Crazy dreams interrupting your sleep? Many mums-to-be experience fascinating, frightening, and just plain freaky dreams during pregnancy. And because you’re waking frequently at night (toilet trips!), you’re able to recall your dreams more vividly than ever.
Blame those wild hormones if you like, fuelling your emotions and intensifying your dreams, but your pregnancy dreams may also be a way of coming to terms with your new role as a parent. Whether it’s a change in sleep patterns or fluctuating hormones, experts believe there are a number of dream themes that pregnant women experience. Here are a few you may have already had yourself.
FORGETTING THE BABY
Dreams about losing your baby or forgetting your baby somewhere are very common, and quite possibly linked to your fear of not being ready to be a parent, or anxiety you may be feeling related to the responsibility of being a parent. You may feel unprepared to look after a baby and fearful about the unknown.
Water is seen as a powerful theme, and could symbolise a feeling of new beginnings and new life, or a feeling of cleansing. Or it may be a representation of concerns you have about labour and childbirth. Watery dreams such as surfing in the ocean, floating in a pool, or puddles of rain may be a reflection of your physical thoughts and feelings of your baby moving in amniotic fluid or your waters breaking during labour.
Sensuous dreams, often with someone other than your partner, are perfectly normal. You may be feeling insecure about your changing body and its effect on your sex life, or vulnerable and dependent on those around you. Your hormones are fluctuating, your blood flow is increasing, and you’re an emotional rollercoaster; it’s not surprising your dreams are a little wild!
JOURNEYS AND TRAVELLING
Both exhilarating and terrifying, these dreams could be about travelling through a maze of tunnels or corridors, visiting a foreign country, or driving on an endless road. They may represent feelings of being out of control, a fear of the unknown, or your reluctance to confront the unknown, an emotion typically experienced towards the end of your pregnancy.
You probably spend a fair bit of your waking hours contemplating baby’s name, so it’s very possible these thoughts filter through to your dreams. Some cultures believe that the names they’re given in dreams are special, so you may want to consider some of the choices you dream up. Your mind does have a way of throwing in a few odd name choices, though.
Many mums-to-be feel vulnerable and unattractive during pregnancy, and may feel that their body is no longer their own. Dreams in which their partner is having an affair or is with someone else may simply be feelings of vulnerability and insecurity.
GAMES AND SPORTS
Dreaming about scoring the ultimate goal or winning an exciting game of snakes and ladders? These dreams could be symbolic of the excitement and anticipation you’re feeling while pregnant; a bit like the thrill of being pregnant, but knowing you’re going to have to wait until after labour to meet your new baby.
If you’re dreaming about your childhood home, or childhood friends appear in your dreams, these could symbolise your past self, as you farewell your old way of life and welcome your new life and new identity as a mum.
These dreams may seem weird, but dreams about giving birth to a furry animal could represent your worry over bonding with your new baby. It’s only natural to feel a little nervous about the arrival of a new creature in your home.
GROWN UP BABIES
Linked to your lack of experience with a newborn baby or fear of having to look after one, dreams about giving birth to a grown-up baby or a toddler are just you mind’s way of dealing with this. Mums-to-be often dream about having babies who can already walk and talk, as an older child is seen as less fragile and easier to manage.
Unless you’re psychic, you’re unlikely to predict your baby’s gender in a dream. Instead, dreams about baby’s gender are probably linked to your hopes or your fears for either a girl or a boy.
GIVING BIRTH TO TWINS
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the changes in your life that your newborn is likely to bring, dreams about multiple births could simply be these feelings of fear and lack of control, or a reflection of your anxiety about a baby being demanding.
Dreams about crumbling teeth, rotten teeth, or losing teeth are symbolic of losing control. This may be your feelings of stress about how pregnancy will affect your work or your relationship with your partner.
Nightmarish dreams about being trapped somewhere or locked in may simply be your feelings of helplessness and vulnerability, your lack of control, and a feeling that you will no longer have the freedom to do what you want.
Buildings or factories where things are manufactured could represent your own thoughts about your growing baby and your awareness of the changes taking place in your own body over the next nine months.
GIVING BIRTH, THEN GIVING IT BACK
Mums-to-be may be concerned about the health of their baby as it grows and develops during pregnancy. Dreaming about giving birth and then putting baby back could be a reflection of your desire to check that your baby is developing normally, and then placing your baby back in your uterus to continue growing.
CHILDBIRTH AND LABOUR
As you near the end of your pregnancy, these dreams are more common. You may dream you have a beautiful experience; an easy, painless birth. Other times, your dreams may involve a long and painful labour, or you may dream about giving birth to an alien baby. Anxiety about birth is natural, and your dreams are a normal part of your mind’s preparation for this life-changing experience.
BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.