Dreaming about being pregnant: Dream analyst explores what it really means

Dreaming about being pregnant is more common than you think

Dreaming about being pregnant Woman sleeping in white bed
(Image credit: Getty / Future)

Dreaming about being pregnant isn’t always about bearing children or wanting to be pregnant, it could indicate feelings about another change or goal in your life.

People often wonder 'what does my dream mean?' and when you look closer it's not always so simple.  People often have nightmares (opens in new tab) or dreams of teeth falling out, flying, or maybe falling; they're really common. But dreams of being pregnant are on another level. Though, contrary to beliefs, pregnancy dream isn’t one of the more subtle (and non-medical) early signs of pregnancy, nor is it always about being a mother. 

Dream analyst Matthew Bose tells us; “Dreams in sleep, are what thinking is when we’re awake. And, while most dreams tend to be about current concerns, they are often symbolic and so it’s best not take them literally.”

There are a lot of varying factors that may play into dreaming about being pregnant. Factors such as stress levels, age, relationship status, and any other major things going on in your life - such as if you're trying to conceive. Still, here are a few things to consider if you woke up after being knocked up in your dreams.

Dreaming about being pregnant

Dreaming about being pregnant might not necessarily be about pregnancy at all, Matthew tells us. “Indeed, we use the metaphor of being pregnant to describe a lot of experiences – for example as a metaphor for creativity and ideas or as a metaphor of containment of feelings.”

For example, we talk about being pregnant with feelings, he says. “We say things like ‘I’m full of ideas’ or ‘this idea is in development’, usually in reference to something that needs evolving.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person dreams four to six times per night. And, you could spend up to 2 hours dreaming in the course of a night’s sleep. 

Dreaming about being pregnant: What does it mean?

Dreaming about being pregnant in general means you are growing, it means there is something new in your life. It may mean you want to be pregnant, or it may mean there are big changes evolving in your life that you are pondering and thinking at length about. 

As we know pregnancy has a cycle; conception, gestation and birth. “We conceive ideas", Matthew tells us. "In other words a thought or an idea comes to us, and then we might ‘gestate it’ sit on it, and think about it. 

He adds: "If we dream about ‘morning sickness’, it might mean we are ‘pregnant with feelings’ that we’re sick of having, that we want gone.”

Matthew tells us, "... If we are trying to understand our dreams about pregnancy, a good way to start would be to think about the current context of our lives and what could be going on that we need to give attention to.

"Sometimes it may be obvious to us, at other times we may need to hold the image in mind and let it gradually unfold as the dream might be about an emotional or deep experience which is below the level of our waking conscious."

Is dreaming about being pregnant common?

Common dreams are usually kick-started by everyday common occurrences.  And because starting anything new happens a lot in life, the dream happens too. 

Dreams are often about our emotional concerns, Matthew tells us. "MRI scans show that the parts of our brains that deal with the processing of emotional events are up to 30% more active when we are in REM sleep than when we are awake."

Cognitive scientists note how often we use metaphorical concepts when we are thinking or talking about emotional states in our daily language. 

We take them for granted most of the time when we are using them so we don’t notice, Matthew says. "A typical example might be a statement like, 'Love is a Journey' – so when we say to someone or think 'my relationship has reached the end of the road' we know exactly what we’re talking about.

"The theory is that when we dream we will see the metaphor in image form – in other words we might literally be on a ship out at sea with our partner."

You might also like:

Dream meanings explained: What does my dream mean? (opens in new tab)
Why are my dreams so vivid during lockdown? (opens in new tab)
Why do I keep having nightmares? (opens in new tab)

Video of the Week:

Stephanie Lowe
Stephanie Lowe

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodTo covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. With his love of choo-choos, Hey Duggee and finger painting he keeps her on her toes.