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Bizarre Pregnancy Dreams – What Do They Mean?

a headshot of our reviewer Connie

Written By Connie

CPD Sleep Consultant

Pregnant lady sleeping

9 April 2024 11 min read

Dreams are fascinating and all people dream when they sleep. But pregnant women dream more vividly and remember their dreams better than everyone else. During our research for this subject, we came across one woman’s report about dreams during pregnancy.

She dreamt about going into labour and giving birth. All went through without pain or complications. Happy and satisfied she looked down to meet her baby, but the baby was a kitten.

Weird dream, right? But, actually not uncommon at all for pregnancy. Alongside the other big changes, pregnancy brings the change in your sleeping time. Bizarre, vivid or lucid dreams during pregnancy are quite usual, but still not completely explained.

So, we are going to see what do the medical science and psychology have to offer on this matter so far.

Reasons behind weird dreams during pregnancy

The thematic of the vivid and bizarre dreams that pregnant women experience tends to “evolve” correspondingly to the development of the pregnancy. This means that dreams during the first, second or third trimester cover different subjects. Usually, at the very beginning of the pregnancy women’s dreams can be associated with the “guessing” how the pregnancy and motherhood are going to be like. As the pregnancy progresses, women’s dreams tend to be more about the childbirth itself.

Psychologists think that this phenomenon has to do a lot with the women’s knowledge about pregnancy. With the progression of the pregnancy the woman knows more about it, hence can have more accurate dreams. At the first trimester, especially if it’s the first pregnancy, women’s dreams look more like a wild guess about what is going to happen.

Many researchers have documented certain characteristics of dreams that are typical just for pregnancy. Some of these characteristics are:

Detailed and accurate remembrance of dreams

Pregnant women tend to remember their dreams with much more accuracy than other people do.

Vivid and “convincing” dreams

Dreams during pregnancy usually are much more lifelike. The colours, sounds and even smells can be more realistic. All this leads to the dream leaving a more convincing impression.

Intense terrifying dreams

Nightmares are very common for pregnancy. They are usually more intense and frightening. These dreams can sometimes be so scary that they even can wake the woman up.

Feeling that the dream has clairvoyant meaning

Some dreams that occur during pregnancy can leave many metaphorical hints about the gender or personality of the baby. Since all dreams during pregnancy are usually very vivid, some women can really wake up with the feeling that they’ve just received some “message”.

an image of a nightmare

Extremely bizarre dream plot

Many pregnant women have reported about dreaming extremely bizarre things, that often left them laughing about it afterwards. Weird dreams about different people, animals or imaginary creatures are highly common for many pregnant women.

So, dreams during pregnancy differ a lot from regular dreams that people have. But why? Experts offer some answers and some speculations, and we are going to explore them all.

Disruptions of the sleep cycles

During pregnancy, sleep cycles don’t maintain their regular rhythm. This happens due to the various reasons, such as frequent waking up during the night. We know that waking immediately after REM phase leads to the more successful remembrance of the dream. So, if a pregnant woman gets up often during the night, for a glass of water or trip to the bathroom, chances are that many of these times she is waking up just after dreaming. This can explain more accurate remembrance of the dream.

Hormonal changes

Wild hormones of a pregnant woman influence both her body and mind. Dreams are no exception here. These hormonal changes lead to the much more emotional experience both of the real world and of the dream world.

Also, we know that dreams can mimic our real lives and personalities. So, if we know that pregnant women are more sensitive to the tastes and smells, we can guess that they take this new super ability with them to their dreams.

Emotional state

During pregnancy, a woman is at a very delicate emotional state. This emotional state reflects upon the woman’s general comprehension of the world during the pregnancy period. It is not surprising that these intense emotions find their way also into the dream world. The perception of different people, situations or occurrences becomes more emotionally intense in dreaming during pregnancy. Pregnant women can have more intense “reactions” to the happenings in their dreams. This way, dreams during pregnancy can really get coloured by a vivid emotional layer that makes these striking dreams easy to stick to the memory.

an image of a man coping with a nightmare

Personality characteristics

Nature of dreams is in a great way determined by the dreamer’s personality. Same goes for pregnant women. Women who are prone to stress and nervous reactions can dream more about something going wrong with the pregnancy or childbirth. Those who are perfectionists can worry in their dreams about being perfect mothers and fulfilling their own high expectations. Women who are more easygoing can experience more relaxing dreams about the final outcome.

Also, women who are artistic, talented for visual or other arts, can have more vivid dreams through pregnancy. This can also happen to women who enjoy gaming or visual arts as a hobby.

Common dreams during pregnancy

Water of fish

Many experts believe that dreaming about water, or the creatures that live in water, represents woman’s urge to connect with her baby. The water is usually understood as a metaphor for the uterus. So, the dream about creatures that live in water can be depictions of woman’s wish to understand how her baby feels in their environment. This dream is common for an early pregnancy.

a pregnant woman dreaming of a water and fish

Losing the baby

This may just be the most common nightmare during the pregnancy. Women tend to dream about losing their newborn in folds of sheets, in the home, in the mall or different public places. The nightmare is a clear indicator of cold feet that mother-to-be has. No matter how realistic or frightening this dream seems, it should not be taken very seriously. The dream just means that the woman wants to be a great caregiver and that she worries whether she is up to the task.

Giving birth

Another quite common dream during pregnancy. Usually happens in the later months, especially the third trimester. This dream sounds like a perfectly normal one for pregnancy, but, in most cases, it doesn’t mean that woman dreams of a normal, realistic birth.

Women tend to dream about giving birth in a way that is not biologically accurate, or, giving birth to someone/something else than a baby. Some women have reported that they dreamt about giving birth to toddlers, grown, fully dressed babies and even adults!

an image of a woman dreaming of giving birth to a baby

Having a weird dream about labour during pregnancy is actually normal. These dreams are a representation of woman’s coping with the anticipation of childbirth. The fear of childbirth is shared by all pregnant women. Women don’t know what to expect, they worry and are afraid of the outcome. All this can lead to the women’s minds producing weird dreams as a way of managing those fears. Dreaming about easy and painless childbirth can help a woman’s mind with dealing with stress and fear.

Guessing the gender

Many women have reported that they have dreamed about their baby’s gender and guessed it accurately! Experts think that when woman’s body already has enough hints about the baby’s gender, she can dream about it. This explanation is mostly used when it comes to women who have already had children. These women have learned some “symptoms” or “signs” that are present with a certain gender.

But, when we talk about women who have their first pregnancy, it is not quite clear why and how do they dream this. It is usually believed that there are many medical signs that baby has a certain gender, but the conscious mind of the woman hasn’t processed them yet. This is why the realization comes in a dream.

This explanation is very popular, it is logical, but still, a bit stretched. We mustn’t rule out the simple possibility of the chance and a lucky guess. Many people tend to point out some intuition that mothers-to-be have. But, since none of that is provable, we shall stick to the above-mentioned explanations. After all, there are many things that are just in front of us, obvious and logical, but we sometimes comprehend them only just in our dreams. It is well-known that some mathematicians and scientist have reported that they resolved problems that were bothering them in their dreams. We must never forget that during dreaming are minds are very much active, and the thinking process started during the day continues.


The dream of falling is very common in general, especially for the pregnancy. Psychologists usually link it to the feelings of anticipation and uncertainty. Pregnant women can get overwhelmed by the feeling that they are losing control. This can be reflected in their dreams.

Sex dreams

This kind of dreams are extremely typical for pregnancy. They can happen for various reasons. One of the reasons can be hormonal changes. Also, due to the pregnancy, women can feel like there are lacking romance and sex in their lives. These dreams can sometimes indicate that the woman is a bit afraid that she is saying goodbye to her old carefree lifestyle.


Now, we get to the really bizarre side of the dreams during pregnancy. In many studies, women have said that they dreamt about giving birth to the different animals! More times than not to their own pets! Even though these kinds of dreams seem like extremely bizarre, they usually just point to the urge for nurturing a helpless, dependent and gentle creature.

Something wrong with the baby

This is also one of the very common nightmares during pregnancy. The nightmare can be very disturbing, unsettling and not easy to deal with. It is very important not to let this dream influence daily emotions and thinking.

This is sometimes easier said than done. It is not uncommon for therapists to advise their patients who are very disturbed by these kinds of dreams, to visit their doctor and regain their peace of mind in that way.

The nightmare in which something goes wrong with the baby’s wellbeing is common for pregnancy, and the woman shouldn’t be alarmed by it, no matter how hard it sounds. This nightmare reflects upon woman’s normal and healthy concern for the baby’s health.

There is one more nightmare scenario that can occur in dreams during pregnancy. That is the nightmare of something bad happening to the woman during the childbirth. We are going to talk about this dream through its famous and genius representation in the classic literature.

an image of a pregnant woman dreaming of a baby sickness

Anna Karenina's dream

The most famous poetic depiction of the frightening dream during pregnancy is certainly the Anna Karenina’s dream in the Leo Tolstoy’s novel. One night, Anna has a dream about the French-speaking peasant, the gloomy and unsettling image that has been haunting and torturing her for a quite some time. That night, Anna dreams about the peasant in a bit different way. She has a dream inside of a dream, where the nightmare is being interpreted to her as an omen of her death during the labour.

Anna is terrified by this interpretation and she shares it with Vronsky. Presentimenting Anna’s strive towards dying, Vronsky too becomes terrified by this dream. As we learn from the rest of the novel, Anna lives through her childbirth, and the gloomy omen from the dream has to do with her suicide and her persistent inclination towards death.

The dream about dying during childbirth is common among women. It is a reflection of woman’s normal fear from the pain and the outcome of the childbirth. In Tolstoy’s novel, this dream is connected to the many unsettling emotions that Anna has. Her quilt, her inability to find vitality in her existence, her failure to grasp and comprehend the meanings of life and death. Unaware of these things, Anna misinterprets the image of the frightening French peasant.

Final thoughts

Pregnant women, especially those who are pregnant for the first time, are faced with a lot of uncertainties, fears, anticipations, wanderings and worries. It is not strange that many nightmares find their way in pregnant woman’s mind. A pregnant woman is worried about her baby’s health, about the childbirth, whether she is going to be a good mother and how is her relationship with the child going to be like. This aspect concerning the future relationship with the child can also play a significant impact on dreams during pregnancy.

Besides nightmares, the emotionally overwhelmed mind of a pregnant woman can produce weird but pleasant dreams too. After all, it is no wonder why the mind during this complicated state can play double tricks on you. You can't change dreams but what you can do is to ensure yourself a nice and comfortable sleep environment so you might want to start with the pregnancy pillows.

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About the author

As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant I know how important sleep is. And as a combination sleeper, I have found it difficult to get products to suit my sleep style. I have more than 2 years product testing experience with The Sleep Advisors which means I have slept on, with and under more than 500 products with varying degrees of success. This is added to more than 2 years experience as a product reviewer for Closer, Heat and Grazia magazines, so I've got a rigorous process. I love sharing my sleep testimonials with our readers and hearing their experiences too.
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