The bizarre dreams you have during pregnancy (and what they mean)

We all dream, but when you are pregnant your dreams tend to be vivid. Read on to find out what those strange pregnancy dreams are really saying about your parenting. By Kim Bell

Pregnancy dreams - what they mean

Analysing dreams, and in particular, pregnancy dreams, is not new. In fact, Alan Siegel, a clinical psychologist in private practice, and assistant clinical professor at the University of California at Berkley has been studying and reporting on these since the 1970s. He explains that: “Dreams are universal, but for each individual, they may have a different meaning.” He reports that there are around 10 to 15 dreams that are common during pregnancy (some of which may also be experienced by the expectant dad). Pregnant women don’t necessarily have more dreams than those who are not, but according to a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, you may report more nightmares.

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According to the lead author, Jessica Lara-Carrasco, a clinical psychologist in Montreal, Canada, hormonal changes interrupt sleep, which means your dreams can be more disturbing and perhaps more memorable due to waking frequently. Lara-Carrasco explains that as you have a lot of imagery during the day, as you think about how you will be as a mother. “Dreams are more impactful,maybe because women are more aware of the changes and stress about the future,” she was quoted as saying. Siegel concurs, saying that your nightmares help you prepare by making you anxious and you will want to develop ways to be a better parent. “Nightmares may actually help us by allowing us to work through both at night and be left with important issues that you have to ponder and work through, based on the nightmares. So, they may actually be a positive sign.”

Here are 7 bizarre, but common, pregnancy dreams

Teeth falling out, crumbling or breaking

Teeth, says Siegel, symbolise power and potency – the ability to eat and cut. This dream is generally experienced when you are facing a physical challenge or an emotional blow. It symbolises a loss of control and power.

Giving birth to a furry animal

This is a very common pregnancy dream, and the furry animal is a symbol of your developing relationship with your unborn baby.

Leaving or forgetting your baby

A characteristic of this dream is that you are taking care of your new baby, and somehow leave or forget your baby and go off and do something. Siegel explains that often when you wake up, you claim that you are going to be a terrible parent. “But in reality, that nightmare is a positive sign that [you’re] internally preparing for the tremendous responsibility of parenting.”

Your baby’s gender

This, of course, does not mean that you subconsciously know the sex of your unborn baby, but rather that you are considering gender preferences and issues.

Conception dreams

Siegel explains that it is very common to dream of metaphors regarding conception throughout your pregnancy. This represents creativity, and means that you are conceiving ideas from a labour of love, you are nurturing that seed of the idea into something special and unique.

The Birth itself

During your third trimester, you may have bizarre, unrealistic or even quite scary dreams about the actual birthing process. This symbolises that you are concerned about the loss of control, but excited about meeting your baby. Creating a birth plan can help ease this concern.

ALSO SEE: How to write a birth plan

Drowning or trapped

You may dream about being submerged in water, or trapped with no way out. Siegel explains that this can represent the fear of a loss of freedom that comes when you become a parent. It’s your subconscious way of realising that this parenting gig is a lifelong commitment, and yet, at the same time you are embracing being a mom.


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