You find yourself wandering alone in an unfamiliar, dark place, when suddenly you realize you’re not you, but a giant fish swimming through a murky river. Then you wake up to the familiar sights and sounds of your bedroom. Have you ever been startled awake by a bizarre dream and wondered, What the hell was that about? Strange and vivid dreaming can happen to anyone, but when pregnant women have larger-than-life dreams, they may wonder what do dreams during pregnancy mean.

According to Patricia Garfield, author of the book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Dreams, the dreams women have while pregnant change as their body changes with each trimester, and also relate directly to the bodily changes that are occurring. This means that the dreams of a newly pregnant woman will most likely express different worries and have different symbolism than the dreams of a woman a few weeks away from giving birth.

Although dreams are as unique to each person as their own fingerprint, there are some common dreams that occur for pregnant women. So if you are pregnant and have been dreaming that you have given birth to a litter of kittens, you’re not alone! Here’s your guide to understanding what those whacky pregnancy dreams are trying to tell you.

1. The Delivery


Once a woman discovers she is pregnant, the reality of actually having to labor and deliver another human sets in. This thought can cause different levels of anxiety that may result in some odd dreams about giving birth. As Alan Siegel, a California-based psychologist and past president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, told Health Day, it is commonplace for pregnant women to have birth dreams that are manifestations of the worry that their baby will be born with unhealthy. For instance, mothers-to-be might dream of delivering an animal, inanimate object, or a baby who has not formed correctly. All of these scenarios can represent fears surrounding the impending responsibility of becoming a parent.

2. Aquatic Animals


Fish, frogs, and pollywogs aren’t just characters in fairy tales, they can have recurring roles in the dreams of pregnant women. According to Dream Stop, dreams of water and aquatic animals are experienced early in pregnancy. The water represents the amniotic fluid the woman’s body is producing and the creatures splashing around in there symbolize the baby.

3. Unattractiveness


As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy, it is possible for her to doubt her attractiveness and worry that her significant other no longer finds her sexy. World of Lucid Dreaming explains that this can result in dreaming of your partner leaving or betraying you. To dream of love affairs with people other than your partner also falls into the same category. A dream analysis of dreams with these themes on Creative Dreaming, tell us that this is the desire to feel attractive and the need for the support of a partner during pregnancy.

4. Gender


Both times I was pregnant, I dreamed of having boys. And both times, I gave birth to boys. But that doesn’t mean your nighttime visions will dictate your child’s sex. Dreaming of the baby’s gender is a very common dream for pregnant women, but one that can mostly likely only mean one thing. As The Real Meaning of Dreams points out, if a mother has a preference for her baby to be a certain gender, it would make sense that her dreams are a representation of that hope.

5. Danger


Anxieties have a way of creeping into our dreams and turning them into nightmares. Entering into parenthood can bring up many concerns that come through as dangerous situations in dreamland. When it comes to understanding what these dangers can mean, Creative Dreaming maps out several scenarios a mom-to-be might dream and what they mean.

Although they can be bizarre, funny, and downright scary, understanding what your pregnancy dreams mean may be a helpful tool. If you find yourself dreaming vividly within these themes, it may be a sign that you have some emotions to work through before your bundle arrives. To help you see patterns, stash a pen and notebook near your bed to record your dreams each morning. At the very least, you will end up with some unique stories to tell your little one about what dreams were like while you two shared a body.