Pregnancy: Does being pregnant affect your dreams?

I am five months pregnant and I have started having very vivid dreams. I could never even remember my dreams before. Is this because I'm pregnant, and why is it happening?

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Gayle Peterson

Gayle Peterson, PhD, is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She is a clinical member of the Association... Read more

It is possible that the hormones of pregnancy are accentuating your dream life. Physical changes in your body may contribute to vivid dreaming. What is more true, is that your pregnancy and upcoming motherhood represents a huge life transition, and dreaming is nature's way of expressing anxieties, and working through emotional changes.

Take advantage of your dreaming by interpreting the theme your dream brings up at each time. For example, if you are dreaming about motherhood, what is the main feeling? Is it one of satisfaction, fears, of inadequacy to care for your baby? Do you dream of an easy childbirth, or being unable to give birth? Are you dreaming about earlier family relationships, with your mother, your father? Or are you dreaming about your husband, and how parenthood may affect your relationship? Or how your career or freedom will be affected by having a baby?

These are a few of the common themes found in pregnant women's dreams. Paying attention to your dreams brings up opportunity to talk about concerns you may have, with your partner, a friend or even a health professional. Your dreams may even offer insight or seek to answer needs at this time. For example, some women who have been vegetarians dream of about eating meat! Or a mother-to-be, worried about her unborn child's health, dreams that her baby reassures her that all is "okay" on the inside of the womb.

Whether you dream about talking to your mother, eating a different diet or giving birth, rest assured that your dreams are meant to help you adjust to the changes, both physically and emotionally that pregnancy brings. Use your dreams to help you prepare for childbirth and parenthood by writing them down and identifying the emotional themes that are present. Reading a book on the subject, such as Patricia Maybruck's "Pregnancy and Dreams" may also prove useful.

Do not be alarmed that your dreams are more often unpleasant than pleasing! In fact, over 80 percent of dreams are found to be expressions of our anxieties. This is the nature of dreams ... to bring to light our fears and to help steer us towards thinking and actions in our waking life that help us resolve our anxieties about life's changes or dilemmas.

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