My piece on the phenomenon of nightmares during pregnancy is available to listen to here.
‘Pregnancy is supposed to be all happiness and humming lullabies — well, that’s what society and advertisers tell us, but the reality for most women is very different. It is estimated one in five women suffer from tokophobia, a pathological fear of childbirth and pregnancy. The idea of growing another human inside can make you anxious, unsettled and give you strange dreams like: eating your baby, misplacing it or harming it in some way, or giving birth to an insect or a ball of wool.
Strange ideas about pregnancy also persisted through history. In France it was believed looking at the moon whilst pregnant would lead to your child being a ‘lunatic’ and men have only recently been allowed into the room while a woman is giving birth.
Olivia Humphreys, who is contemplating motherhood herself, explores the taboos of pregnancy with writers, historians and scientists.’