The Nightmare Common to New Moms

I’m up late, not because of a nightmare so much as stress-induced insomnia, and I came across this Chicago Sun-Times article. It’s about a new study that shows almost three out of four new mothers have nightmares about their baby in distress. Often, the nightmare centers around the baby being lost somewhere in your bed.

Oh my God! I totally suffered from this exact problem for the first few months of Cassie’s life. I must have awakened several times each day/night with the absolutely gut-wrenching (and imagined) horror that I was accidentally smothering her in the bed. We didn’t even co-sleep, though occasionally I would hold her while trying to get her to sleep–and then nod off myself.

Why do we have these horrible nightmares? According to the study’s lead researcher, they “are a normal result of the pressures of new responsibilities, lack of sleep and hormonal changes.” Boy, it just feels better knowing what I experienced was normal–even if it was awful at the time.

Did anyone else suffer from these postpartum nightmares?

10 thoughts on “The Nightmare Common to New Moms

  1. Oh yeah, all the time. I would jump out of bed and start pulling the blankets off in a complete panic.

  2. Yep! Adam woke up one night and ripped the bed apart looking for the Little One. She was, of course, safe in her bassinet.

  3. I had one where I had to watch my daughter freeze to death outside through a window.

    That was 2 years ago, and it still makes me cry.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That’s so funny. I really thought I was the only one losing her mind! I would roll my husband out of bed thinking he was sleeping on top of the baby only to find out the baby was safely in his crib. And we didn’t even co-sleep! I’m losing it.

  5. I had those dreams, too! I think along with parenthood comes this whole new level of fear. I have such horrible nightmares sometimes. I have had some really scary ones recently since the little girl in Anderson was left in her car. I’ve just been haunted by that.

  6. I had that exact same nightmare even though my son had never slept in our bed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am glad to know that this is normal. I dream about both my 3month old and my two year old being in bed with me even though we never co-slept with either.

  8. Funny! I had those all the time. One time I woke up scrambling around sure that she was lost in bed and picked up the butt end of my 60 pound dog and dragged him over on top of me!

    LOL at the fact that the article included an acronym for it and stated it like a disease!! “…mother battled BIB…”

    I guess that makes us BIB survivors. 🙂

  9. I remember having those too, only for me, they didn’t go away. They just change from the bed or being lost to other things, some worse. I still get up regularly and have to go check on them. What’s up with that??

  10. It’s good to know I’m not the only one experiencing this! I have nightmares pretty much every night about my 11mo swallowing random objects, crawling around our master bedroom while we sleep, falling down the stairs, suffocating in our sheets, rolling off the bed…a whole mess of crazy things and it is driving me insane! I don’t worry about these things so much during the day but maybe it catches up with me. I think it’s this immense love we hold for our LO’s and the great fear of something happening to them – I would probably die of a broken heart if anything happened to me rainbow baby!

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