How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Dreams
Pregnancy is full of changes, both physical and emotional. So, it’s pretty understandable that with so much to process, your brain needs to let it all out at night, with hormone-fueled dreams during pregnancy having a reputation for being especially strange.
With this in mind, back in April we gave our audience a platform to share their strangest pregnancy dreams for interpretation. So, what were some of the most common themes and symbols that came to mind for this band of musing mamas?
Why are pregnancy dreams so vivid?
First things first, why do dreams during pregnancy tend to be more memorable, anyway? The answer is hormones. Pregnancy dreams have a tendency to be pretty wild and intense due to all the crazy chemical and hormonal changes triggered from the moment you conceive. These can affect everything from your sleep pattern, to your moods and emotions, as well as your subconscious mind. In turn, this can result in some pretty crazy dreams, reflective of everything your brain and body is processing during pregnancy.
It’s also said that pregnant women find it easier to remember their dreams, where they otherwise didn’t remember them much at all pre-pregnancy. Equally, partners often also report having strange dreams during the lead up to birth, due to mixed emotions they may have around impending parenthood.
So, what kinds of dreams were the most common across our audience?
Baby chatting from the day they’re born
Dreaming of your baby can sometimes signify an unconscious part of yourself trying to acquaint itself and bond with your little one before they’ve even arrived.
Dreaming of a baby that’s born talking fluently from day one can represent a potential dialogue with your future baby, as your brain tries to pre-emptively understand their needs. For others, this could symbolise communication with your own inner child, trying to reach out and communicate its needs with you.
Whichever it might be, try tuning in with what baby is telling you. Consider keeping a dream journal by your bedside to note down anything that might feel poignant or meaningful to you. If none of it makes much sense, simply try and enjoy the experience in hindsight. Even just jotting the dream down when you wake up might make for a funny story to tell your little one once they’ve grown up.
Baby being born in a way you don’t expect
This is up there with the most common pregnancy dreams, with mums dreaming up that they’ve birthed animals, mythical creatures, and other such oddities. These kinds of dreams often manifest as a result of two primary emotions: fear and excitement.
Excitement because you can’t wait to meet your baby and find out what they look like, but potentially also a fear of childbirth and complications. Both are totally valid. It’s also worth remembering that more disturbing or worrying dreams, whilst highly unpleasant, are not premonitions. If nothing else, they can actually serve a purpose in helping you release unconscious tension and fear around giving birth.
Should your fears and anxieties around this persist, we recommend speaking to your GP, health visitor or midwife to get the support you need. You may also find it beneficial to join local baby and parenting groups to share what you’re going through, and hear the experiences of other parents. Also, where possible, confide in your partner and see how the two of you can find ways to assuage your worries as you prepare to meet your new arrival.
Partner having an affair
Another super common pregnancy dream, it’s thought that dreaming of your partner cheating on you may come down to insecurities bubbling under the surface. Spurred on by a mixture of hormones, body changes and societal pressures - for a lot of women, pregnancy can be a vulnerable time.
Some of these vulnerabilities can manifest themselves through your dreams, especially if your self-esteem and body image are taking a hit. If your dreams are compounding your insecurities, try talking about the feelings they bring up with your partner. This is where they can hopefully offer reassurance and support, and a reminder that they love you no matter what.
Dreaming about breastfeeding
Dreaming about feeding your baby is the ultimate symbol of motherly love and tenderness. It’s often thought that dreams like this suggest an unconscious connection and peace with the idea of nurturing.
Again, if this is your first pregnancy and feeding your baby is an entirely new experience, it may also be your mind’s way of processing any information you’ve taken in, or a sign that you need to familiarise yourself with it further. For more information around feeding your baby, be sure to speak to your midwife or health visitor.
From the frightening, to the fascinating - our dreamscape can be an endless source of both terror and inspiration. If you feel so inclined, try and note down as much as you can remember to come back to at a later date.
Above all, try to include your partner in the conversation. It can be fun and cathartic to share our dreams, and who knows, they might be having some interesting parent-to-be dreams of their own!