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Have you ever suddenly woken up from a deep sleep, thanks to a dream you were fully convinced was real? Dreams can be vivid and detailed; we’re unsure how or why our imagination drummed it up. And when these dreams are so clear — like dreams about being pregnant — it’s understandable that we question what our subconscious could be trying to tell us. So what do pregnancy dreams mean when you’re not pregnant.
Thankfully, like many dreams, being pregnant in your alternate sleep reality isn’t necessarily always literally connected to actual pregnancy. There are several metaphors and interpretations that could explain why your dream starred you giving birth to a monster or finding out you’re pregnant with your ex’s kid. Here’s what it means to dream about being pregnant.
What Do Dreams About Being Pregnant Mean?
Memorable dreams are often memorable because they’re so outlandish, like being at a speaking engagement where you forgot to wear clothes or talking and having all your teeth fall out. Those scenarios aren’t likely to happen. At least, they’re not super plausible. But for many, finding out you’re pregnant is a plausibility, which can make these dreams about being pregnant leave us feeling more uneasy and confused. But that doesn’t mean you should take them as a sign that you’re expecting or that you will be soon.
“Dreams about being pregnant typically carry symbolic meanings related to readiness for something new or the desire to take a step in life,” Carlie Gasia, a Spencer Institute–endorsed certified sleep science coach for Sleepopolis, tells POPSUGAR.
Dreams about being pregnant can mean different things depending on your situation. “If you’re curious about what pregnancy dreams might mean, keeping a dream journal is a great place to start,” Gasia suggests. “It’s not only therapeutic but also helps you remember your dreams more clearly. When you write down your thoughts and feelings about these pregnancy-related dreams, it can reveal why they are occurring.”
Ahead, Gasia breaks down a few common themes and explanations for why you’re having dreams about being pregnant.
If You Dream About Being Pregnant With an Ex:
If your dreams about pregnancy are centered around you being pregnant with your ex, “it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to get back with them,” Gasia shares. “Instead, it often indicates personal growth and readiness for new experiences. You’ve likely learned lessons from that past relationship, and now you’re prepared to move forward.”
If You Dream About Being Pregnant With a Monster:
Another common dream centered around pregnancy is one where you give birth to a monster or a baby that’s not human (like an animal). Gasia says this tends to signal change in your life or a “challenge outside your comfort zone.”
She says, “It’s a reflection of your fears and anxieties about dealing with something unfamiliar. This dream suggests you should confront your worries and approach this new phase with courage.”
If You Dream About Going Into Labor:
Dreaming of being pregnant and being in labor can be strange, specifically if you’re not pregnant in real life. This dream could sometimes be interpreted as good things to come. “If your dream involves going into labor, it generally symbolizes upcoming rewards and positive outcomes resulting from your hard work and dedication,” Gasia shares.
If You Dream About Having a Miscarriage:
“Dreaming about having a miscarriage is often linked to anxiety and stress,” according to Gasia. “It might indicate that you have uncertainties or pressure related to particular situations. These dreams encourage you to address your concerns and worries in your life to find a sense of relief.”
If You’re Pregnant and Have a Pregnancy Nightmare:
What if you are pregnant and keep dreaming about giving birth to monsters, having a miscarriage, or going into labor? Gasia says these could be some of your worries coming to a head.
“If these dreams continue to be a bother, it could be a sign you haven’t addressed your real-life anxieties. These dreams could also suggest you’re afraid of being pregnant,” Gasia says, which is probably worth addressing.
Dreams About Being Pregnant: When to Worry
Having the same dream over and over, called recurring dreams, can start to weigh on your mental health and impact how much sleep you can get. If your dreams reach that point, it’s good to reach out to a care provider, Gasia says.
“When these recurring dreams start to mess with your daily life and well-being, it’s time to talk to someone who can help,” she suggests. “A mental health professional or therapist is a good place to turn. They can dig into what’s causing these dreams, helping you handle stress and anxiety and finding ways to deal with them.”
Gasia also notes that if your anxiety and recurring pregnancy dreams stem from a fear of pregnancy, you can also talk with a healthcare provider or mental health professional. They can give you medical advice or help you work through some of those fears. Ultimately, it’s important to note that analyzing dreams isn’t an exact science, and these very similar situations can mean very different things to different people.
But, also, if you wake up confused over why you dreamt about going into labor with a baby gremlin with your ex, it’s probably not that serious.