Many soon-to-be moms often wake up feeling a little perplexed and slightly concerned over their strange dreams. Fear not! This is a normal part of pregnancy and besides the pregnancy taking its toll on the body; the growing baby is wreaking havoc with the body’s hormones and mind, resulting in dreams that are very often too bizarre to figure out or to make sense of.
Most women find that their dreams change from trimester to trimester. Psychologists agree that pregnancy dreams help the pregnant lady to prepare for motherhood and since pregnancy is far more than just physical changes, the psyche must also ready itself for the impending changes. Dreams usually include images of the baby, and in so doing the dreams help the mother to prepare herself for the changes that are soon going to occur in her lifestyle, in her relationships, etc.
Dreams of the First Trimester
It’s not uncommon for a woman to dream about her own childhood or her past during the first trimester. Typically these types of -past’ dreams signify a need to deal with any unresolved previous issues and the dreams will help to give women the courage they need to embrace the past and to make peace with it. Often the dreams centre on territory, such as dreaming about a favourite childhood place, a park or their family home, or the dream may focus on vulnerability where a woman dreams herself to be naked or unprotected. Should these dreams become reoccurring dreams, the expectant mum may find it useful to start a dream journal and it could allow her to uncover issues (which need to be resolved) that she was unaware of.
Second Trimester Dreams
At the start of the second trimester, pregnant mothers start to acknowledge that the baby is now a real person and that they really are pregnant! At this stage bonding between mother and baby begins and it is not unusual for dreams to be about nature, especially about water or animals. Anxiety dreams are very common during the second trimester and women often dream about being -bad’ mothers and that they leave their baby somewhere and cannot remember where, or they dream that they give birth to a baby who is very, very tiny (think of Tom Thumb!).
If you have experienced such dreams, and you have dreamt that you have -misplaced’ your baby – do not read more into the dream than necessary. Dreams experts agree that these dreams simply indicate a mother’s strong maternal instinct and that even before she has given birth to the baby; she is doing what mothers do best – worrying about her child’s safety and wellbeing. These dreams are not meant as premonitions or as an indication that the soon-to-be mum is going to be a terrible mother (who forgets where she has left her baby), these dreams in fact indicate the very opposite – that the mom will be a caring and doting mother!
Third trimester – preparing for birth
Countless women during their final stages of pregnancy have dreams that seem to revolve around disasters in nature and these dreams can be quite powerful and scary, such as massive tidal waves, volcanoes or earthquakes. It is suggested that these powerful images are Mother Nature’s way of preparing the mum for the labour and birth. Other expectant moms dream about the actual birth and in true dream style, the birth is totally strange and bizarre, such as giving birth in a bathtub alongside an erupting volcano. Dreams become more and more bizarre during the third trimester (and closer to the mom’s due date) and seem to centre on the actual birth. This is the mind’s way of making sense of the baby’s arrival and the adjustments that the woman will need to make after the birth.
It’s important not to over-analyse dreams and see them as a forewarning, but rather to realise that it’s perfectly natural to dream about giving birth in a rainforest as your beloved Grade 1 teacher reads to you while a well-known Hollywood star gives a running commentary.
Dreams during pregnancy are not uncommon and should not be seen as grave warnings or a sign that the pregnant woman is ill-prepared for the birth or motherhood but in fact the opposite is true, dreams are helping women to enter into parenthood being prepared and ready.
Making sense of the dreams
Women should not over-analyse dreams (pregnant or not). Subconsciously or consciously, all soon-to-be mothers are anxious or a little nervous about the labour and birth and most also doubt their ability to be good mothers and caregivers. Dreams during pregnancy compound fears and concerns and even though the dreams are vivid and very real, they will probably (in fact definitely) never come to pass.
If the pregnancy hasn’t been planned, some women may dream that their partners abandon them during or after the birth (in a typical dream style, using a rocket ship or a floating bed to make their escape). Some women may even dream of giving birth to a miniature version of their partners! Or they give birth to a baby who is already an adult (albeit a very small adult). This dream is quite common for a woman who is planning to return to work, shortly after birth – the dream may be a sign of her apprehension about going back to work and leaving baby in the care of others and fearing that she will miss her child’s growing up.
Keeping a dream journal will assist women who are particularly concerned or worried about their dreams to make sense of them and if they dream of something going wrong during the birth (which is also very common), they should address these fears with their caregivers.
Remember, dreams are the mind’s way of making sense of the changes that are about to occur and since becoming a mother is a monumental change – the bizarre pregnancy dreams are helping soon-to-be moms come to terms with the changes and be prepared for their new life and new role as a mother. Share your silly, crazy and bizarre dreams with your partner; he may also be doing his fair share of strange dreaming!