So, your subconscious is throwing up a wild mix of madness that feels like it was co-authored by David Lynch, Stephen King and Anais Nin—with a little bit of Cirque du Soleil chucked in for good measure. Welcome to the wonderful world of pregnancy dreams.
Yup, these delightful little gifts from the recesses of your brain can bring about all sorts of feelings from extreme horror and dread, to the kinds of sensations that may just have got you started on this whole pregnancy journey to begin with. (Seriously, body, is this the time to be wanting some serious action?)
You may be comforted to know that this is totally and completely and utterly normal. No, you’re not losing the plot. (In fact, you might be gaining the plot. Or plots. And wow, are they intricate.) When it comes to producing the most unbelievably vivid dreams, pregnancy seems to be holding fast in top place.
So, sit back and enjoy the ride as we delve into the ins and out of pregnancy dreams, what might cause them and when they might visit you.
Pregnancy and dreams
Pregnancy nightmares and dreams: 101
Whether you’re having bad dreams while pregnant or the kind that you want to not wake up from (because: wow!), they can make you feel extraordinarily out of the ordinary.
First things first, if you’re asking is it normal to have wet dreams during pregnancy? The answer is: Yes, yes, yes. 😉
Pregnancy and dreams is a subject that is by no means cut-and-dry—so there are of course multiple reasons why you’re going on this particular ride. Some possibilities are:
- Hormones. Yep, hormones again. They may feel like they’re running the show in all sorts of ways right now, so if sexy pregnancy dreams are the kind of show they want to run, we’re not complaining.
- Anxieties around sex. This is a complex one. All these changes in your body can leave you feeling a little out of sorts when it comes to your sexy side. There may be changes in the way you engage with your partner or in how you are feeling about your sexuality in general, and all these feelings are put together in a variety show produced by your subconscious.
- You may just be feeling sexy and awesome. So maybe you’re just feeling at your sexual best and, whether or not you are exploring this in the waking world, your body sure as hell wants you to explore it in the dreamy one.
So those are the sultry pregnancy dreams—but that’s by no means the only type on the menu. You may also be experiencing:
Pregnancy nightmares: This particular breed of weird pregnancy dreams is understandably not terribly thrilling in an already troubling time. Waking up in a cold sweat from what feels like a real-life scary encounter is not great at the best of times. During pregnancy, however, it can be altogether frightening. Nightmares can be the result of some serious anxiety around what lays ahead.
There are just so many who knows? You may be feeling nervous about childbirth, or the crazy task of being a mama. You may be worried about finances, life as a working parent, or what sort of future your baby is going to have. But, while pregnancy nightmares can be disconcerting, they can also be a way to have a dialogue with your subconscious to find out what’s really up. And then, of course, there are just…
- Crazy dreams during pregnancy: Yup, sometimes it’s just penguins riding bicycles or your pilates instructor being elected president, or your own parents being so small they can fit in your pocket. Where do these pregnancy dreams come from? Well, one of the main sources is that sleep is tricky during pregnancy—can anyone say night-time pee?—so you hang out in REM quite a bit of the time. Also, all that waking up gives your conscious mind front row seats to what’s going on beneath.
When do vivid dreams start in pregnancy?
Anytime! There is by no means a fixed timeline to your subconscious’s programming schedule. But while you may be comforted to know that vivid dreams during early pregnancy are normal, pregnancy dreams can be more typical in the third trimester.
Creativity and your pregnancy dreams
So if you’ve started to experience crazy dreams during pregnancy, one of the most useful things for you right now is to not judge yourself for what’s coming up. Your brain has enough to deal with without additional punishment for responding in a perfectly natural way.
Rather, see what you can learn from the parade of pregnancy dreams that are being put on just for you. You can use this whacky time to tap into your creative side.
Rather than try to shove your pregnancy nightmares into a box and hide them in the darkest, most inaccessible parts of your being, use them to understand yourself better and perhaps even as fodder for a creative project.
If it works for you, journaling can be a useful tool, both to construct meaning out of the madness as well as to record your thoughts and feelings for the Later You to read. And if writing is not your jam, other artforms can step in here. Why not attempt to draw? Or create a collage based on what your brain has been showing you?
Or simply share your dreams with other mamas-to-be on Peanut for a real good laugh (and a reminder that you’re definitely not alone!).