While most pregnant women are well acquainted with the obvious pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, many are surprised by the amount, themes, and vividness of dreams in pregnancy.
Not only do women have more vivid dreams in pregnancy, they also suddenly have the ability to recall most of their dreams, especially those dreams with pregnancy as the main topic.
This sometimes comes as an unpleasant surprise and can be a highly unsettling occurrence that affects a pregnant woman’s sleep and general well-being since it takes away from the precious resting time they so desperately need.
So, why do pregnant women have more vivid dreams?
Let’s start by saying that not all pregnancy dreams are necessarily dreams about pregnancy.
Yes, dreams of pregnancy and things related to pregnancy are usually a part of these dreams, but the vividness of the dreams is generally heightened, even when the dreams are not pregnancy-related.
Your body is going through so many changes right now. The hormonal state of your body greatly affects your physical, but also emotional state.
Due to the hormonal changes your body is going through, your sleep patterns change as well.
Many pregnant women say that they feel as though they dream more often and have much better dream recall than usual, with content that is completely different to what they usually dream. They might dream of carrying a baby in their arms or have really strange dreams.
Another reason for having more dreams while pregnant can also come from the fact that most women sleep more during that period of life, which results in more REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep, a phase of sleep in which we dream) However, the dreams are still mostly caused by the changes in hormone levels.
While many women start dreaming about their own maternal representation, something they probably never dreamt of before being pregnant, many also report having more disturbing dreams and nightmares that relate to their everyday life outside of being pregnant.
Let’s explore some of the most common dreams pregnant women have and their meaning, so we can tackle the problem of learning how to handle these dreams and improve your sleep overall.
9 Most Common Pregnancy Dreams And Their Meaning:
1. Gender of your baby
So many pregnant women dream about the gender of their baby.
What’s interesting is that most of these women actually start believing that the gender they’ve dreamt of is indeed the gender of their baby.
Some families choose not to find out before birth, and then often the mom’s subconscious comes out in these dreams.
Having a dream about your baby being a boy or a girl doesn’t mean at all that the gender you dreamt of is the baby’s actual gender, but it can point to the fact that you’re subconsciously wishing for one or the other, or have some fears about having one or the other, depending on how you felt during your dream.
These dreams are usually pretty sweet and leave women feeling happy and peaceful with an incredible yearning to finally meet their child.
2. Giving birth to an animal
Some women have unpleasant dreams in which they are going through labor, hoping to finally see their baby but end up giving birth to an animal instead.
These dreams often come as a shock and can be quite disturbing.
Still, there’s nothing alarming about this dream. Many soon to be new moms start connecting to their ‘animal’ instincts more than ever while pregnant.
There is nothing more natural and beautiful than carrying a new life inside of you. While these dreams are often considered to be ‘bad dreams’, they are really just pointing to that side of you.
Another reason you might be dreaming about giving birth to an animal (or an alien, or an object…) is the fact that (whether you admit it or not) you are afraid of the unknown.
A new baby always brings much happiness and excitement, but also all kinds of worries and fears.
3. Giving birth or knowing that you’re carrying twins
Many pregnant women report having dreams about carrying twins or giving birth to them. It often happens in the first trimester, before a woman knows what’s really happening in her belly.
This dream reflects the possibility that the woman could be carrying twins.
For some women, it comes from a great desire to have twins, and for some, it represents their fear of such a turn of events.
Women who dream about having twins in their second trimester or last trimester, when they already know they’re carrying one baby, could be experiencing a fear of the obligations the new baby brings.
4. Losing your baby
In the first trimester, many women are afraid that they might miscarry.
This dream happens equally to women who’ve never been pregnant before, to those who had pregnancies before without any complications, and to those who unfortunately have miscarried once or more.
The worry that something might happen to your unborn child is inherent and that’s something that’s equal for all moms and all new moms to be.
The dream of losing your baby does not in any way mean that something like that will actually happen, but rather it represents all the fear you’re carrying within.
For moms in their third trimester or those who are just a couple days away from their due date, this dream comes from the fear of something unwanted happening during their labor.
Falling dreams are usually connected to anxiety and fear of the changes happening in your life.
Let’s be honest, there’s more than enough of that happening while you’re pregnant.
The dream of constantly falling through space without ever reaching the ground is your brain’s way of releasing some of the pressure that comes from everything new happening in your life.
Pregnancy brings many changes as it is, but thinking about what’s to come once you actually have the baby adds a whole lot more potential complications and a variety of changes to how your life might look.
It’s a stressful period, and these dreams actually reflect just that.
6. Dreams about traveling
Having dreams about packing for a trip or actually going somewhere (more often than not without knowing what your final destination is) are dreams that are caused by the fear of the unknown.
Many common themes of dreams in pregnancy are caused by this fear.
You’re aware that something big is coming, but you don’t really know much about how things are going to happen.
If you’re a first-time mom you’re scared of not knowing what to do and how to take care of your newborn (despite all the content you’ve read and all the advice you’ve received from the very moment you saw that other line or a plus on your pregnancy test)!
If this isn’t your first child, you might be scared about how your life is going to look after you’ve had this child.
You’re probably worrying about how your older children will adapt to the new baby and how your everyday life will change overall.
7. All kinds of nightmares
The most disturbing aspect of having nightmares in pregnancy is how incredibly vivid they are.
They honestly don’t feel like a dream, but rather like real life.
The dream content of these unsettling nightmares may vary, but you’re always left with this dreadful feeling, sometimes even days after having the dream.
You can’t seem to shake it off and it starts to affect your performance in everyday activities.
You may even start thinking there’s something wrong with your mental health at this point, that’s how horrifying these dreams sometimes become.
Rest assured, there’s nothing wrong with you. None of these dreams really mean anything. The dreams of pregnant women are often filled with anxiety and worry.
They mostly come from all the pressures of the looming motherhood, and later on, we’ll give you advice on how to try and avoid nightmares.
8. Dreams of something bad happening to your child
Even before your little one is born, you start worrying about them. You’re scared of how you’ll fit the mother role and if you will be able to protect your child.
Dreams about something bad happening to your little one (losing them somewhere, them getting sick or hurt in any way) are a reflection of those fears.
Let’s be honest, we can’t predict our future, and bad things sometimes happen. No one worries more about this than new moms.
We get overwhelmed with all the incredible love we suddenly feel for this vulnerable creature who depends on us for survival and care.
This often results in worrying more than we should, so much so that it comes up in our dreams.
It’s something we almost constantly think about while awake and it’s really no surprise it comes up in our sleep as well.
9. Going through labor
One of the common fears of all pregnant women, especially those nearing their due date, is the fear of labor.
We worry about all kinds of things: Will it go well? Will our baby be okay?
Will something surprising and unwanted happen during labor? How much will it hurt? There are so, SO many questions…
It really makes sense to have labor as one of your dream themes.
Dreams about giving birth can be really repetitive and stressful, especially if you dream about the labor not going well, but it can also be very pleasant when everything goes right in the dream and you get a preview of all the wonderful emotions you’ll feel when you do actually give birth to your little one.
6 Best Tips On How To Sleep Better And Minimize Nightmares During Pregnancy
1. Share your fears with a friend or a family member
The best way to avoid your fears haunting you in your sleep is to deal with them while you’re awake.
What better way to do that than share what’s bugging you with someone who’s been through the same, or someone who knows and loves you such as your spouse, your best friend, or a family member.
2. Keep your room comfortable
The general rules of good sleep definitely apply here. Make sure your bedroom is dark, just the right temperature, and peaceful. You don’t want anything contributing to your sleeping troubles.
3. Avoid screen time before sleep
Scrolling through social media right before sleep is not such a great idea.
You may think you’re relaxing, but you’re actually overwhelming your brain and bringing it into a state that’s more likely to produce those exact unpleasant dreams you’re trying to avoid.
4. Work on learning how to relax
During pregnancy, increased anxiety is perfectly normal, but you need to find ways to relax. Take long walks in nature, cook, listen to music, or do anything that seems to help you adapt to your new emotions and struggles, and then unwind.
5. Avoid sleeping too much during the day
Many pregnant women take naps, and while they are super comfy and enjoyable, they may result in your body needing less sleep during the night which only contributes to you not sleeping well.
No matter how many sleeping positions you change, if you sleep too much during the day — night time sleep may not happen.
6. Try to avoid taking liquids before sleep
One of the best-known problems of pregnancy sleep is needing to go to the toilet too often. This interrupts your sleep which often makes it hard to nod off again.
Avoid taking in liquids too close to bedtime to try and minimize the nightly visits to the toilet.
To wrap up…
I hope you’ve figured out the reasons behind your pregnancy dreams and found our advice on how to sleep better during pregnancy helpful.
Dreams in pregnancy don’t always have to be stressful, there’s really nothing lovelier than dreaming about your little one while you’re waiting to meet them (except for actually meeting them).
Do whatever is in your power to stress less and enjoy these days as much as you can, because they too will be gone.
Even if you have terrible nightmares about a baby dying, don’t take this as a sign that something will go wrong. It’s probably just your anxiety manifesting itself as bad dreams!
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