What Do Dreams About Giving Birth Mean?
4 min read
Last Modified 8 March 2022 First Added 1 March 2022
It’s believed that the general meaning behind a dream about giving birth is that it symbolises a new beginning and a change to your day-to-day life. It’s not necessarily an indication that you’re about to conceive or give birth, especially if you’re not planning to have children.
You’re in a hospital bed on a maternity ward. Your partner is holding your hand and a midwife is encouraging you to push. Suddenly you hear a baby let out its first cry. You’re flooded with emotions, from elation to relief. But then you wake up and there’s no bump or baby!
Theories about dreams suggest dreaming is a way in which we process emotions, memories and information that we’ve gathered while we’re awake. It makes sense that pregnant women dream more about childbirth. However, a Freudian view of dreams suggests that dreams represent connections and don’t necessarily reflect events in real life. Therefore, it’s natural to dream about giving birth, even when it has no relevance to your current life situation.
The most common meanings behind a dream about giving birth are to do with new beginnings, creativity and prosperity. This dream symbolises that something exciting is coming your way and you’re ready to embark on a new phase of your waking life. The baby in your dream is a sign of a fresh start, a new project or a relationship that‘s about to bloom. It’s all about hope, anticipation, growth and success.
While the general meaning of a dream about giving birth suggests a genesis, there are variations of the dream and each has a subtly different interpretation. We explore some of these variations below:
You might dream of someone else giving birth simply because you know of someone who’s recently had a baby or wants to get pregnant. Alternatively, this dream could mean that the person you’re dreaming about is about to experience a significant change in their life.
If it’s a stranger giving birth in your dream, it can mean that changes will soon occur in your own life.
Dreaming of giving birth to twins is natural if you’re pregnant with twins. You may also have this dream when you’re not pregnant, perhaps as a way of your brain expressing harmony, prosperity or needing balance.
If you’re pregnant, dreaming about giving birth to a boy may represent your desire to have a boy. Alternatively, it may symbolise what we consider to be traditionally masculine qualities such as strength and assertiveness. In the bible, Jesus represents hope and joy and dreaming of a baby boy can also mean a new phase in your life will start soon.
Dreaming about giving birth to a baby girl can symbolise celebrating your feminine qualities and internal beauty. It may also be a sign of financial fortune, luck and good health.
Dreams don’t predict real life events, but they may represent our subconscious reality. Context is always key.
If dreams are positive, they may represent contentedness, whereas negative dreams can suggest underlying anxieties. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and work through them productively.
In popular culture, dreams about giving birth are often used as a way of warning about a negative event. For example, in Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker’s nightmares surrounding his wife’s childbirth are pivotal in driving him towards an obsession with growing powerful enough to prevent those he loves from dying. Ultimately, he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader.
While pregnancy is often a time of joy and excitement, nightmares surrounding birth are common for pregnant women, due to anxiety about the unknown and the significant life changes pregnancy brings. In Aliens, the sequel to the 1979 film Alien, Ellen Ripley has nightmares and flashbacks to when she gave birth to the Alien.
A study in the Journal of Sleep found that new mums reported greater levels of anxiety and peril in their dreams, even when their experience of childbirth was much less traumatic than that shown in the Alien! This was attributed to the emotional influence of maternal concerns, changes instigated by severe sleep disruption and REM sleep deprivation.
Remember these dreams are normal and common among pregnant women and new mums, but if you’re struggling it’s important to reach out for help.