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Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 26 (part 3) - Dreams

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Dreams

Are you having weird dreams during pregnancy? Are they intense and vivid? Do some of them frighten you? Do you remember more dreams when you wake up than you ever did before? This is natural. A woman often dreams a lot, in great detail, during pregnancy and remembers her dreams more easily. Dreams may be more emotional than usual.

Researchers once believed dreams were random thought patterns that occurred while you slept. Today, they consider dreams to be your body’s effort to play back ideas and thoughts about what has happened in the past. They may be your subconscious mind’s way of working out important feelings. Pregnancy brings a lot of stress and change in your life. When you dream, you may be attempting to deal with all that is going on. Dreams may be helping you prepare to become a mother.

 

What Do Your Dreams Mean?

Your Dream

What It May Mean

About your mother

You are aware of your own
impending motherhood

Baby animals that are cuddly

You know the fetus is growing

Baby’s appearance

Your hopes and fears about
your baby

Building, factories, construction
sites

You’re aware of your growing
baby

Carrying something heavy;
having trouble walking

You know you’re gaining weight

Driving a large car or truck

You feel awkward

Former boyfriends or lovers

You want to feel attractive

Large animals

Awareness the fetus is growing
larger

Open door, falling, blood

You fear a miscarriage

Partner being difficult

You crave security

Partner having an affair

You feel unattractive

Water, ocean, lakes, pools

You are aware of the amniotic
fluid

Dreams occur while you are in REM sleep, which is the deepest sleep phase. Most people have four to five episodes of REM sleep each night. In reality, you don’t dream more dreams or dream any more often while you’re pregnant.

One reason you remember your dreams more readily is you probably wake up more often during the night. It’s a fact that when you wake up to try to get comfortable or to go to the bathroom while a dream is still fresh in your mind, you’ll remember it more easily. Another reason you may be dreaming more is you may be getting more sleep at night because you’re more tired than normal. A third reason is hormones; progesterone and estrogen may increase the amount of time you dream and your recall of dreams.

To help you come to terms with some of your dreams, it may help to keep a journal or diary of your dreams. Jot down your dream as soon as you wake up. It may be fun to share them with your child when he or she gets older.

Dream Themes. What you dream is unique to you. However, studies have found themes and ideas common in dreams, including pregnancy dreams. Many pregnant women have dreams that are similar. Let’s examine some common themes.

In the first trimester, you may dream about your childhood or events that occurred in the past. It may be your mind’s way of dealing with unresolved situations from your past. You may also dream about gardens, fruits and flowers, signifying the growing baby inside you. Water images may also be part of your dreams.

Second-trimester dreams may relate to how your relationship will be with your baby, such as getting to know your baby and bonding with him or her. Baby may first appear in your dreams in a formless way, becoming more definite as weeks pass. Dreaming about animals and pets can also symbolize your growing baby.

In your third trimester, dreams may help you get ready for baby’s birth. Labor and delivery are common themes. In dreams, labor and delivery are pain-free! You may also dream about how your baby looks or feels to hold. You may find your dreams focusing on water; this may occur because water is the source of all life.

Dad Tip

As pregnancy moves along, a lot of women start to feel unattractive. They may experience swelling in their hands and feet. They may find their hair and nails have changed. Their skin may not be normal for them. And their tummy is growing and growing! Try to reassure your partner that you know she’s going through a lot to give your baby a healthy start in life. Take her on a date—go to dinner and a movie! Tell her she’s beautiful. Take a full-view picture of her as a remembrance of how lovely she is now.

Other researchers divide dreams into categories, including relationships, identity and fear. Relationship dreams deal with the fact that many of your personal relationships will change when you become a mother. You may dream about your own parents, your partner, friends and other family members. This also includes bonding with baby.

Dreams that deal with your identity may be about your new role as a mother. You may dream about your job and your new baby or your feelings about becoming a mom. In your dreams, you may not take very good care of baby, like misplacing him or her; this may reflect some ambivalence toward becoming a mother. Don’t let these types of dreams upset you—many women have them.

Dreams that cover situations, feelings or events that frighten you address the fact that you may be anxious about becoming a mother or you may be nervous about your baby’s health. Many of your fears may be unrecognized or unnamed. Dreams may help you deal with these fears. Labor and delivery, especially if this is your first baby, can also be scary because it’s something you’ve never experienced before. Your dreams may be a way to rehearse this important event. Anxiety dreams may indicate you’re trying to deal with a situation or problem.

Recurrent dreams suggest you may not be dealing effectively with a situation, and it’s unresolved. If your recurrent dream appears in the form of a nightmare, it may mean it is very important to you.

Dads-to-Be Dream, Too. You may not be the only one having dreams—your partner may also be having some. His dreams indicate he’s experiencing fear, anxiety and hope, just as you are. Pregnancy dreams can be strong for a man. His dreams may also reflect certain themes. One common theme is being left out of what is happening or dreams about what the baby will look like. Dads-to-be may dream they are pregnant or giving birth. Celebrations may also be part of their dreams.

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