Dreaming of Motherhood

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During pregnancy, your dreams may be especially vivid or even a bit disturbing. Here’s how to make sense of nightly visions.

Some dreams, especially during early pregnancy, are clearly prompted by shifting hormones and physical changes. Disrupted sleep patterns — for example, if you wake up because the baby is kicking — may contribute to your recalling more dreams than usual.

Dreams during pregnancy may also reflect your emotional state and hopes and fears about the future. The dreams of expectant mothers feature a number of common themes that may change as pregnancy advances.

Early in pregnancy, dreams often include pleasant images of growth and abundance, such as fruit and flowers. Also, dreams of water, bathing and swimming may occur frequently at this time, as your body creates a cushion of fluid surrounding your baby.

In the second trimester of pregnancy, you may begin dreaming of giving birth — but not to a baby. For example, you may dream of giving birth to a pet or other cute little animal, which may represent how much you are looking forward to welcoming and cuddling your baby. Many expectant mothers dream that the baby is born a toddler or an infant who is able to walk and talk. These dreams may have to do with your awareness of the baby as an individual, or simply indicate that you are curious about your child’s life past infancy.

In your third trimester, dreams dealing with the demands of parenthood may begin to take center stage. For example, dreaming of traveling or preparing for a trip may represent your excitement about the adventure you are about to embark upon. Dreaming that you have misplaced and are frantically searching for your little one may be a way of working through natural anxieties about being a capable and responsible parent.

As the birth of your baby draws near, you may experience dreams that are disturbing or upsetting. You might have nightmares that you are falling or are trapped, or that you or the baby is in danger. Dreaming about such worrisome events is normal and should not be taken literally. If a dream of this type troubles you, try writing it down and giving it a happy ending.

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