Disturbing Postpartum Dreams

Updated on December 31, 2009
D.M. asks from Round Rock, TX
52 answers

I have a 4 1/2 month old baby daughter who is our first child. We are older first time parents, I'm 39 and I'm a stay at home mom caring for the baby full time. I am absolutely LOVING being a mom to our Abigail. She is such a delight - healthy, happy, sleeping through the night since 8 weeks old. But I have this one problem, every night since the night she was born - I have these really disturbing baby dreams. It is always the same general dream - the baby is in the bed with me - she has gotten trapped under the covers and can't breath and I'm desperately trying to find her but can't - or some kind of variation on that with me trying to help the baby in our bed but can't actually find her. The dreams are more like waking dreams - where I'm actually seeing and feeling the baby and am actively acting out these dreams in real life - not just thinking them. They drive my poor husband crazy - as I'm always patting around on him looking for the baby and of course, waking him up. But mostly they are very disturbing to me and keep me from getting a full nights sleep every single night. We have never let the baby cosleep with us - so there is not realty behind these dreams. And she sleeps soundly in her crib and in her nursery throughout the entire night and has since she was 8 weeks old. I just don't understand why I'm having these dreams. I am not a jumpy and nervous mom, I feel completely peaceful about caring for her during the day. When I mentioned them to my OB/GYN at my 6 week check up, they suggested prozac - which totally shocked me - especially since I'm breastfeeding the baby and not depressed at all. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it hormonal? Can anything be done to stop the dreams?

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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

D., I had similar dreams after I had my son. I would wake up throwing the covers off of me in a panic thinking he was in the bed with us. It lasted a few months and then went away. It's just one of those things that comes with being a new mom. Hang in there! You're doing great!

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S.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

this is a common dream. i can't offer a solution but I can tell you that I had the exact same dreams and they eventually stopped when my daughter was around 8 months old. I do NOT recommend getting on any kind of drugs.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

My son is almost 17 months and I too had these disturbing dreams. My poor husband just got to the point that he would calmly tell me, when I would sit bolt upright in bed or be thrashing around, that the baby was in his crib and not in bed with us. We never co-slept with our son, except in a co-sleeper that attached to the side of our bed, but still the night terrors came. I can say that they have lessened greatly in the past 8 months or so. Every once in a while they show up and I agree with some of the other ladies, it is typically when I'm tired or stressed. I thought perhaps I was one of the few that dealt with this since I know that when I am overly tired or stressed that I can sleep walk and/or talk in my sleep. It has been a true blessing to know that there are other ladies out there that experience their protective nature in this way. Good luck, and by all means, have as many people as possible pray for you in addition to yourself. In my case the best help came in the form of a calming husband who understood the anxiety I was feeling and could "wake" me up to the fact that it wasn't real.

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C.L.

answers from Dallas on

I did the same thing, but I hid it from everyone because I worried what my husband or family would think. I would have to get up several times in the night to check on both my children. It happened both times and both times it stopped when they were near 1 year old. I don't have any answers for you as to why it happened, but I wanted you to know. You aren't alone.

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

These are perfectly normal anxiety dreams. I had them after my first baby too! My mom says she did too. In mine, it was always someone either took the baby or left the baby with someone. Like once I dreamed my mother in law was suppose to be wathcing him and when I asked where he was, she had left him with someone but coudlnt remember who! So there I was driving door to door all over town. Or once it was someone took him and Im running on foot trying to catch the car. Once it was I woke up in the hospital no longer pregnant and asked where he was and everyone said I didnt have a baby! My mom dreamed my brother was two inches tall and she lost him and couldnt find him. I know LOTS of moms who have these dreams. Mine were so vivid I remember them to this day (my oldest is 16 now)

It's from our anxiety over being good moms and taking care of a new baby! I know I loved my baby soooooo much, but still was worried about if I were doing things "right" you know? I think as you get more and more confident, these dreams will calm down.

Have you ever heard of lucid dreaming? Once I was so upset by the outcome of the dream that I made it change, conciously even though I was still asleep. Google Lucid dreaming and try to learn how to do it!

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

Dear D.,
Yes. I had a similar experience after the birth of my first son. I found a way to get the monitor close enough so I could hear my son breath. This is a trick since it obviously cannot be in the crib with him or within his reach. When we figured this out I could hear him breathing and the dreams slowly stopped and the startled waking up slowed down as well.
I could just lay there for a moment and really hear him breathing and go back to sleep. Relax. Give this a try and let me know if it works for you.

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R.C.

answers from Dallas on

I literally heard my son's cry in every little noise. So when I would go to bed, I would just lay there and listen to him "cry". Of course, he was sound asleep. I don't know how that was possible, but it happened. I would have moments of intense fear that something would happen to him. Today, I go to bed to the same sounds, but I don't hear the crying anymore. I'm not even sure when it went away, I'd say by 5 months. I think you are totally normal and don't need drugs. Your hormones will take a while to balance back out. In the meantime, that adjusting manifests itself in all kinds of different emotional (and physical--I lost hair at 3 months) ways for each of us.
I don't have one, but they make the video baby monitors. Maybe having one by the bed would allow you to wake up and see your baby is in the crib instead of in the bed.

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

I would fire your ob. The fact that s/he was so quick to prescribe a drug, especially since you're breastfeeding and I'm assuming not showing any other signs of post partum depression (and yes, all drugs can affect babies) would worry me. It would be different if you were a danger to yourself or your baby, but I'm getting that's not the case...

I had the same type of dreams when I brought my little one home (and still have them on/off)- I would wake up yelling at my husband that I couldn't find the baby, he was just gone! I was sleeping with the baby in the guest bed w/ my poor hubby on the floor (more of a necessity due to surgery and not being able to move much). I think the dreams are stressed induced (I still have them when I'm under a lot of stress, and my now 11 mo old sleeps in his crib). I wouldn't fret too much. Do you have a monitor? That might help you subconsciously (sp?) because if you can hear your dd in your sleep on the monitor, you're less likely to have the dreams? It worked for me. Don't forget the power of prayer. This too shall pass!

PS: kuddos for breastfeeding!!!

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D., I think it's totally normal. I had those dreams of my baby being buried in the blankets for about the first 6 months of his life, my husband would occasionally do the same thing. I think it's in part to all the talk you get about SIDS etc. It does go away! I also had dreams when he was first crawling and walking that he somehow crawled out of his crib and fell down the stairs in the middle of the night. I know this was completely impossible (he wasn't a climber) when I was awake but sometimes I think it's just the way your subconscious works. I don't think I'd go the prozac route either. I did find if I took a short nap during the day it would lessen them. The nightmares go away as your baby gets older, now I have a 2 year old that likes to get out of bed in the middle of the night because his nose is stuffy! So I think it's all a normal part of parenting.

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D.L.

answers from Dallas on

Dear D.,

Since you said you are a Christian and your faith is the foundation of your life, I feel comfortable offering this advice. Your first response should be to cry out to the LORD. The psalmist says that God is our refuge and strength, a VERY present help in time of trouble! Perfect love casts out fear, according to Scripture, so ask the LORD to wash over you with His perfect love. Also, your husband is your spiritual covering, the priest of your family. Ask him to pray for you before you go to sleep. I have personal experience with this. I suffered tremendously with terrible night terrors, waking my husband up at night crying out in my sleep. Finally, I asked him to pray over me every night before bed, and the night terrors stopped completely, and I haven't had one for years. Also, take a moment and pray for your daughter as the LORD leads. Psalm 127:2 says that He gives His beloved sleep. Also, read Psalm 3. It is very powerful and comforting.

I pray that you have sweet sleep and the rest that comes from the LORD, who loves you very much. God bless you!

-D.

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G.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hey D.,

I was recently having a lot of disturbing, recurring dreams and I realized I was beginning to expect them every night, and sure enough, they would come. One day I decided to take control of the outcome of the dream, and dreamt up better endings, some of which would strengthen my faith. I would pray in my sleep, believing, and the Lord would answer my prayer even in the dream. What a glorious experience! Pray to the Lord in your dream and trust in Him.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

I had the exact same dreams for weeks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. My husband would wake up and I would be digging in the sheets too. It was horrible...way worse than the dream that you are falling! I will tell you that mine went away. I did it with my first daughter. I think that it was sleep deprevation, the newness of this love and protective mode for your little one and the anxiety that comes with that responsibility. When I am really tired, I will still have a random horrible nightmare about my children being trapped in the car... I just had a baby 6 weeks ago and I have yet to have the baby in the sheets dream...but who knows...there is still time! :) I don't think that prozac is going to help you with the demands of being a new mom and lack of sleep...but, who knows!

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hi! I also had/have bad dreams about baby. Hannah is now 15 mo. and I haven't done a frantic seaching the bed for baby (even though she is obviously crying from her bed in the next room) in months - go me! :) Now I have what I call "bad thoughts" which often hit me right as I'm dropping off to sleep - they range from dropping her to loosing her to her getting hurt by animals, etc.... Don't really know the reason, but I chalk it up to our extra-sensitive momma radar. When this happens I try to wake myself up, pray for calm and quote, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind."

Hope that helps!

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M.J.

answers from Abilene on

First off congrats on your darling little baby!!!! Such a dream come true!!
Secondly I really find your doctors "so called advice" annoying. Your dreams are probably much more normal than not for a first time mom!! I still get small panic attacks when it comes to my 2 sweetie's,that is just being an over-protective fool as I am.
I would like to suggest a natural sleep aid that will only help you relax and it will not put you under where you can't care for your baby!Highland's makes it and here is the link to it... http://www.hylands.com/products/calmsforte.php

I even took it a few years back,for stress relief,during the day and it never made me drowsy so it is totally safe!!

I wish you and your sweet baby all the best of luck in your live's!!!!

--M. ([email protected]____.com)

p.s -I also remember having bad dreams and some only a few months ago about my daughter being kidnapped.I think it is totally real to feel worried about our children it makes us human.Please,for your own sake,don't take prozac to rid yourself from reality.I have heard bad things from people on Prozac.Another alternative,herb,for a "happy" state of feeling is St.John's Wort.But I think you are going to be fine.You said you feel good taking care of your baby during the day.So relax and have fun with her!! --M.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

Yeah, Prozac the answer to everything. Word of caution, it's never been truly tested on breastfeeding moms and their infants (total off-label use, and shockingly legal), and recent studies have shown that anti-depressants aren't even effective except very minimally in severely disturbed individuals. All the studies that have been done are done by the pharmaceutical companies and of course come up smelling like roses. (Would we trust the tobacco companies to do studies on their cigarettes????) Go with your mommy instinct and stay away. Your dreams, although disturbing, happen often, especially to first time moms (yes, I've had some pretty crazy dreams too). A homeopathic remedy called Calms-Forte by Hyland's worked wonders for me as well as a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Go to www.emofree.com for more info. Don't watch TV just before bed (sends stress signals to the brain), drink Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea, read a good book, and fall into a peaceful sleep. Give your subconscious mind time to catch up with your less anxious conscious mind and welcome to mommy-hood!

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W.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi!
Congratulations with your baby.
I love natural remedies. I believe that you can get help from natural herbal products that don't harm your baby and you. You can learn at www.Herbalhealer.com about natural hebs for you. If you sign for free membership and get free advice from natural doctor. She has great information about side effects of Prozac at the end of her web. She also has natural herbal remedies. Good luck.

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A.S.

answers from Lubbock on

I dream all kinds of dreams about my baby.The dreams have slowed down a little now that he is 8 months old.You just love your baby and dont want anything to happen to her.Dont let some one tell you your crazy.If you dont have a baby montier maybe you should get one it might make you feel safer.I still get up several times every night and check on our son.You just care I believe it is normal to worry especially with all the horrible stories you hear these days.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would guess that for one thing, hormones are still a factor, plus parenting being such a new and demanding thing, but besides those things, it sounds like irrational fears. You've discovered something awesome and precious in your new baby and it's later in your life, so it's particularly precious and you are afraid to loose it. It's almost too scary to even think about, so maybe your subconscious is having you deal with those difficult thought through dreams. It might help to process through some of those feelings by journaling--ask yourself those hard questions that may be too difficult to say out loud...If it doesn't go away, seek out someone to talk to at church. It will probably help to get it all out. Also, pray and ask God what it means. He often will answer. Hope it helps!

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same kind of dreams especially after my first child was born. I just think that we are getting used to the incredible responsibility of having someone so small completely depend upon us. As for the OB-GYN recommending an antidepressant, do you feel sad, overwhelmed all the time? Unable to complete daily tasks or care for the baby? Extremely Tired? These are signs of depression and if you are feeling this way you should talk to your doctor. I suffered from postpartum depression with my daughter and thank goodness my DH was paying attention and got me help. There are alot of medications out there that are safe when breastfeeding. I am currently taking effexor and am breastfeeding. It helps me cope and not feel so overwhelmed by 2 kids and a household. My son is perfectly fine and he's 8months. I'm not sure what to tell you about how to make the dreams go away. I think that eventually they'll taper off and maybe you'll be able to get some sleep (lol). PM if you need to talk:-}M.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

Consider having your thyroid checked. After I had my baby, mine stoped working. Let me tell you I went through some crazy depression including changed sleeping patterns and increased stress. I might be a solution. Other than that....All i can suggest is work on relaxation techniques before you go to bed. Meditate on not having those dreams anymore. Believe it or not, you can change a dream when it is happening. You just have to practice.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

WOW!!! Now that is crazy.... I am sorry to hear that. I am a super paranoid mom of two, 4 yr old son and 13 mon old daughter. I always think the worst when they are sleeping, driving in the car with anyone other than me, spending the night with grandparents, etc. I really struggled with the thought of SIDS. Even to this day i still check on both of my kids when i wake up at night, put my hand on their backs to feel them breathing. Maybe that is an underlying thought in the back of your mind and at night since she is sleeping so well and you don't hear her that you think about it subconsciously (sp?) and that is why you have the dream you do.... baby trapped under covers and can't breathe, suffocation, things that kind of go with SIDS... my husband finally told me to relax, there is nothing you can do to prevent that kind of thing if it is going to happen it is going to happen.... scary thought but true! and maybe something to do with the fact that your husband is out of town a lot.... don't really know how to help but just thought that i would share a little bit, hope it gets better! good luck:)

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M.E.

answers from Dallas on

I am a first time mom also and was 38 when my daughter was born, also named Abigail. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks before she was born because of high blood pressure. They gave me Ambien to help me sleep when I was in the hospital because they wanted me to rest. The night my baby was born I tried to not take the pill but when I tried to go to sleep I had very disturbing and very real dreams. They eventually had to give me something to sleep. When I got home with our daughter I had to same problem. I don't know why this happens but to me bringing home a new baby was a little like jet lag! That's the only way I know to describe it! I know your baby is older but when you wait as long as we did to have babies our whole lives are turned topsy turvy and you are bound to have some strange dreams. Everything you are used to just feels different and nothing is ever the same. I'm sure some of it is hormones too. My daughter was always good, never stayed up all night crying or never had colic or any problems but I still had to get used to a baby. She was a blessing but an unexpected blessing after trying for so long and not expecting to be taking care of a little person at our age. Just give yourself some time and I think you will eventually be okay. My dreams were never of my daughter but none the less they were not good dreams. I hope this helps a little. I would think as long as your dreams have nothing to do with hurting your child it will be something that passes. My daughter is almost 5 years old now and will be attending kindergarten soon. That to me is a whole other nightmare! Good luck!

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

After my second child, I had some issues with anxiety and such, including what you described...not every night but often enough. I take Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil every day and it has really helped me a lot. I read research stating that the EPA form of the Omega 3 helps with depression, anxiety, even bipolar disorder so I figured it would help me with my issues and it was natural. I read you can take 180mg for every 10 lbs of weight....anyways, maybe it will help ease your mind. Also, I don't know if this effects breastfeeding, but there is a natural product called L-Theanine that helps relieve stress. You take it as you feel stressed and in 15 minutes it works. If you take 2 at night, you will sleep well, that is what I am told from the health food store clerk at Mikes Health Collection in McKinney. Those are the two natural products that I use when needed...omegas daily and the L-Theanine just whenever.

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same dreams after mine was born! I thought I was going crazy :). I would scare by husband half to death and he would have to say "she is safe, she is in her crib", ect. I can not remember how long they lasted, but they did go away on thier own. If in your normal day you do not feel depressed or anxious, you might want to wait to try medications. However if it is effecting your daily life, you may try speaking to a therapist or psychiatrist.
I know how scary these dreams can be! Hang on. I think they will get better :).

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H.S.

answers from Dallas on

I couldn't believe it when I read this post - I had the exact same dream numerous times after my twins were born and found myself waking up while I was in the midst of frantically tryin to find one of my babies tangled in the covers of our bed. My husband and I never co-slept with the babies either. This was a very distrubing dream for me and I also had another dream numerous times about one of the babies drowning, which was also extremely real and scary. There must be something hormonal to this, and please don't think you need Prozac or anything. I think this is just a way for you (and me previously!) to adjust to the constant worrying now that you have a little one to take care of.
I haven't had the "covers" dream for a long time, but I still dream about one of them drowning sometimes and it scares me to death! The joys of motherhood!
This dream should pass for you, and you're subconscious will probably replace or supplement it with another one that's equally as scary! Seriously though, just know that you're normal and fine, and your baby is fine! Try to remember that thought when you wake up. Take care.

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hey there,
I went through this as well with my 2nd child. I couldn't believe it when I would wake up and have such horrifying thoughts. I was also a very happy mother and loved my kiddos. My doctor did suggest an anti-depressant as well. In which I took for about 4 months.It helped alot. I also started finding ways to relax my mind and soul before I went to sleep.(taking a bath, reading a comforting book,&etc.) Thinking calming and happy thoughts. Lack of sleep can trigger such crazy dreams too. Hope this was alittle helpful to you. =)

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

Dear D.,
There is an acashic language of the human dream time. This is not like the dream interpretation books you might see at all. They actually teach this dream language at The School of Metaphysics. You can call their dream hotline and very skilled and knowledgable people will decode it for you and tell you about the exact meaning of it. Keep a dream journal that says exactly what happened, how you were feeling, any colors, animals, mood in the air, etc.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had the exact same thing after the birth of my first child. I would "wake up" and be frantically searching the covers for my baby convinced he was in the bed under the covers and I had to get him out and couldn't find him. What is ironic is my husband did the same thing, at least once that I remember. I know I had some trouble with crazy hormones after my son was born. But I never attributed these dreams to that, it could be that, I just had not ever thought that. I have spoken to some other people that did the same thing, men and women actually.

I remember how scary and crazy it would feel to wake up searching for you child and then trying to figure out what was going on. All I can tell you is for me, they eventually went away. If you are someone that prays, you might try taking a few minutes before you go to bed and pray over your child and pray that you will have a peaceful night. It will eventually go away.

A little about me:
SAHM of 2 great kids. One bio, one adopted, ages 5 and 3. have a great husband who loves me dearly. Work part time out of the house.

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A.H.

answers from Tyler on

I would talk to your gyno about antidepressants or it could get worse. I suffered this very real problem with my second baby it was horrible! I took zoloft and got over it! Good luck I know its scary! But you can make it thru it!

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C.W.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same kind of thoughts and dreams when my son was a baby. And we adopted! Go with your gut on the doctor's advice and pray against the spirit of fear. That isn't from God. You have a wonderful new person that you are responsible for. That is a sobering fact. That is where you are most vulnerable right now. Your enemy is planting fear. But God loves your child even more than you and HE will give you wisdom to protect her as much as you can. Do what you are given to do and trust the Lord. For we have not been given a spirit of fear, but power, Love and sound sound mind. Reject those fiery darts and enjoy being a mom!

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

Prozac is not about depression - and often it's more about anxiety. I need it like a diabetic needs insulin. Not for being "crazy" but for the anxiety - and the post partum hormones made it worse. I've never been suicidal or nuts, but I know the difference when I don't take it. Sleep is important and hard enough as a mom. You are smart enough to watch how a drug affects you and tell the doc if it's not right - and you are also smart enough to ask the questions about whether it affects breast milk (Prozac does not in my recollection). Take care of yourself because you KNOW that baby will ALWAYS be ok if you are in charge! Try some new things to get a good night's sleep. J.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

I think it's pretty normal to have scary thoughts and dreams especially after the first baby. I know that I dealt with that a lot, and also a lot of my good friends had that as well. After I had my first (she's now 8) I had a hard time sleeping especially the first few nights because I had this fear she'd suddenly stop breathing. I did end up sleeping with her, but mostly because she woke a lot and I wasn't getting any sleep.

By the way that's a big part of some of these dreams; if you're not sleeping well it can play havoc on your dreams and thoughts. You say she's sleeping well though. Are you getting enough sleep?

I also have something that happens even now when I haven't had enough sleep. I sometimes will think I see something in the room as I'm waking up. I went to a psychiatrist worried I had some sort of mental illness. She explained that as we are in between that period of awake and asleep, our minds don't always know the difference between dream and reality and it's not a big deal. For me once I accepted that and decided not to let it scare me they went away. Mine were not scary though I would just think I saw my husband standing there for example. Have you prayed about it? I find that if I pray for those thoughts to be removed that it does help. :)

Take Care,
Chris

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R.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know if you've thought about this yet, but we dedicated our daughters soon after they were born..(Just by prayer not a ceremony at church)the 2nd child a lot sooner than the first one. I was like you and having some strange dreams and my aunt told me about this and how it worked for her grandchild. ( The grandmother was having the thoughts about her grandchild.) Anyway the grandmother and the mother prayed together that the child was dedicated to God and the thoughts/dreams that something bad was going to happen went away almost immediately. I also did this with my first child and got almost immediate results. I do not remember it on my 2nd child just the first. I think she was probably a couple of months old when we said this prayer. I agree with the other moms stress and lack of sleep have a lot to do with it we just have to be willing to put them in Gods hands. Bless you and your little one. It will get better!

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A.H.

answers from Abilene on

I recall having some paranoid type dreams when my 1st daughter was born. It usually had to do with someone trying to steel her...I had my first daughter at 33..could it be that we are so loving our babies that our mind just over analizes and brings all our fears in dreams? You can try a homeopathic spray (absolutely safe to you and baby with no side effects) called Bach's Rescue Sleep..it is made from flower essences..I've had some luck with it...they carry it at the health food store in abilene on s. 7th...i hope the dreams ease up..mine did..good luck!

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E.H.

answers from Tyler on

I wish I was a Daniel to interprete dreams, but I'm not. One think I know is that dreams in general do not relate to what we dream at all, and recurrent dreams are issues we need to resolve within ourselves. This have nothing to do with your faith in God. I want to think that the baby represents your new life as a mom, maybe you are anxious to be the best mom you could be and are questioning your capabilities to do so alone without your husband since he's away most of the time.
Did you try for a long time to get pregnant? Was it difficult?
those are things some of the issues that during the day you're to bussy to contemplate, but at night the brain continues working and trying to resolve fear or preocupations, not to mention that your body was a rumbling hormonal factory for nine month. It will probably take the same time to get back to your normal self. Let me reassure you that you are doing a wonderful job as a mommy, mention these stories to your child as she grows to know how much she's always been and forever will be loved.

Isaiah 40:11 "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young"

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C.L.

answers from Houston on

Hi D., I had my first and only child at age 38 and was living far from my family. It's a big responsibility and especially if you are parenting alone some/much of the time (I understand the traveling spouse situation, too,as now that baby is a teen and we face new challenges).

Anyway, here are a few ideas that have not been mentioned. First, I too am a Christian and know there is no way that I can raise this child without God's help! Stormie Omartian has written several wonderful Christian books and one that is always near my nightstand it "The Power of A Praying Parent". It's a book that will offer you comfort, prayers and peace about the things we worry about in the course of raising our precious children.

She has also written many other excellent books that tell her own stories as well as offer me lots of reassurance and peace. "Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On" is one that I often give to friends who are facing tough times.

Others have suggested some time for yourself before bed to relax and I agree. I like to read some Christian material before I go to sleep so THAT's what is in my mind as I drift off.

Another suggestion, based on personal experience, is that having a group of other moms to spend time with and relate to on a regular basis, especially if/when your husband is traveling, will help ease your mind. When I had my son, I was older than the other mothers I knew. Finding and talking with some other moms really helps! Maybe there is a Mothers Day Out program at your church or you might check out "MOPS". I found a two-year-old preschool program at a church and made older-parent friends that I still have to this day.

Our husbands, as much as we love them, don't necessarily "get it"; mine is great but often needs guidance with our son because he is so preoccupied with work...so having some mom-friends you can talk to will help you feel less isolated.

When I've had dreams like you suggest, I know I'm tring to tell myself something in my subconscious (I remember one VERY frightening dream that repeated itself but eventually stopped.) Maybe you are feeling so responsible for your daughter that you are afraid of forgetting about her or losing her, as your dream literally suggests.

If your husband is gone a lot you may feel that you are doing this alone most of the time. Do you have resources to find someone to help you now and then so you can get away a little now and then and give you some advice/help with your daughter?

Also, rather than to try medication first, maybe you can talk to a therapist who can reassure you. I bet you are a GREAT mom but parenting is all new--and truly, the hardest job I've ever had.

Lastly--sleep deprivation is really tough so that could also be making you feel less that your best and even more worried. Can you sleep when your baby sleeps and when your husband is home, take a nice long nap? This will pass with time when your daughter starts sleeping longer.

D., I can never have enough friends so sometime, if you'd like to talk to another mom who has been there, please feel free to email me. I'll keep you in my prayers in the meantime.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Congratulations on your new baby!
I have a 6 month old and I still have crazy dreams too. Blame hormones and general "new mom" anxiety!
I don't have a lot of advice, but I do have sympathy. Maybe it has to do with your husband being gone a lot. Mine is too, although not out of the country, but gone nonetheless.

I'd steer clear of the Prozac for sure. If you're not depressed and not struggling, don't fall for the "everything wrong is post-partum depression"... I had it with my first, not with the second.

This might not sound like any relief, but I think that in time, you will start sleeping like normal. You've probably got some anxiety about SIDS... all mothers do. I'm breastfeeding exclusively, and was still waking 3 times a night with my 6 month old... She's finally sleeping longer and I tell you, I sleep like a rock now! I think you'll start to relax a little by the time she's 6 months old or so.

I know you've probably tried this, but if not... try some prayer time before bed. Maybe get a devotional for new mothers and try to take 20 min or so before bed to relax. Pray that HE will take that anxiety away and pray for Peace. It will get better, hang in there!

Message me if you'd like to talk... I know what "feeling like a single mom" is like! I've just become a new SAHM too, and I'm loving it! But I miss the interaction with other ADULTS!

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

First, there's nothing wrong with anti-depressants but do not take Prozac. There are others, like Zoloft, which haven't had as much bad effects reported.

Even if you're not "depressed" I can totally understand why the dr. suggested meds. I wish I'd told someone about the dreams that popped into my head after my babies were born, but I found it so disturbing I just kept it inside. They got worse after each birth. After the third it bothered me so much I finally told someone, they gave me Zoloft and I was 100 times better.

It wasn't that I was sad or depressed, like you would assume, but I guess things in my system were "off" and the Zoloft really helped. Small doses of it can help you and you do not have to take it forever and it won't hurt the baby.

I think it happens to alot of women and many just don't talk about it. I'm glad you did.

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

I agree with the others. I had similar dreams...and truly feel it was just my own fears. She's my only child and of course wanted to be the best and supportive mother she can and give her everything she needs. I don't want anything to happen to her if I can help it. There's also a lot of horror stories out there to aid our fears. Do you have a video monitor? That always eased my mind...just looking and okay. Maybe it'll help you relax. We carried these precious gifts for 40 weeks (for me anyway!) and we definitely have an attachment! Relax and say a prayer for calm dreams. Here's to happy dreams! :)

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

You sound like a perfect family. I used to dream every night when my children were growing up. I was single when my children were 2 & 3. I would plan my day and activities and how to time manage the day. I was a hairdresser and would also design different customers hair in my dream. I planned what we were going to wear the next day, everything. I had a bout of migraine headaches years ago too. Over the years I realized it was having so much to do I stressed out. I planned by the minute getting to places for activities. One day I started to see dark faces and a migraine was coming I had dropped the children off a dance and it just hit me to relax. I talked myself out of that migraine. It has been pr0bably 12 yrs since I had a migraine and they were so bad I had to go get demoral shots at hospitals. I think your activities and trying to be a great mom have you a little stressed. Also being home alone as a single parent here and there take advantage of that. My second husband traveled a lot too. I learned a lot of skills being single. When he divorced me because of other women wanting my life, I was able to pick my self up and start over again. Maybe a warm bath and hot tea Camomile tea is a relaxer. I know when you have a little one you never really sleep hard and I taught myself to hear during the night when I sleep. I also learned to wake up at different times on my own without an alarm. clock. I think the key is to get calm. They say to read before bed. I also know what you read will effect what you dream later. So read self improvement books or calming Bible books and pray to Jesus that he will let you be free of this. You were smart not to let that baby be in your bed from the beginning. Our doctor said when we took our baby home he needed to be in his own room as soon as possible. We never had them in our bed. Husbands do not like to be deprived because of children in there anyway. Look at all the mamasource women that can not get their children to sleep in their rooms. Have a great life and great sleep. God Bless You G. W

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

I am not sure that your dreams are due to postpartum- per se. I had the same issue when we brought home our adopted son. For weeks I would dream that he was caught under the covers, and do the same thing you are doing, patting the covers, etc.. or I would wake up rocking the pillows (dreaming it was the baby). And he never slept in our bed with us.

I dont' know about your situation, if you have ever slept walked before. But when I was younger I slept walked a lot- and it seems to come back when I am under stress (like having a baby in the house). It may have to do with your hormones getting back under control. My dreams went away after about 6 months, it took me a while to get use to a baby in the house, and everything that brings with it.

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T.G.

answers from Dallas on

I too had similiar horrifing dreams. They were always in the nature that something very bad happend to the baby. My ob/gyn and lactaction consultants had prescribed Retalin and Fenugreek because my mom was never enough to sustain my baby. One of the side effects of Retalin is dreams "bad". I decided to bottle feed after that. Once I stopped meds dreams stopped.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

I had the same dream, every night ... and my baby never slept with us! I think its just a sign that you are very focused on / concerned for your baby ... so you brain keeps worrying, even when you are asleep. Eventually, the dreams started happening less often, then they went away! I definitely didn't have postpartum depression, and didn't need medication.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

Those are completely natural. I had HORRIBLE dreams when my son was born. It is possible that your dreams are a manifestation of postpartum depression even though in your waking life you feel fine. I would stay away from prozac but there are other drugs that are safe for breastfeeding moms that are not as strong and have fewer side effects.

I went about two years with depression (I was already prone to it and had suffered with it for many years) before I sought help. When I was put on Celexa, my whole world turned around and I was so much happier and I feel, a much better wife and mommy. I don't blame you for being taken aback but at least consider it carefully. Maybe things are not as wonderful during the day as you want to believe they are. Even if you don't go with medication, consider counseling if possible.

Postpartum depression can get extremely severe and you don't want to take any chances.

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,
I too had very similar dreams. They were not every night but several nights a week. Many times I wouldn't remember, but my husband would let me know that I was talking in my sleep and pounding on him...again! They seemed to last for several months. My daughter is now 2 1/2 years old and I haven't had those dreams in a very long time. Like your little one, my daughter slept through the night early too and I never felt I had any reason to have these aweful dreams. I think it is just our way of expressing our worries and anxieties of having a new baby that we have so much responsibility for. I'm pregnant with my second baby now, and really hope that it doesn't happen again. This might not have been too helpful, but wanted you to know you aren't the only one and it does go away...and you can actually laugh about it later!

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

I think what you're experiencing is similar to something called "sleep paralysis". My husband suffers from it occasionally and his sister experienced it only after childbirth. There's not a lot known about it other than stress can play a big factor in having "episodes". My husband has learned to "snap" out of it by reminding himself, even speaking outloud in his dream, "this is just a dream, this isn't really happening, I'll wake up and everything will be fine". In my sister-in-law's case, the dreams stopped after awhile. Childbirth is a stressful thing for the body and mind, so it will take some time for your body to snap out of it. You can try prozac if you just can't stand the dreams any more, but keep in mind that any antidepressant takes time to have its effect and by the time you start to notice a difference (assuming it helps) the dreams may be going away on their own. Try relaxation techniques at night before you go to bed. (warm bath, aroma therapy, meditation, whatever). Sometimes even reading a good book can help.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter is 4 months old and I too have been having the same dream since she was born. Reassuring to know it is common, especially to my husband! Hopefully they go away soon, because it is such a disturbing feeling to be unable to "find" the baby. My husband and I have agreed that he should immediately say, "The baby is in her crib. She is fine," rather than mumble,"Hey get off me" which is how he originally responded. Best wishes to you.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I have similar dreams with my newborn (now only 2 weeks) This is my 3rd child and I had "interesting" post-partum dreams with all three. My oldest, I continued to dream that I was dropping her, my middle; I dreamt that he was being smothered, and this one I dream that she falls off the bed.

We co-slept with all children until they were around 3-4 months, and the dreams continued until they were around 6 months or so. They simply faded away.

With my first one, the dr told me that your hormones take a while to get back to normal and will do crazy things with you mind & body in the mean time.

I suggest you just hang tight and relax. You may notice that they become less frequent and soon they may be gone.

-PS taking drugs will only mask the problem and could create other issues. Hang tight...You're older so it may take a while for your body to get back to normal.

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D.T.

answers from Dallas on

I had similar dreams after mine were born. It is totally natural. Even if you feel ok, your mind has stress about the new stiuation and the pressure of caring for a new little person. I would try to engage in a relaxing activity fora little while before bed like doing a puzzle or working on the baby book (NO TV OR COMPUTERS). Then as I was getting ready to go to bed, I would go into the nursery and look at her for a while. Just see her in the crib sleeping peacefully and knowing she is safe right before I went to bed. You can try to say it in your mind before you doze off, too. It will go away eventually. I don't think drugs are necessary unless you start to have problems getting through your day. I needed them with my second baby. I was crying all the time and feeling totally exhausted. If dreams are your only concern, it seems like a adrastic measure though. Do you have another new mom you can talk to about general baby stress stuff? That will probably help ease your mind, too.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I had the exact same dreams after my first son was born!! I would be physically searching for my baby in the bed, thinking he had fallen off or was under the covers. I feel like I'm a pretty laid back mom and my son also slept through the night at a very young age.

I think taking prozac is really an overkill since you are not depressed and not affecting you during the day (other than being tired). The dreams will taper off as your daughter gets older. I don't really have any remedies except maybe just try to nap when she does during the day. I know, you want to other things while she is napping, but the naps will be gone before you know it so take advantage!!

Sorry I don't have any answers for you, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone!!

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C.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi D.,
Congrats on your darling baby! It is wonderful being a mother. I think your ob is crazy for suggesting that you were depressed and needed medicine, especially since you are breastfeeding. I had these same dreams when I had my son. I woke up my husband many a night searching for my little one in the covers. I think it is a normal thing! You are a mother and mothers worry about their baby's. I had these dreams for about 4 or 5 months. My son also slept through the night when he was 2 months old. I think that praying about it before you go to sleep will help alot. It also gave me comfort to pray with my son when I put him down at night. I hope that this helps you some. I know that it is hard to relax when you have so many things to do but you need that time to unwind. I will be praying for you!

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,
I think your experience is very normal. Especially for more mature first time moms like us, who sometimes reflect more about things and often have high standards.

How fortunate you are that your subconscious speaks to you so clearly! You have something to work with! There is a strong link between mind body, which is best not to ignore. Your experience could be a combination of different things, rather than one thing. Hormones could play a role, as well as natural anxiety over all the responsibility of a new baby.

Western conventional physicians know nothing of mind body connection and often seek to disconnect you from your body -- with drugs like prozac. It's the best than can do, since their education is so EXTREMELY limited in scope. It's a shame, since many of them are capable of so much more.

For long term health and peace of mind, you might consider avoiding that dead-end trap of drugs, drugs and more drugs. Besides, is it really good for the baby to get prozac via your breastmilk? Rather, seek to explore why you have the dreams, not just seek to "get rid of them." Look at the dreams as a message to you. If you pay attention to it, you can learn things about yourself. Try asking for guidance or explanation from your angels before you go to bed. Go to bed with a positive outlook - "tonight I will learn something about myself that will help me be a better mother and live a more fulfilling life."

For stress relief, I recommend you try yoga. For starters, it is good to take time for yourself doing anything, nurturing YOURSELF, not just baby all day. Moreover, yoga in particular is an ancient healing system that, when practiced properly and regularly, can relieve tension and anxiety, improve hormone balance, and cure any number of physical and emotional ailments. It also helps enhance your own personal mind-body connection, so that you are more intuitive about what your physical and emotional bodies need and what steps you can take to improve your whole-body health. Finally, keep breastfeeding as long as possible. This is a tremendous boost for your hormones. There is research that post-partum depression rates would be much lower if breastfeed rates were higher. There is an inverse relationship between the two.

Remember, no external person will ever help you find the answer to your question. The answers lie within YOU. Trust your body wisdom. As you learn to do this for yourself, you will gain the ability to pass along this valuable ability to your daughter. What a lucky little girl she will be!

Try reading some books by Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD:
"Mother Daughter Wisdom"; "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdome"; etc. She knows a lot about this kind of stuff.

Good luck!

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