Many pregnant women notice a change in their dream life. This can be concerning for some, but others may find it very interesting!
Like most things in this world, there are logical and even scientific explanations for the changes in your dream world. When you have a better understanding of the culprit behind these changes, you can embrace them with open arms.
Common Dream Changes During Pregnancy
Your dreams can be affected in many different ways when you are pregnant. Some women experience a range of all the different kinds, while some experience one and some experience none. It all comes down to you as a unique pregnant individual.
Some of the changes you may experience in dreams include:
- Vivid dreams.
- Frequent nightmares.
- Frequent intense dreams.
- Anxiety-based dreams.
- More frequent dreaming.
- Increased clarity and recollection of dreams.
What Causes Pregnancy Dreams?
It is hard to pinpoint an exact explanation for the changes you are experiencing, but numerous changes are occurring within your body that are most likely to blame.
When you are pregnant, your body experiences many changes including emotional and physical ones.
Pregnancy causes your hormones to change, and it is believed the increased levels of hormones could be to blame. Your hormones can have control over how you feel emotionally and can even increase anxiety issues.
The way your brain processes information and emotions are also impacted by hormones. This could be a direct link to why pregnancy can bring about frequent dreaming or very vivid dreams.
2. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep
When you are pregnant, you typically experience more REM sleep than non-REM sleep.
This type of sleep is a light sleep rather than a deep one. You may experience this stage more often because your sleep is frequently interrupted whether from discomfort or frequent urination.
The REM stage of sleep is when most dreams occur. The dreams at this stage are usually more vivid. Many people experience dreams in this stage but have no recollection the next morning because they have a decent amount of “deep sleep” throughout the night.
Since a pregnant woman seems to stay in the REM sleep stage, the dreams can be recollected the next morning and they seem much more vivid than typical dreams.
3. Stress and anxiety
It probably comes as little to no surprise that pregnancy comes with its fair share of stress and anxiety.
It is believed your pregnancy dreams are a way for your unconscious mind to try to problem solve. The increased anxiety and stress could lead to these dreams seeming more intense (1).
This one is tied to your hormones, but it can single-handedly play a more extreme part. Pregnancy alone is a time full of mixed emotions, and dreams reflect your emotional state. The changes you experience can cause your dreams to be all over the place.
Dreams About Being Pregnant
Some women don’t know they are pregnant, yet have dreams they are.
There is a possibility you could dream you are pregnant and actually are, but dreaming you are pregnant does not guarantee you are or will become pregnant in real life.
Many women experience dreams of being pregnant and this could indicate the birth of a new project or idea in her life (2).
It's Only A Dream
When Do Pregnancy Dreams Begin?
It is possible you can experience the changes in dreaming at any time during your pregnancy.
The first trimester may cause them to start as your body adjusts to the new levels of hormones.
Most mothers report the greatest amount of change in their dream life occurring in the third trimester. This could be attributed to the period of pregnancy when your sleep is most likely to be interrupted. You will likely become more anxious as well because the days before your little one’s arrival are becoming fewer and fewer.
The Meaning Behind Pregnancy Dreams
It is not unusual for you to experience dreams during your pregnancy and immediately believe it is due to something else.
There is no scientific evidence to confirm what certain dreams mean, but many have speculation regarding the dreams and their underlying meanings.
Some popular dreams and meanings pregnant women experience include:
- Oops!: Many women have dreams related to forgetting to do something whether it be feeding their baby or locking their car. This is believed to be linked to their fear of not yet being ready to become a mom.
- Ouch!: Many women have dreams they are being attacked or abducted by individuals. It is not uncommon to experience dreams where you take a giant fall either. This is related to your feelings of vulnerability.
- Help!: If you dream you are trapped in a small space or a dangerous situation, you may be fearful of losing your freedom once you become a mom.
- Ugh!: Many women experience dreams of their partner leaving them for someone else or catching them cheating. This is typically related to your new physical changes and worrying that your significant other will not approve of your new physique.
- Memory: Some of the best dreams you can have include dreams with loved ones you have lost. It is believed these occur as a way for you to link old generations to a new one. Some like to believe it is a way of showing you that although you can’t see them, they’re still offering their support.
- Water: It is common to have dreams about water in your first trimester as your amniotic sac becomes full of fluid. If you dream of dirty water, it could signal you not being quite ready to be a parent. A dream with a tsunami could indicate the permanent life change a baby will bring (3).
- Trip: If you dream about going on a trip, it could be a resemblance of the journey you are about to embark on once you have your little baby in your arms.
- Baby: It is common for many of your dreams to involve your life as a parent. These can be pleasant and show you loving on your baby, or they can be anxiety-inducing and show your baby with potential health problems. It is totally normal for you to worry about your baby and this may translate into your dreams — just because you have a bad dream does not mean that there will be something wrong with your baby.
- Labor: The inevitable end to pregnancy is labor, and it can bring about its own plethora of emotions. There are so many anxieties associated with labor that you will likely experience dreams of labor gone wrong or an excruciating one. If you are fortunate, you may experience dreams of the perfect labor (4).
Keep In Mind
The Lowdown on Sex Dreams
Many pregnant women will be the first to tell you that pregnancy tends to bring about some intense and interesting dreams.
Your hormones can be to blame for all the sex dreams you will probably experience. Whether your dreams include your significant other, a stranger, or your celebrity crush — they all fall into the realm of normal dreams.
Your new emotions, anxieties, changing body, and evolving relationship with your significant other can make the strangest fantasies occur.
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by the dreams your mind puts together while you try to sleep — just embrace them the best you can, they may not be all that bad after all!
Pregnancy Dreams and Gender Prediction
Many women tend to experience dreams about the gender of their baby. Old wives’ tales say if you dream of having a boy, you will have a girl — and vice versa (5).
There is probably no truth to this, but just like other wives’ tales, it is sure fun to consider.
Another reason women tend to dream about gender is that they are anxious to find out if their baby will be a girl or boy.
Many believe women have dreams of their baby being a boy because they hope it will be, or dreams of having a girl in fear of the fact that they want a boy.
Most pregnant mothers probably aren’t psychic, but these ideas are enjoyable at the least. If your dreams end up being right in your favor, then props to you!
What To Do About Pregnancy Dreams
If your dreams are actively disturbing you, you may want to try to find a solution. While it is hard to control something that happens when you aren’t even awake, there are things you can do to help.
It is possible your sleep routine is out of whack and your body just can’t adjust. By giving yourself more time to sleep at night and at the same time, you can help your body prepare for bedtime.
If you find yourself waking up to use the restroom, then simply limit your fluid intake before bed. Don’t eliminate fluids entirely as staying hydrated is vital for you and your baby. Cutting off intake just a couple hours before bed can make a tremendous difference.
If comfort is your issue, you can try different positions or sleeping locations. Try using pillows for position changes to either help support your hips or your baby bump.
Some pregnant women find the recliner is much more comfortable than their bed. Pregnancy can also be a good time to splurge on a new mattress.
Don’t Bottle Things Up
If nothing seems to help and you are extremely bothered by your dreams, you can always reach out to your doctor. There is the potential something else is going on, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
The Bottom Line
Pregnancy can throw never-ending curve balls your way and all you can try to do is take it one pitch at a time.
Try not to lose any sleep over your dreams. Although what you are experiencing in your dreams can seem real, in the end, it is just a dream.
If you have horrible dreams, just think of them as a way for your subconscious to try to gain some control during this significant change in your life.
It is common for you and your significant other to experience dreams related to the pregnancy. You are both likely experiencing increased anxiety, and that is to blame. It might even be fun to discuss the crazy voyages you both are taking in your sleep.
No matter where your pregnancy dreams take you, remember they are entirely normal to experience.