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?
What It May Mean
About your mother
You are aware of your own
Baby animals that are cuddly
You know the fetus is growing
Your hopes and fears about
Building, factories, construction
You’re aware of your growing
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
Awareness the fetus is growing
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
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.
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.
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
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.