6 Questions About Mom Dreams Answered!

6 Questions About Mom Dreams Answered!

Did your dreams get crazier after you became a mom? Our experts explain why!

By Wendy Robinson

I was chatting with a pregnant girlfriend last week when the subject turned to her latest crazy pregnancy dream, this one involving a very vivid romantic encounter with her cute OB-GYN. While we laughed together about the weirdness of pregnancy dreams, it made me start to think of the ways that my dreams changed after becoming a mom.

I was curious about the meaning behind some of the more common “mom” dreams, like about misplacing the baby or breastfeeding an animal instead of the baby (I dreamed about nursing a lion cub!), so I connected with two dream experts: Lauri Loewenberg, a professional dream analyst, radio personality, and Dr. Oz’s resident dream specialist, and Ian Wallace, a dream psychologist and author of The Top 100 Dreams and The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert. Together they shed light on the fascinating world of dreams.

Is it true that many moms, especially new moms, have the same kinds of dreams? According to Loewenberg, yes: “They all share the same concerns about becoming a mother – ‘How will the new baby fit into my life, and am I responsible enough to take care of this little human?’”

Do our hormones affect our dreams? “Oh my gosh, yes!!” says Loewenberg. “Progesterone surges during pregnancy and dream recall is more vivid and dream content a bit more bizarre than normal. It’s like your dreams are on steroids.”

How else does parenting affect our dreams? For many of us, parenting can both increase our anxiety and reduce our sleep, both factors that influence our dreams, says Wallace. “[If] you are not getting high quality sleep, the content of your dreams may be slightly disturbed. Having emotional ups and downs during the day will also be reflected in your dream content. [They] will seem to have a higher intensity of emotion.”

More from P&G everyday: The Best Parenting Advice I Ever Received

What is the deal with my recurring dreams about losing or misplacing my baby or child? “The misplacing-the-baby dream may seem like an anxiety dream but it is actually the 46th most common dream, not just for new moms but for everyone else,” says Wallace. “A baby symbolizes a labor of love that you initially conceived as a uniquely creative idea. Dreaming that you have misplaced a baby suggests that you have had to put some of your other creative ambitions on hold in waking life, such as your career or some other individual pursuit. This can lead to you feeling concerned that you won’t be able to find your way back to working on your labor of love when you have more time and energy.”

Do men and women dream differently? Wallace notes that dreams are “heavily context dependent, so it is really down to the experiences that moms and dads are having during the day.” Interestingly, though, men “often report dreams where they are pregnant and giving birth or trying to breastfeed a newborn,” says Wallace.


Become a member of P&G everyday and get exclusive offers!

Become a member

Speaking of breastfeeding, is it normal to dream about breastfeeding an animal instead of a child? According to both experts, yes: Dreaming about “giving birth to and breastfeeding baby animals is common for a couple of reasons,” says Loewenberg. “Most of us were ‘mommies’ to animals first, such as cats or dogs, so our subconscious minds attribute our ability to nurture to animals. Secondly, in the second and third trimesters, dreaming of baby animals is very common because it reflects the form of the fetus. It is no longer a kidney-bean-looking embryo but rather a cute little figure with a big round head, big eyes, and little body, much like a baby animal. Our maternal instincts are attracted to this form as it increases our desire to love and care for our own baby. It's a type of pedomorphism. It's natural and healthy!”

Wallace interprets this dream in a slightly different way. “Breastfeeding symbolizes that you have an essential opportunity to nurture one of your concepts and develop it further, by taking it into the bosom of your affections,” he says. “An animal represents an instinctive talent that you have for expressing your creative nature and gives you the motivation to put your natural wisdom into real practice. In your ‘breastfeeding a lion cub’ dream, the lion cub symbolizes a growing awareness that you can take great pride in assertively displaying your unique talents. So when you dream that you are breastfeeding a lion cub, it means that you are beginning to sense an opportunity in your waking life where you can take a fantastic idea that you are really proud of and nurture it so that it develops into a really healthy and strong statement of how talented you are.”

Fascinating stuff, right? Do you have any recurring dreams since you’ve become a mom?

Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom, and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.wordpress.com.

Image ©iStock.com/kupicoo

More articles you may like:

10 Easy & All-Natural Ways to Tackle Anxiety

8 Surprising Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep

10 Habits Proven to Make Moms Happier

Complete your personal information

Please fill in the information marked with an asterisk to proceed; if you want to get tailored offers and content, don't forget to fill in the optional fields.