Having weird visions of kittens and sushi while you snooze? It’s perfectly normal. Dream experts explain why.
Pregnancy dreams are one of the weirdest symptoms you’ll experience during the nine months when you’re busy creating a new human life. You’re stressed, your hormones are going crazy, and you’re heading into the unknown—it’s no wonder your subconscious mind is conjuring up visions as weird as an episode of Twin Peaks. But at least you can take comfort in the fact that pregnant women everywhere are having the same freaky dreams as you! Here are 5 common types of pregnancy dreams and expert insight on what your brain is trying to tell you.
You give birth to the most adorable…kittens.
The dream of giving birth to cute little animals is so common, Sigmund Freud even mentions it in his classic book The Interpretation of Dreams. While kittens are a frequent surprise guest in this type of dream, anything tiny, fluffy, and decidedly non-human can show up. “Dreams of giving birth to animals are generally positive, even if they are anxiety-provoking,” explains Alan Siegel, PhD, an associate clinical professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. “They’re linked to the development of maternal feelings during the pregnancy.”
You forgot to pack for a trip.
You’re stepping off a train or airplane with no luggage, no clean underwear, and no idea where you are or what you’re doing there! This is the pregnancy spin-off of that dream we all used to have about showing up for class completely unprepared for a big test (or worse, naked!). “The dream theme of taking a trip or journey can be a powerful metaphor for pregnancy,” says Kelly Bulkeley, director of the Sleep and Dream Database. “You’re saying goodbye to pre-pregnancy life and setting off into unknown territory filled with surprises, obstacles, and dangers. It’s tiring and seems to go on forever, and it finally it leads to a new place.” Perhaps this dream is a sign you should have that hospital bag packed and ready to go—you could be starting that new journey any day now.
You accidentally leave your baby at the supermarket.
Call it the “Home Alone” dream—you’re already so anxious about the responsibilities of parenthood that you’re working out your fears of literally losing the baby. Think of this as a preview of the next 18 years of looking at your watch and saying, “Now where is that kid?”
Oops—you forgot you’re pregnant!
If you dream about eating your weight in sushi while washing it down some tequila shots—only to panic when you remember you’re pregnant—take comfort in the fact that this is just your brain reminding you to make the right choices when you’re awake.
You keep getting lost on your way to the hospital.
You’re trying desperately to get to the delivery room, but no matter which way your car turns, you keep driving farther and farther away. This is just your mind anxiously preparing for the major life transition up ahead, says Seigel. “Having an upsetting dreams at this time is not only normal, but shows show that you’re actively coping, preparing, and adapting.” But just in case, make sure your maps app is downloaded and updated before you get in the car.