The Truth Behind Peculiar Pregnancy Dreams

Ahhh…The Joys of Pregnancy

You are in the midst of one of the most amazing, overwhelming and fragile times of your life, constantly thinking of the little life growing inside you. Everything is in constant change. You’re busy getting the baby’s bedroom ready for occupancy, researching baby gear and slowly purchasing the enormous number of essential items required for one tiny little bundle. On top of all that, your belly is constantly growing, your emotions are going haywire, you’re feeling anxious about what’s happening and probably feeling a lot of anxiety of not being prepared when the baby arrives…and those haunting thoughts going through your mind…what if he arrives early and you’re not ready! Does this sound familiar?

These are ALL very normal and common side effects of being pregnant… you’re not alone.Daisy

During your first trimester, the sudden flood of the hormone Progesterone makes you crave naps. This hormone helps regulate your reproductive cycle and also makes you feel tired and run down.

Are you dreaming more? Are your dreams more vivid than normal? Are your dreams strange and peculiar?

Blame it on the hormones

Hormones…they affect your emotions and anxiety. Hormones also impact the way your brain processes information. HCG, the pregnancy hormone, or “Human Chorionic Gonadotropin” (HCG for short) is produced during pregnancy from cells formed in the placenta.

pregnancy hormonesThe kinds of dreams you’re experiencing can be different than the ones you had before becoming pregnant. For example, you now may have:

  • Intense or more anxiety driven dreams
  • More vivid dreams, ones that you can recall easily
  • Erotic dreams
  • More frequent dreams and possibly even
  • Nightmares

Another cause for your dreams is interrupted sleep. As your pregnancy progresses, normal sleep patterns are disrupted due to frequently waking up to pee or maybe just being uncomfortable. This waking affects your REM sleep. REM, rapid eye movement, sleep is when you dream and the more REM is disrupted – the more frequent you dream.dream catcher

Every person dreams 1 1/2 – 2+ hours each night…everyone. But, rarely can we recall much of what we dream. Pregnant women, however, can recall their dreams more frequently and in greater detail.

Several studies have been done on the dreams of pregnant women and they’ve even been broken down into themes or types.

For example, one study done on dreams during the 2nd trimester suggests, if you dream about your baby as either a boy or girl: “A dream experience like this usually means that the pregnant mother is curious about what her child will look like, whether the baby will be a boy or girl and what features the baby will inherit from her and from the father. These are usually positive dreams although sometimes a mother will dream about her baby inheriting an undesirable characteristic.”

Psychologist and dream expert, Patricia Garfield, author of “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Dreams” says pregnant women see their babies in about 15% of their dreams while other researchers have reported an even greater number of vivid baby dreams during the 3rd trimester. Some can see their baby’s face in their dreams and the degree of accuracy proves to be uncanny.

Stress is another side effect during pregnancy for both the new mom AND the new dad. You both may have concerns about finances, how a baby will affect your jobs, the cost of day care and the added expense of raising a child.

No wonder you’re having dreams!

What can you do?

If you have trouble sleeping at night…

  • Add a little exercise to your daily routine. It boosts not only physical but mental health. Take walks outdoors when the weather is nice, but don’t start any exercise routine that your body wasn’t used to before you became pregnant.
  • Eating before bed may trigger a nightmare.
  • Try some breathing exercises and meditation before turning in. This calms and clears thoughts in your mind and helps to put your brain to rest, allowing you to relax and drift off to sleep.
  • You really need 8-9 hours of sleep every day. If you don’t, you can get stressed out which is a cause of nightmares.

⇒Did you know… Sleeping on your left side improves the flow of blood and nutrients to your baby.

Here’s something to look forward to…cost of raising a child

According to CNNMoney and the USDA, the cost of raising a child through age 17 is over $233,000 and this does not cover the cost of college. This figure was calculated for a child born in 2015, so tack on a few more dollars to bring that figure up to date. Tack on another $13,000 if your kid won’t graduate high school until age 18. And… if you have an athletic child, there could be major expenses involved with his/her sport of choice, especially if travel is involved for tournaments, private lessons, equipment, etc. etc. Oh, and don’t forget the clothes!

So…according to these guys, you can expect to spend $12,350 – $14,000 per year, on average, to raise your child. Of course, a certain percentage of this figure includes housing, etc. which is already covered in your annual budget. Personally, I think this figure is quite low, particularly if you take into account the cost of day care and possibly private school through high school. 

If you haven’t had nightmares yet….you may tonight.  Sorrysad face

In Closing…

The “sticker shock” of having a baby and raising a child is just that…a shock. But it’s all good and worth every penny dollar along the way…if you do it right. You’ll get through it and down the road when your little one is grown and expecting her own baby…chances are you’ll close your eyes, look back over her growing up years  and wish you could turn back the clock and do it all over again. Trust me.

And that is what I wish for you,

Skål

I welcome your thoughts and comments below and would love to hear about your craziest pregnancy dreams so we can all chuckle together. Please like and share with your friends.

10 comments to The Truth Behind Peculiar Pregnancy Dreams

  • Ivy

    Oh, that was an interesting read. Thanks! I don’t recall my dreams changing very much during pregnancy, but my sleep patterns were temporarily all over the place. During the last trimester especially, there were so many quick nanna naps in parking lots. The sudden urges to sleep were as bad as the food cravings some report. And odd for me as well, since I usually sleep so little. Hormones!

    • Karen

      Thanks for sharing your memories, Ivy. Feeling tired while pregnant is normal when you consider all the changes going on with your body. There is a special body pillow called the Snuggle which looks like a giant “C” and really helps create a great, comfortable night’s sleep.

  • Bill

    Let me see here…three kids x 233,000…yep, time for an additional job!

    Very interesting and fun article to read! I always enjoy reading articles about psychology. While I don’t dare try to get into my wife’s head, I do appreciate the information and it does give good insight as to why she was having the dreams she was having. I remember her telling me on numerous mornings that she had had a dream about the baby’s sex or what he/she was going to look like. I guess she must’ve been thinking about it quite a bit to have as many dreams as she did. Thanks!

    • Karen

      Hey, Bill…thank you for stopping by, reading my blog and taking the time to leave your thoughts and comments.  Thinking back on your wife’s dreams about each baby’s sex, how accurate was she? I’d love to know!

  • Jo

    That is fascinating. I have not been pregnant yet myself, but I have friends who have.

    I already remember most of my dreams and wake up in the middle of the night to pee…..

    If a pregnant woman needs to eat before going to bed, are there certain foods that would be better or foods to avoid?

    Are there any herbs that would be safe to take to help with sleep?

    • Karen

      Hello, Jo…thanks for visiting. Probably a spicy snack just before bed would not be a good idea for a pregnant mother unless she wants to feel her baby kicking all night. I’d rather her choose maybe a banana or other fresh fruit.

      As far as herbs go, If pregnant, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor as some herbs can cause miscarriage, premature birth, uterine contractions and injury to the developing baby. Some doctors say that even more testing needs to be done with popular Chamomile tea, which helps with sleeplessness.

  • Missey

    Wow, thank you for providing this information.
    I have to say when I was pregnant with my son I don’t recall having any crazy weird dreams especially about him. But my husband had dreams about him.

    He really wanted a boy at first also so before we found out that he was a “he” dad had dreams about him being a boy or not. I just thought it was interesting.

    The one thing I did have a hard time with was the hormones giving me this uncontrollable urge to cry all the time.
    At least everyone at work understood when I would get teary eyed over nothing!

    In the end kids are expensive but who would really change a thing about it? I love my child and would give up everything for him even though he is now turning “2”.

    • Karen

      Missey, thank you for taking the time to leave such lovely comments. I think it’s so funny that new dads can experience pregnancy dreams and even post partum stress. If only they could feel labor pains, to know what we go through. Haha

      We’re you husband’s dreams accurate? I’m always curious about this.

      I totally agree with your last comment. When your little boy is all grown up and out on his own, you’ll want to look back over the years with no regrets. And I think the best compliment a parent can get is when your adult child thanks you for his upbringing. This has happened to me and is what I wish for you.

  • Steve & Kris

    My wife had crazy dreams each time she was pregnant with our two kids. She would make up in the middle of the night, sometimes just sweating. She often times had trouble remembering the dreams, but some of the stories were unreal. I did not know that sleeping on your left side is best, that is really interesting. I agree that 8-9 hours of sleep is best, but I have such a hard time getting that much sleep. There is just so much going on. With a pregnancy, there are a lot of stressors for both the mom and dad. Sleep can certainly be affected by all the unexpected things to come. I do like the idea of meditation before bed. Often times I read, just to wind down. Thank you for sharing this, it brings back great memories.

    • Karen

      Thanks for visiting, Steve, and for sharing memories of your wife’s pregnancies. I’m sure friends told you and your wife to get plenty of sleep while you can because, as you know, that certainly changes after birth.

      Reading is a great way to unwind before bed and its known to help you fall asleep. Best wishes to you and your two children…they grow up way too fast.

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