“Dreams can express our everyday health and feelings, so extra hormones racing around your body during pregnancy may affect their content,” explains dream specialist Delphi Ellis (www.thisisdelphi.com). “Mums-to-be are also prone to disrupted sleep, which will also make your dreams more vivid.”
At different stages of your pregnancy you might find yourself dreaming about whales, drinking wine or giving birth to a small animal, and there’ll be reasons for all these images floating into your sleeping mind.
In your first trimester
“It’s common in the early stages of pregnancy to have dreams in which you feel you’re falling. This might be a way of expressing your fear that you lack control over your situation,” says Delphi.
“Lots of newly pregnant mums also have dreams where they’re giving birth to animals,” she adds. “This is completely normal and happens because although you’re excited to meet your new baby, you haven’t had a scan and so can’t imagine what he or she actually looks like. You’re acknowledging you’re pregnant but your mind can’t see a baby, so you may dream of small, cute animals as you’re hoping your baby will be just as lovely as you see these to be.”
In your second trimester
As your pregnancy progresses and your weight starts to increase this can have a knock-on effect on your dreams. Delphi explains: “You might dream you’ve become incredibly fat, and even see whales as you associate them with being large.”
Another worrying dream common in this trimester is your partner having an affair. “Chances are you’ll be feeling large, unattractive and a bit vulnerable,” says Delphi. “It’s important to remember it’s just a dream and to share your feelings with your husband and be reassured.”
Swimming may also feature around the time of your first scan as you’ve just seen your baby happily floating in amniotic fluid.
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In your third trimester
Unsurprisingly, giving birth can be a commonly recurring dream as you enter the last leg. “You might start to see the birth happening, with details like who’s in the room or what the pain is like,” explains Delphi. “Birth dreams near your due date sometimes also feature your baby arriving in a car or lift, rather than the safety of the hospital ward.”
If this is happening, try and get things organised for b-day in advance to reassure yourself that you’re ready to go whenever the time comes. “If you’re reaching the end, you might find dreams about alcohol, soft cheeses or other things you’ve been avoiding creep in,” says Delphi. “This is known as a wish-fulfillment dream where you enjoy something you’re craving or looking forward to.”
3 ways to sleep well tonight
1. Invest in a pregnancy pillow to put under your bump and between your legs. It’ll help you get comfy as your tummy grows.
2. Make sure your PJs and bed sheets are cotton to help your skin breathe through the night and stop you overheating.
3. Drink plenty of water during the day to keep water retention and leg cramps at bay.
“I’ve had countless dreams about giving birth from the end of my second trimester onwards. Generally, he or she arrives in a very calm way in my own home and I feel very happy. I have variations on this dream, and each one is helping me understand I don’t need to be afraid of giving birth.”
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Rachel Malcolm, 32, from London, 30 weeks pregnant
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