Pregnancy is a magical and highly personal journey that comes with a range of emotional and physical transformations. While some changes may be anticipated, others can take you by surprise. One such change that many women experience during pregnancy is the perception of shadows.
The presence of shadows can create an illusion, leading you to perceive objects that do not truly exist. On occasion, it may appear as though a figure cloaked in shadow is walking, standing, or floating in front of you or concealed behind a door, and there are even instances where they seem to materialize in mirrors. However, what causes these occurrences?
The phenomenon of seeing shadows during pregnancy is not uncommon. Many women report seeing shadows or floaters in their vision, especially during the second and third trimesters. This is due to a combination of factors, including hormonal changes, increased blood flow, and heightened sensitivity in the eyes. As your body adjusts to accommodate the development of your baby, there is a chance that alterations may take place in your vision, too.
Mysticism & Spirituality
There exists a tale whose origin and author remain unknown, suggesting that expectant mothers were once visited by a presumed entity referred to as the “spirit of pregnancy.”
There was a “good” spirit and a “bad” spirit, despite their identical appearance as black human-like shadows.
The good spirit was believed to be the essence of a deceased parent or loved one of the expecting woman. It is said that its shadow would occasionally manifest as a way to remind pregnant women that their loved ones were with them and watching over them with affection.
The previous resident of the pregnant woman’s house was believed to be a bad spirit who did not want anyone else living there. This ghost, known as “the master of the house,” made its presence known to pregnant women in order to express their displeasure over their pregnancy and the prospect of another person living in its domain.
Common Causes of Seeing Shadows During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, there are various factors that can contribute to the experience of shadows or floaters. By understanding these causes, you can effectively manage and decrease their occurrence.
During pregnancy, your body experiences significant hormonal changes. These changes can affect various parts of your body, including your eyes. Estrogen and progesterone levels increase during pregnancy, leading to alterations in the configuration of the cornea – the transparent front part of your eye. These changes can alter the way your eyes refract light, resulting in the perception of shadows or floaters.
Increased Blood Flow
Pregnancy also causes an elevation in blood circulation throughout the entire body, which includes the eyes. This increased blood flow can cause your eyes to be more sensitive to light, which can lead to the perception of shadows or floaters.
As your body prepares for the arrival of your baby, your senses may become more acute. This heightened sensitivity can extend to your eyes, making you more aware of shadows or floaters that you may not have noticed before.
Psychological Factors Contributing to the Perception of Shadows
While physical factors like hormonal changes and increased blood flow can contribute to the perception of shadows during pregnancy, there may also be psychological factors at play.
Anxiety And Stress
Pregnancy is often a period of heightened stress, with anxiety being a common occurrence. Anxiety can cause you to become hyper-aware of your body and its sensations, including those related to your vision. This can make you more likely to notice shadows or floaters that may not have been there before.
Sleep is gold, as many would say, but it can be challenging to get enough sleep during pregnancy. Seeing shadows while pregnant could be caused by sleep deprivation, which can cause eye fatigue, leading to the perception of shadows or floaters.
Medical Conditions That May Cause Seeing Shadows While Pregnant
While seeing shadows during pregnancy is usually nothing to worry about, there are some medical conditions that can cause changes in vision. These conditions may require medical attention.
Preeclampsia, a complication during pregnancy, has the potential to result in elevated blood pressure and harm to various organs, such as the eyes. In severe cases, preeclampsia can lead to vision changes, including the perception of shadows or floaters. If you experience sudden changes in vision or other preeclampsia symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Gestational diabetes (aka. diabetes type 3) is a type of diabetes that commonly develops during pregnancy. This particular type of diabetes can lead to alterations in eyesight, such as the experience of seeing shadows or floaters.
If you have gestational diabetes, your goal is to manage and keep track of your blood sugar levels.
Tips For Managing And Reducing The Occurrence of Seeing Shadows
If you’re experiencing shadows or floaters during pregnancy, there are some things you can do to manage and reduce their occurrence.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you’re spending a lot of time looking at a computer screen or other electronic devices, take frequent breaks to rest your eyes. Shift your gaze from the screen of your phone or laptop and fixate on an object in the distance for a brief period of time.
Staying well-hydrated by consuming an ample amount of water can effectively prevent eye dehydration and alleviate eye tiredness. On a daily basis, it is recommended that adults consume eight glasses of water, with pregnant women advised to drink an additional one to two glasses.
Get Enough Sleep
A body without quality sleep is not a healthy body. During pregnancy, it is recommended for women to get an additional two hours of sleep compared to non-pregnant adults, aiming for a total of eight to nine hours.
When to Seek Medical Advice for Seeing Shadows During Pregnancy
In most cases, seeing shadows during pregnancy is nothing to worry about. However, if you experience sudden changes in vision or other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical attention.
Symptoms To Watch For
Some symptoms that may indicate a more serious issue include:
- Sudden increase in the number of shadows or floaters
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Flashes of light
- Pain or redness in the eyes
- Headache or nausea
If you encounter any of these signs, promptly seek medical assistance.
Stories From Other Pregnant Women Who Have Seen Shadows
Many pregnant women have experienced the perception of shadows or floaters during pregnancy. Hearing from others who have gone through similar experiences can be reassuring. Here are a few stories from around the internet (Reddit and Quora):
“I Thought I Was Losing My Mind”
“I remember the first time I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye. I was so scared that I was losing my mind. But when I talked to my healthcare provider, she reassured me that it was a normal side effect of pregnancy. It was such a relief to know that I wasn’t alone and that everything was okay.”
“I Had to Get Glasses”
“During my pregnancy, I realized that my eyesight had deteriorated as I started experiencing blurry vision and seeing shadows. It was a completely new experience for me because I had never required glasses in the past. Seeking professional help, I visited an eye doctor who confirmed that I needed glasses. This revelation brought immense relief as it meant that I could regain clear vision once again.”
Seeing shadows during pregnancy is a common phenomenon that many women experience. While it can be unsettling, it’s usually nothing to worry about and is simply a normal side effect of pregnancy.
Whether or not this phenomenon holds any spiritual meaning is uncertain. Nevertheless, if it causes discomfort in your daily life and pregnancy, it is advisable to consult with a specialist. Remember that as a pregnant woman, you have the responsibility of taking care of both your own health and the well-being of your unborn child.