Picture it. You're snoozing away, resting peacefully in the knowledge you did your nighttime skincare routine, and would you look at that—you're having another lovely dream featuring Timothée Chalamet, as usual. But then, all of a sudden, your dream takes a turn—now there's a baby growing inside of you, and you're trying to figure out what the heck just happened. That's right, people, you just had a pregnancy dream.
Most of you probably already know what I'm talking about, but if you've never experienced the phenomenon of a pregnancy dream, trust that it'll happen to you sooner or later. In this dream sequence, you might be taking a pregnancy test, or maybe you just have a surprise bump, or you could even be headed into labor. Either way, the pregnancy dream is super common. If you're currently expecting or you're getting busy, trying to conceive, then the reason for the subconscious imagery is no mystery. Baby anxiety is to be expected! But what does it mean to dream that you're pregnant if you're nowhere close to that phase of your life? Allow me to explain.
FIRST OF ALL, RELAX. DREAMING THAT YOU'RE PREGNANT DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE ACTUALLY PREGNANT.
The pregnancy dream is actually pretty common. As Deirdre Barrett, PhD, a psychologist and author of The Committee of Sleep, told Women's Health, “Pregnancy can be a metaphor for other kinds of creativity." So dreaming that you're going to have a baby often means that you're growing. Either a new part of your personality is making itself known, or you might be desiring to create something new—this could mean a new job, a new sense of confidence, or a sudden passion for painting. The bottom line is that you're developing, just as a baby would develop in your womb. It kinda makes sense that your subconscious relies on the pregnancy concept to signify growth, no? Pretty straightforward when you think about it.
WHAT IF YOU DREAM ABOUT A PREGNANCY TEST SPECIFICALLY?
Dreaming that you're taking a pregnancy test can similarly mean that your psyche is aware that you're entering a new phase of life. And the same explanation goes for dreams in which you're giving birth. Basically, a dream about any phase of pregnancy means some new side of you or new part of your life is on the way, and it's up to you—in your waking life—to figure out what that newness could be.
AND WHAT IF YOU DREAM THAT YOUR FRIEND IS PREGNANT?
A dream in which your friend is pregnant might mean that you're developing a new side of your personality that is similar to an aspect of their personality. Or it could mean you feel something unfinished, either with them or just in general, as Ally Mead, a professional dream interpreter told Huffington Post. So if you have a random dream that your ex-bestie is with child, you might want to give her a call.
BUT PREGNANCY DREAMS DON'T NECESSARILY MEAN THE SAME THING FOR EVERYONE.
Keep in mind that dreams can hold different meanings for different people, based on everyone's individual experiences.
The main takeaway here is that you don't have to wake up in a panic the next time you spend your sleeping hours with a baby bump, even if, yeah, it can be a bit jarring when you wake up. Sweet dreams!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.