Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy Dreams

Dreaming is something that happens to all of us; some of us dream in black and white, others dream in colour. Some people always remember what they dreamt of, and other folks can’t tell you anything about what goes on inside their heads while they are asleep. 

But one thing about the human mind that is so fascinating is how much your dreams can change if you become pregnant. Pregnancy dreams can be more vivid and feel more realistic to the person having them. Some women even have nightmares in the third trimester, which are down to hormones and anxieties about the impending arrival of their baby.

Dreams can manifest because of subconscious worries, and they reflect any worry or anxiety a person may have on the run-up to having their baby. Most women find dreams and especially nightmares can be worse in the third trimester, and many women don’t sleep very well during this time due to being uncomfortable. 

Dreams can be hyperrealistic, and some women find they have greater recall of these dreams once they are wide awake. Sadly, if it’s going to happen to you, there isn’t much you can do about it, but you can clear your mind and talk any worries you do have through with your significant other, family members or midwife to help ease the mental strains.

Dreaming Early in Pregnancy

Many women claim to have strange dreams early on in pregnancy that make some of them realise they could be pregnant. Common themes that occur include water, floating or swimming, dreaming of a baby, being pregnant, seeing lots of gardens and blooming flowers, or eating many varied fruits. Some people believe that fertility is shown within the fruit and the flowers, and amniotic fluid is posing as water - these are very typical dreams in the first trimester.

Women are more likely to remember what they dreamt of, as well as find the colour might be more vibrant, and this is all down to hormones such as HCG increasing in the body. Some women have been known to dream about becoming pregnant during dreams such as this.

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Your Hormone Levels

The hormone progesterone is at its highest during the weeks of 25 to 35 weeks gestation. During this time, a woman may find this hormone creates side effects for her. One symptom of this hormone increase is more vivid dreams. 

Progesterone peaks around week 35 and then begins to steadily decrease, but up to this point, a woman might find it makes her more anxious, easily agitated and (if prone to a low mood) depressed. This can be counteracted most days by other hormones in the body, but in the peaks in the third trimester, this higher level can add to dreams of subconscious worries coming to light.

If a woman is going to dream about the panic of labour or something totally bizarre happening when she gives birth, it is likely to happen during her sleep in these weeks between 25 and 35. Women have been known to dream about giving birth to a litter of puppies or kittens or that their favourite TV show characters are in the delivery room with them. 

All of these things are nothing to be concerned about, and it’s just the brain's way of dealing with high hormones and stress. Nightmares happen to some women that feel totally real and can shake them up when they eventually wake from them. Talking it through, avoiding watching television with harrowing scenes and taking some calm moments before bed will help dispel any negative feelings.

Even if a woman has had a straightforward pregnancy, it is normal for some worry to set in, even unconsciously, in the final weeks. Some women also find that they are uncomfortable and are having broken sleep because of this; the baby may kick them awake, or they might have heartburn, for example. 

What Are the Most Common Pregnancy Dreams?

Many women will dream about meeting their baby for the first time, what they might look like or what their gender might be if they hadn’t already found out. It’s not unusual for a dream to be realistic, knowing who said what and every little detail once you wake up. 

But it’s when a dream may become scary that it needs to be recognised and talked about, such as a labour experience going wrong. This needs to be talked over with someone once you’re awake so this dream doesn’t manifest in your mind and encroach on your impending delivery. Dreams are just dreams, but when you’re pregnant, they can feel so much more real.

Another common pregnancy dream is dreaming about being pregnant and all the things that come along with it: bump getting bigger, having a baby shower or a family party, even getting so big that they can no longer fit through doorways. However these dreams sometimes alter to then feeling trapped, and this is a sign that anxiety is getting through into your dreaming mind.

Some women dream that they have their baby, and all is well, and they go out somewhere, only to misplace or forget their baby. And they spend the rest of the dream trying to find out where they left their bundle of joy. Usually, the baby is in an obscure place like a kitchen drawer or on their work desk, never where you would expect to find them.

Sex dreams are common in the second trimester of pregnancy; sometimes, it’s because women have needs like everyone else, and perhaps they are not being met; you may not be being (as) sexually active at this current time. It can also be because of increased blood flow and hormones, blood flow in the genital region, and hormones making your body eager for contact with another person. 

Some women don’t dream about their husband or partner, though, and instead dream about an ex (awkward!), while others imagine the best sex they have ever had with their current significant other and wake up feeling a little disappointed it wasn’t real. Talking through your needs with your partner is very important for both of you and remaining close during this changing time is also paramount, so share your dream with them. They may really like it, and it’s not like you can get pregnant from any shenanigans that occur! Ha! Ha! Because you already did that!

Although it’s not all fun and wonder, some women dream that they are getting ready to have their baby and everything is fine… until it is not. These types of dreams are common for people who have already experienced pregnancy loss, and their mind is triggered by all the hormones and memories mixing together during sleep. If a woman does have a dream which turns into a nightmare where something happens to their baby, they must remember that it is but a dream and is a manifestation of their worry and unconscious feelings. If these feelings occur often, it’s a good idea to talk through it with your doctor, who can reassure you and might even offer you an additional midwife appointment to help put your mind at ease.

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What To Do if Pregnancy Dreams Are Bothering You

Turn to loved ones, and your midwife first of all, talk it through in detail. You can also keep a diary or a journal and write things down. 

If this isn’t enough, talk to a healthcare professional or ask your midwife for advice on whom to speak to. You should also consider meditation or yoga or signing up for some prenatal courses which specialise in the mental aspects of being pregnant because it is not all physical. Make sure to sleep on your left side and see a doctor if recurrent nightmares are causing you a great lack of sleep. If you become increasingly worried about your dreams, always talk to a professional who can help assess if you need any help managing stress levels.

If nightmares become increasingly bad and cause a lot of distress, then don’t suffer in silence. Your GP can refer you to talk to someone like a therapist and look at any stress factors in your life that can be reduced. Some women who are working find that starting to reduce their hours can help, and others have family commitments getting on top of them, it’s best to talk to whomever you feel confident in and take it from there.

The likelihood of dreaming becoming more vivid and realistic is high for most pregnant women; the emotional stress paired with peaking hormone levels and the lack of sleep due to the changes happening to the human body can all contribute. 

You can’t stop these dreams, but you can try to go to sleep every evening with a positive mindset and make sure you are as comfortable as possible when in bed. Talking about your worries or about any frightening dreams you have already had will help you, too, and if you are concerned that you aren’t coping or that it’s ruining any rest you are trying to take, then speak to your doctor or midwife.

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