Dreams About pregnancyIf you’ve read my article on the meaning of dreams in pregnancy, you already know that women often have vivid dreams while pregnant. However, did you know that many people, men and women both, also have dreams about pregnancy itself? It can be easy to alarm yourself by wondering if your dreams about pregnancy mean that you or a friend might actually be pregnant. While this is possible, like all dreams, pregnancy dreams tend to be more symbolic than literal, and may hint at areas of your life in which you are feeling stifled or creatively unsatisfied. Alternatively, if you’re facing a big responsibility or new project, dreams about pregnancy can be your subconscious way of grappling with the issue.

At their hearts, most pregnancy dreams are about creativity. When a woman is pregnant, she’s literally creating life within her body: in a dream, this can be a powerful metaphor for a creative act you may be undertaking in your own life. The joys, stresses and worries associated with any creative project can be fodder for dreams about pregnancy, whether you’re in the middle of a home renovation project or writing your Masters thesis. When you’re trying to get to the meaning of a pregnancy dream, a helpful starting question to ask is, “Am I doing something creative or constructive in my life right now?” If so, your dream could be pointing you toward specific concerns or problems in your creative project. Alternatively, if you feel happy in the dream, it could be a sign that your creative side is flourishing and that you’re happy with how your project is going.

A follow-up question might be, “Am I not doing anything particularly creative right now? Do I want to be?” Pregnancy is a powerful symbol for bringing something to creative fruition; if you feel frustrated or stressed in your dream about pregnancy, it could be a sign that you are feeling creatively stymied in your waking life. We all sometimes defer our goals to meet our immediate obligations, but it can be exasperating when you find yourself continually putting off things you want to do, especially long-term goals and desires. A pregnancy dream can sometimes be a sign from your subconscious that you’ve delayed an important goal or passion for too long, either because you feel like you have no time for it, or because the goal or desire doesn’t seem practical. A deferred goal can be as simple as wishing to begin a hobby (“I want to learn how to paint”) or as large as a career change (“I want to leave business and go to art school to become a designer”).

Making the changes in your life to accommodate goals like these can be daunting, and it may seem easier to put them off. However, dreams about pregnancy—especially if they are recurring dreams—can be messages from your subconscious that it’s time to honestly acknowledge those goals to yourself, and start thinking about how you might achieve them. In a sense, dreams about pregnancy are similar to other dreams that reflect life transitions, such as dreaming about snakes or death, which push you to think about the changes that might be going on in your life and give you the chance to choose how you will approach major transitions.

Interpreting dreams is a highly subjective enterprise, and dreams about pregnancy are no exception. If you’re confused about what your pregnancy dream might mean, think about how it made you feel: were you frustrated in the dream? Did the pregnancy make you worried or scared, or did you feel content and happy? If you actually are pregnant, the feelings you experienced in your dream could point to your concerns or attitudes toward your pregnancy and the upcoming responsibility of caring for a baby. If you believe your dreams about pregnancy are attached to a current creative project instead—or a yearning to do something creative—the emotions could reflect what you’re feeling about the state of your project. Perhaps it isn’t coming together in the ways you’d hoped, and you need to go back and retool something. Maybe you’re worried it will never get finished, or frustrated because it feels as though you lack time to work on it. Conversely, dreams of pregnancy in which you feel happy and content often signal that you’re in a good place with your creative side and nothing needs to be changed.

Dreaming about pregnancy is universal in human societies, and fertility symbols appear in cultures as far apart as South and East Asia (the lotus flower), and Celtic Ireland (the Celtic knot represents the cycle of birth and death). While dreams about pregnancy may indicate a wish to become pregnant, they don’t have to—men also sometimes dream about pregnancy, though these kinds of dreams are much more common in women. No matter the culture you live in, your dreams about pregnancy will be unique to you in their meaning. By honestly examining what pregnancy means to you in your dreams, you can come to a better understanding of your creative side and what you can do to help it grow.