.

Lara-Carrasco J, Simard V, Saint-Onge K, Lamoureux-Tremblay V, Nielsen T - Front Psychol (2013)

Bottom Line: First pregnancy is such a situation during which maternal mental representations (MMR) of the unborn baby, the self and significant others undergo remodeling.Dreaming during pregnancy appears to reflect daytime processes of remodeling MMR of the woman as a mother and of her unborn baby, and parallels a decline in the quality of baby/child representations in the last stage of pregnancy.More frequent morbid content in late pregnancy suggests that the psychological challenges of pregnancy are reflected in a generally more dysphoric emotional tone in dream content.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Montréal, QC, Canada ; Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal Montréal, QC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Dreams are thought to respond to self- and socially-relevant situations that evoke strong emotions and require rapid adaptation. First pregnancy is such a situation during which maternal mental representations (MMR) of the unborn baby, the self and significant others undergo remodeling. Some studies suggest that dreams during pregnancy contain more MMR and are more dysphoric, but such studies contain important methodological flaws. We assessed whether dreamed MMR, like waking MMR, change from the 7th month of pregnancy to birth, and whether pregnancy-related themes and non-pregnancy characteristics are also transformed. Sixty non-pregnant and 59 pregnant women (37 early and 22 late 3rd trimester) completed demographic and psychological questionnaires and 14-day home dream logs. Dream reports were blindly rated according to four dream categories: (1) Dreamed MMR, (2) Quality of baby/child representations, (3) Pregnancy-related themes, (4) Non-pregnancy characteristics. Controlling for age, relationship and employment status, education level and state anxiety, women in both pregnant groups reported more dreams depicting themselves as a mother or with babies/children than did non-pregnant women (all p = 0.006). Baby/child representations were less specific in the late 3rd than in the early 3rd trimester (p = 0.005) and than in non-pregnant women (p = 0.01). Pregnant groups also had more pregnancy, childbirth and fetus themes (all p = 0.01). Childbirth content was higher in late than in early 3rd trimester (p = 0.01). Pregnant groups had more morbid elements than did the non-pregnant group (all p < 0.05). Dreaming during pregnancy appears to reflect daytime processes of remodeling MMR of the woman as a mother and of her unborn baby, and parallels a decline in the quality of baby/child representations in the last stage of pregnancy. More frequent morbid content in late pregnancy suggests that the psychological challenges of pregnancy are reflected in a generally more dysphoric emotional tone in dream content.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Pregnant and non-pregnant women differences (mean ± standard error) on pregnancy-related themes and on morbid dream contents. Early and late 3rd trimester pregnant women had more pregnancy, childbirth and fetus dream themes than did non-pregnant women, and late 3rd trimester (≥30 weeks of gestation) had more childbirth dream themes (A) than did early 3rd trimester (<30 weeks of gestation) women; morbid dream contents were more frequent in both pregnant groups than in the non-pregnant group (B). *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
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Figure 2: Pregnant and non-pregnant women differences (mean ± standard error) on pregnancy-related themes and on morbid dream contents. Early and late 3rd trimester pregnant women had more pregnancy, childbirth and fetus dream themes than did non-pregnant women, and late 3rd trimester (≥30 weeks of gestation) had more childbirth dream themes (A) than did early 3rd trimester (<30 weeks of gestation) women; morbid dream contents were more frequent in both pregnant groups than in the non-pregnant group (B). *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.

Mentions: Groups differed on the combined dependent measure [Wilks λ = 0.66; F(8, 216)= 6.18, p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.19], and significant univariate effects were found for pregnancy (p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.26), childbirth (p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.19) and fetus (p = 0.007, partial η2 = 0.09), but not for human body (p = 0.1, partial η2 = 0.04). Pairwise comparisons indicated that both pregnant groups had more pregnancy related themes in their dreams than did non-pregnant women (all p ≤ 0.01) (Figure 2A). Pregnant groups also differed in the prevalence of childbirth content; the latter was higher in the late than in the early 3rd trimester group (p = 0.01). The two pregnancy groups did not differ on pregnancy and fetus themes (p = 0.3 and 0.8, respectively).


Maternal representations in the dreams of pregnant women: a prospective comparative study.

Lara-Carrasco J, Simard V, Saint-Onge K, Lamoureux-Tremblay V, Nielsen T - Front Psychol (2013)

Pregnant and non-pregnant women differences (mean ± standard error) on pregnancy-related themes and on morbid dream contents. Early and late 3rd trimester pregnant women had more pregnancy, childbirth and fetus dream themes than did non-pregnant women, and late 3rd trimester (≥30 weeks of gestation) had more childbirth dream themes (A) than did early 3rd trimester (<30 weeks of gestation) women; morbid dream contents were more frequent in both pregnant groups than in the non-pregnant group (B). *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3753535&req=5

Figure 2: Pregnant and non-pregnant women differences (mean ± standard error) on pregnancy-related themes and on morbid dream contents. Early and late 3rd trimester pregnant women had more pregnancy, childbirth and fetus dream themes than did non-pregnant women, and late 3rd trimester (≥30 weeks of gestation) had more childbirth dream themes (A) than did early 3rd trimester (<30 weeks of gestation) women; morbid dream contents were more frequent in both pregnant groups than in the non-pregnant group (B). *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001.
Mentions: Groups differed on the combined dependent measure [Wilks λ = 0.66; F(8, 216)= 6.18, p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.19], and significant univariate effects were found for pregnancy (p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.26), childbirth (p < 0.001, partial η2 = 0.19) and fetus (p = 0.007, partial η2 = 0.09), but not for human body (p = 0.1, partial η2 = 0.04). Pairwise comparisons indicated that both pregnant groups had more pregnancy related themes in their dreams than did non-pregnant women (all p ≤ 0.01) (Figure 2A). Pregnant groups also differed in the prevalence of childbirth content; the latter was higher in the late than in the early 3rd trimester group (p = 0.01). The two pregnancy groups did not differ on pregnancy and fetus themes (p = 0.3 and 0.8, respectively).

Bottom Line: First pregnancy is such a situation during which maternal mental representations (MMR) of the unborn baby, the self and significant others undergo remodeling.Dreaming during pregnancy appears to reflect daytime processes of remodeling MMR of the woman as a mother and of her unborn baby, and parallels a decline in the quality of baby/child representations in the last stage of pregnancy.More frequent morbid content in late pregnancy suggests that the psychological challenges of pregnancy are reflected in a generally more dysphoric emotional tone in dream content.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Montréal, QC, Canada ; Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal Montréal, QC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Dreams are thought to respond to self- and socially-relevant situations that evoke strong emotions and require rapid adaptation. First pregnancy is such a situation during which maternal mental representations (MMR) of the unborn baby, the self and significant others undergo remodeling. Some studies suggest that dreams during pregnancy contain more MMR and are more dysphoric, but such studies contain important methodological flaws. We assessed whether dreamed MMR, like waking MMR, change from the 7th month of pregnancy to birth, and whether pregnancy-related themes and non-pregnancy characteristics are also transformed. Sixty non-pregnant and 59 pregnant women (37 early and 22 late 3rd trimester) completed demographic and psychological questionnaires and 14-day home dream logs. Dream reports were blindly rated according to four dream categories: (1) Dreamed MMR, (2) Quality of baby/child representations, (3) Pregnancy-related themes, (4) Non-pregnancy characteristics. Controlling for age, relationship and employment status, education level and state anxiety, women in both pregnant groups reported more dreams depicting themselves as a mother or with babies/children than did non-pregnant women (all p = 0.006). Baby/child representations were less specific in the late 3rd than in the early 3rd trimester (p = 0.005) and than in non-pregnant women (p = 0.01). Pregnant groups also had more pregnancy, childbirth and fetus themes (all p = 0.01). Childbirth content was higher in late than in early 3rd trimester (p = 0.01). Pregnant groups had more morbid elements than did the non-pregnant group (all p < 0.05). Dreaming during pregnancy appears to reflect daytime processes of remodeling MMR of the woman as a mother and of her unborn baby, and parallels a decline in the quality of baby/child representations in the last stage of pregnancy. More frequent morbid content in late pregnancy suggests that the psychological challenges of pregnancy are reflected in a generally more dysphoric emotional tone in dream content.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus