9 Common Pregnancy Dreams and What They Mean

So what's the meaning of some of those crazy pregnancy dreams you've been having? We asked the experts to get you some answers.

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Although everyone sleeps and dreams every night, the dreams while pregnant tend to be packed with emotion—a reflection of the dramatic life changes you're about to undergo.

Remember that dreams have no bearing on reality. Feelings of ambivalence about parenthood, your changing role, and new responsibilities are normal. Just because you have these feelings doesn't mean you don't want to have a baby. Acknowledging your feelings (even the negative ones) and doubts will help you work through them in a more productive way.

Your dreams can also be a good way to open up a dialogue with your partner ("I had the craziest dream, and I think what I'm really worried about is..."). Getting your fears out in the open is the best way to overcome them.

Here are 10 of the most common themes in pregnancy dreams, and what they might mean, according to experts.

Giving Birth to Animals

For many first-timers, the closest they've come to parenting is having a pet. Taking care of a puppy or kitten is relatively simple, in contrast to nurturing a baby, which is unknown territory. Giving birth to a pet is a "practicing" dream, in which the animal stands in for the baby, explains Hillary Grill, co-author of Dreaming for Two.

In other words, it's your mind's way of rehearsing for the real thing, but on a more manageable level. These dreams may express an underlying fear of being completely responsible for a helpless being. As pregnancy progresses, the animals will often grow older and develop human qualities, says Veronica Tonay, Ph.D., author of Every Dream Interpreted.

"In the first trimester, you may dream about bunnies and, later, talking rabbits," Dr. Tonay says. "These images are often friendly and make us feel safe." Similarly, some parents dream they can take their baby out of their belly, play with them, and then put them back. A dream dress rehearsal!

Giving Birth to an Alien

While unsettling, dreaming about giving birth to an alien is quite normal, says Grill. After all, at times, it feels as if an alien has taken over your body. And the only hint you have of what your baby looks like is from the sonogram image, which can look a bit like an alien. This dream is similar in meaning to giving birth to an animal: You don't know who this little person is going to be or how you're going to take care of it.

"Hostility and fear of the baby are part of early pregnancy; this type of dream lets you work through your emotions," says Jessica Lara-Carrasco, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Montreal's Dream and Nightmare Lab.

Taking the Baby Out of Your Uterus—Then Putting It Back

Every parent worries about the health of their baby. This dream is most likely a reflection of the desire to see firsthand that the baby is developing normally. After checking to see that all is well, the baby goes back to the uterus to continue growing.

Grill says that in their research, this dream was most common among those who had already experienced a pregnancy loss or who had a high-risk pregnancy. Another possible meaning: The worried parent is seeing who the baby is, and it's their way of answering, "Will I love this baby?"

Swimming, Drowning, Standing in the Ocean

Many pregnancy dreams include an element of water, though the water can take different forms. A dream in which you're swimming could mean you're trying to connect with your baby, who's bathed in water in your womb. Swimming could also mean that you're trying to connect with the baby who is living in the water. It's also a way of connecting with nature since you feel part of it when making a baby.

Drowning is another common image, which could mean you're feeling overwhelmed, says Grill. Or it could speak to your fear of having your water break in an inconvenient place. Oceans and their breaking waves could symbolize the imminence of childbirth.

Cheating Partners

The theme of infidelity in your dreams, in which a partner is cheating or having an affair, is usually a sign that you feel vulnerable and insecure. As your body changes, you might not always feel attractive, creating the perfect fertile ground for worry about whether your partner still desires you or you'll ever get your pre-pregnancy body back. Take your dream as an opportunity to explore your feelings and share them with your partner.

Reappearing Ex-Lovers

Dreams that feature you getting together with an old flame don't mean that you secretly want that to happen. It can mean, however, that you're feeling ambivalent about your new role and upcoming responsibilities. Perhaps you're feeling trapped, as if a door is closing, and are romanticizing the past in which you were more carefree.

Forgetting Where You Put Your Baby

Many parents fear this dream is a premonition. "Patients share dreams about misplacing the baby, or harm coming to the baby," says Marjorie Greenfield, author of The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book. "I tell them that dreams are your brain's way of working out fears and anxieties. A dream is only a projection of what you are dealing with. It can't predict the future." Your unconscious is priming for your life's seismic next chapter!

Teeth Crumbling or Falling Out

Crumbling teeth is symbolic of losing control, Lara-Carrasco explains. The dream's recurrent nature shows how stressed you are about how your pregnancy will affect your life, she says. According to the Sleep Foundation, dreams of crumbling or falling teeth are very common—as many as 39% of the American population will have one at some point, so you're not alone.

Celebrity Schmoozing

Dreams about fame and heroism are very common in pregnancy. Consider them proof that you're internalizing the importance of your role as a parent. You're going to be one of the most influential people in your kid's life—yup, a genuine superstar!

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