Announcing our new prenatal class schedule! Call us to reserve your spot… 312.440.3810 #chicagoobgyn #chicago #chicagoparent #chicagoprenatal #thewomensgroupofnw #magmile #chicagobaby
Our very own Dr. Julie Levitt was interviewed an article regarding Dreaming and pregnancy for Live Science
The anxiety and physical discomforts of pregnancy can play out in dreams — or nightmares.
The fractured logic and mystifying images that appear in dreams can be downright bizarre for anyone. But one of the hallmarks of pregnancy seems to be the onset of dreams that are unnervingly intense or that seem stranger than usual.
Back in May, pop singer Cardi B, who welcomed her first baby last Tuesday (July 10) — tweeted about experiencing “weird, crazy, spooky dreams,” writing in a second tweet that all of her dreams were “too vivid.” And she’s not alone. Studies have found that pregnant women reported more nightmares and more intense dreams than nonpregnant women, and that women in the last trimester of their pregnancies described more frequent nightmares during that stage than during the earlier trimesters.
What is it about pregnancy that causes troubled dreaming? Turns out, it has to do with troubled sleeping. [7 Mind-Bending Facts About Dreams]
Bring me a dream
The human sleep cycle has five stages, one of which — rapid eye movement, or REM — makes up about 25 percent of sleeping and is the stage when most dreaming occurs, according to the National Institutes of Health. When you fall asleep, you enter the first REM stage after about 70 to 90 minutes, and REM sleep occurs several times during the night as your sleep cycle repeats.
As you dream, your brain is actively sorting through recent experiences and emotions, and dreaming is thought to play a role in memory consolidation and processing new information, Dr. Ryan Donald, a physician and assistant professor of sleep medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Live Science.
But if a person’s sleep cycle is broken and they wake up during a REM stage, they would be more likely to vividly recall what they’re dreaming — and pregnant women often experience disturbed sleep at different pregnancy stages, according to Dr. Julie Levitt, an OB-GYN and clinical instructor at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.
“Rising progesterone levels in the first trimester can trigger insomnia — that’s fairly common,” Levitt told Live Science. That usually abates at 12 to 16 weeks into the pregnancy, but the onset of the third trimester, about 28 weeks and beyond, brings increasing physical discomfort that can disrupt nighttime rest, she explained.
“Quality of sleep is the poorest right before you’re about to deliver the baby,” Levitt said. “You have to get up to pee at night, or you might snore, or have sleep apnea.” (People with sleep apnea experience very shallow breathing or pauses in breathing while they’re asleep.)
Restless legs syndrome, a disorder that causes an intense urge to move the legs, can also manifest during pregnancy and interrupt much-needed sleep, Donald added. Frequent sleep disruption increases the likelihood of waking up during the REM stage of the sleep cycle, which makes dreams seem more immediate, intense and memorable, Donald said.
“Lower sleep quality, shorter sleep duration, more interruptions during sleep: These all can increase the likelihood of remembering dreams,” he said. [Is ‘Pregnancy Brain’ Real?]
A dream to some, a nightmare to others
Pregnant women also report more frequent nightmares, many of which have to do with childbirth or danger to the newborn baby, according to a study published in November 2016 in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. Researchers surveyed 406 pregnant women, ages 17 to 44, and found that they reported nightmares more than twice as often as women who were not pregnant, and that those nightmares were often baby-related.
Pregnancy, particularly the third trimester, is a period of heightened stress; perhaps increased daytime stress for pregnant women could explain why nightmares are more frequent during pregnancy, the scientists wrote.
Another study, published in June 2014 in the journal Sleep Medicine, surveyed 57 pregnant women who were in the last trimester of their pregnancies; 32 percent described having weekly nightmares, and 21 percent reported more than one nightmare per week.
Levitt experienced nightmarish dreaming firsthand during her own pregnancy, when she dreamed that she gave birth to a litter of puppies, she told Live Science.
“You have these dreams, and you’re like, ‘What in the world? Where did that come from?’” Levitt said. “I think it’s based on things people might worry about on a day-to-day basis. A lot of the daytime fears that we walk around with tend to reveal themselves in dreams at night.”
Original article on Live Science.
A big thank you to everyone that donated to the Medical Supplies Drive. We wanted to share a video of the delivery of supplies to Puerto Rico. Together we made a huge difference in many lives.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”. Maya Angelou
Printable Puerto Rico hurricane relief campaign flyer
We are excited to announce new dates for The Women’s Group of Northwestern prenatal classes! Our prenatal classes will cover topics such as Pregnancy & Basic Nutrition, Labor & Delivery, Postpartum Care & Breastfeeding and Newborn Care. Future classes will be held in the evenings and weekends on certain dates in July, August, and September. Call our office at 312.440.3810 to register. We hope that you will be able attend. Thank you very much and we look forward to seeing you at your next visit.
June 2017 – ZIKA UPDATE
To learn more about Zika please visit:
to view a video about Zika
February 2017 –
Dr. Elena M. Kamel of The Women’s Group of Northwestern attended the American Heart Association Chicago Go Red For Women Luncheon to support women’s heart health. There was a beautiful sea of red at the beautiful Palmer House ballroom! Congratulations to all the amazing volunteers and staff on a great Chicago Go Red for Women Luncheon! Go Red For Women – American Heart Association in Chicago has been a leader in the community, bringing awareness and education on heart disease, the No. 1 killer in women. #ChicagoGoesRed #GoRedForWomen
Dr. Jordan Sheran delivered a 6lbs. 14oz. baby girl named Olivia on January 8th, 2017! She is just perfect.
January 30, 2017
ACOG has released a Practice Advisory: Update on Seafood Consumption During Pregnancy in response to the FDA’s and EPA’s revised advice regarding fish consumption. ACOG encourages pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers to follow the FDA and EPA’s revised advice; to avoid raw and undercooked seafood; and to discuss the revised advice and the potential benefits of seafood consumption with their obstetrician-gynecologists or other obstetric providers. Practice Advisories constitute ACOG clinical guidance.
2016 Highlights –
Important information from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology about the Zika Virus – Interim Guidance for Care of Obstetric Patients During a Zika Virus Outbreak (CDC issues interim travel guidance related to Zika virus for 14 Countries and Territories in Central and South America and the Caribbean) http://www.acog.org/…/Practice-Advisory-Interim-Guidance-fo…
We are so proud to have been a part of the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation #5k/walk! The Lynn Sage #5k RunWalk was a huge success and a great time. It was great meeting everyone that came over to our tent!!
Dr. Levitt participated in the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon with patients, friends and family cheering her on. Congratulations, you inspire us all with your commitment to fitness!
*** We will have more specific information regarding our tent location (meeting point) and any other update in this section. Please check back with us.
Posted September 20th, 2015
Congratulations to all who participated in the first Kevin J Lederer Run For Life event on September 20th! What a beautiful day and 100K was raised that will fund research and 8 IVF cycles for couples in need . We commend Dr Eve Feinberg and all who worked so hard to create such an amazing event. We are proud of the Women’s group of Northwestern team and commend Zoe Levitt and Jonathan Kamel on their athletic awards and fast race times. Thank you to all for your support !
Like us on our new Facebook Page! The Women’s Group of Northwestern FaceBook
Go Red for Women Community Expo
So proud to support Heart Disease Awareness with Go Red For Women. Our hearts are so important . Great moment for The Women’s Group and Northwestern Medicine.
(L-R) Beverly Johnson and Stephanie Silas at the Go Red for Women Community Expo.
Go Red for Women Community Expo
From the beginning of the Go Red movement in Chicago, The Women’s Group of Northwestern has been at the forefront in supporting Heart disease awareness for women! We are very excited to be a part of this event, please visit our table…
Prentice mom reflects on Northwestern Medicine physician “dream team” who cared for her and her oldest daughter.
Please take a moment to read this wonderful article currently featuring partner Dr. Kameljeet Murthy and her husband Dr. Karna Murthy on the Northwestern Memorial Blog. This article details a patients experience with her “DREAM TEAM”. It’s a very heartwarming story filled with compassion and much love. This makes me so proud of my colleague and her contribution to excellent patient care.
We welcome our New provider!
Dear friends and colleagues, We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Jordan Sheran joined The Women’s Group of Northwestern in the fall of 2014. She is a wonderful addition to our group with tremendous surgical skills and is extremely personable. She is currently accepting new patients.
Real Men Read Literacy Program
We wanted to share a quick follow up on all our efforts for the Real Men Read literacy program. Thank you to all our friends that helped make this a dream come true! http://blog.nm.org/home/prentice-physicians-staff-patients-help-real-men-read-literacy-program