By Dr. Angel Morgan via DreamsCloud
Expecting mothers can have dreams that are very sweet about their children before they are born. Sometimes, mothers even have dreams that inform the naming of their children. For example, while I was round with my first pregnancy, I had a vivid dream of a little toddler with curly golden hair, running in a forest with a pack of wolves. Not running from them... running with them. In fact, she was vivaciously leading the group of wolves through the forest. The wolves were clearly her family, her pack. When I awoke from this dream, I had the feeling my child had given me her middle name. I honored this dream by giving my daughter her middle name, Goldenwolf.
Since there are many different kinds of dreams, of course this is also true for dreams of pregnant mothers. Often dreams during pregnancy aren't so sweet, loving, or mystical in the mother's experience. For example, it's common for expecting moms to have strange and fearful dreams about baby animals, or babies of all shapes and sizes, sometimes even appearing more like grotesque monsters. It's natural for a mom to feel concerned with the health and appearance of a not-yet-born child, but that doesn't mean she is carrying a baby seal, bunny, kitty, or baby with 20 toes! These kinds of dreams usually represent more about her feelings of the unknown and are very normal during pregnancy. Most of her dreams are going to be filled with symbols, puns and metaphors, whether they are strange and grotesque, or simply exploring her feelings about everything that is happening in her waking life while expecting a child.
Some common themes experienced by expecting mothers are: small, furry, cute animals, water (amniotic fluid/womb), architecture (uterus), and fertility symbols such as lush gardens with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In addition to dreams about the name of a child, sometimes expecting moms have dreams about the sex of the child. Interestingly, in my dream with the toddler running with wolves in the forest, I didn't see whether my child was going to be a girl or a boy yet -- I waited until her birth to find out my "Goldenwolf" child was a girl.
Elements from the past are active in pregnancy dreams too. For example, it's common for first time pregnant mothers to dream about their own mothers as they're preparing to form their own maternal identities. During my first pregnancy, I often had lucid dreams of evaporating bodies of water so I could see what artifacts from the past I would find underneath all that "mother water!" Although this isn't exclusive, when people dream about snow and ice, those dreams are sometimes about unresolved mother, or motherhood issues (frozen/cold "mother water"). In those kinds of dreams, I have focused on the warm sun melting the snow or ice to see what has been "frozen" underneath.
When a mother watches her sleeping baby, she will notice his or her closed eyelids often flutter rapidly. That means the baby is experiencing REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and is probably dreaming. Unfortunately, we can't know for sure what babies' dreams are like because when they report dreams to us, it is usually in Gummish (baby language). Some mothers claim to speak Gummish, but scientists remain skeptical. Most moms simply enjoy the feeling these "dream reports" give them... especially when they are in a blissful baby bubble.
Children have been known to share dreams as soon as they can talk, but usually, they start to speak about dreams when they are around age 3 or 4. Expecting and new mothers have plenty of time to learn more about dreams, continue regular use of a dream journal, increase their dream education, and find reliable sources to help them understand and connect with the world of dreams. Engaging in this process will help new moms develop a reverence for their own dream experiences, so they can better understand the importance of their children's dreams when they start sharing them with their sweet mama.
DreamsCloud is a place to log and share your dreams, keep an online dream journal, learn more about dream meanings and receive professional dream reflections. They offer a free app for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices, in addition to a Facebook app.
About Reflections: DreamsCloud is of the belief that only the dreamers can truly know the meaning of their dream and that no other person can provide definitive dream interpretation. Upon the user's request, Dreams Cloud Reflectors provide insightful feedback, gleaned from years of study in the dreams field, to help the user to better understand their dreams. DreamsCloud reflections are not a substitute for psychotherapy or other professional treatment and should not be used as such.
Blog author Angel Morgan, Ph.D., completed the Dream Studies and Creativity Studies programs at Saybrook University. Her research can be found on academia.edu. Dr. Morgan also oversees the experienced dream reflectors at DreamsCloud, providing feedback and insight for dreams submitted by users worldwide.