Maybe you're taking a pregnancy test. Maybe you're on your way to the delivery room. Maybe you're just hanging out, being pregnant and enjoying your second trimester. Whatever the details are, dreaming that you're pregnant or giving birth can be jarring — especially if, in real life, you don't have any children at all.
Stephanie Gailing, dream analyst and flower essence therapist, says that pregnancy dreams often symbolize the dreamer's relationship with their creativity. So, in your dream you might be physically pregnant, but that could point to an idea or project that's been gestating in your mind IRL. Maybe you're approaching a due date and that's what prompts the dream; or you might have been putting off sharing an inspiring idea with others, and your subconscious is nudging you to put it out there.
Having these sorts of dreams can be a chance to better understand yourself as a creative person, according to Gailing. Dreaming that you're having an unplanned pregnancy or giving birth to something monstrous could point to a lack of confidence in your vision, while dreaming about a happy, healthy pregnancy may indicate that you're actually really excited to express yourself.
Sometimes, though, a pregnancy dream is actually about your feelings around, well, pregnancy. "Being a mother, being a father, having a child — it’s just a common archetype that runs through our world," Gailing says, adding that it makes perfect sense to dream about pregnancy if you feel strongly about parenthood one way or another.
But, these aren't the only possible explanations.
According to Matt Lundquist, LCSW, a psychotherapist and couples therapist, pregnancy dreams can also belie issues with sexuality, relationships, unfulfilled desires, or subconscious fears. As Lundquist puts it, "Pregnancy is a particularly loaded concept." So, if you don't have babies on the brain, and you aren't grappling with your creative vision, you might want to take some time to identify where else in you life you're dealing with uncertainty or unease. (This is where keeping a dream journal will come in handy.)
Lundquist emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind when decoding your dreams, which is a good rule of thumb, considering how wild and ambiguous dreams can be. That said, there's one thing that all of these interpretations have in common: change. Whether you're preoccupied with a new project, the prospect of having children, or a nebulous concern over your personal life, you're facing a shift in your life (or at least the idea of it) and your subconscious may be saying it's time to reckon with that.
If you feel warm and fuzzy after dreaming about pregnancy, maybe it's time to welcome and usher in those changes in your life. But, feeling confused or even upset by this kind of dream could suggest that you no longer feel in control of that area of your life. You might not be able to put a total stop to what's changing, but you might find a way to cope with it more gracefully, or even find a way to slow down the transition.
"Dreams can be so valuable in what they have us ask ourselves," Gailing says. So, the next time you dream about being pregnant, take note of the feelings or questions that rise to the surface. Once they're on your mind, what good does it do to ignore them?