What Do Dreams About Pregnancy Mean When You're Not Pregnant? Your 21 Most Common Baby Mama Nightmares, Explained

You've surely had the "all of my teeth fell out" dream. And you've doubtlessly also racked up a "showing up naked to school" dream or two in your day. But tell me, have you had the "look down and suddenly realize that I'm majorly, massively pregnant, oh my god, how did this happen?" dream yet? If you have (and I definitely, definitely have), you're not alone. Pregnancy dreams are actually incredibly common, for both pregnant and non-pregnant women alike — in fact, 70 percent of women regularly dream about pregnancy, regardless of the state of their own uteruses.

While pregnant women often dream about their own pregnancies and the specific anxieties they feel relating to them (and many pregnant women experience particularly vivid dreams throughout all three trimesters), pregnancy dreams for non-pregnant women usually mean that “some aspect of your personal life...is growing and developing," according to the "definitive" dream interpretation site Dream Moods. Dream interpreter Ally Mead seconds that thought, noting that dreams about pregnancy and childbirth are usually “about creativity … if you dream of being pregnant, you are likely craving time to be creative.”

So if you've spent the past few weeks being haunted by the nightmare where you went into labor at a Forever 21 and, somehow, gave birth to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, check out our guide to the wild, wacky world of pregnancy dreams, as interpreted by Dream Moods. It's more satisfying than a pickle and ice cream sandwich, we promise.

Check Out: Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams , $17, Amazon

PREGNANCY

Dreams about pregnancy can send you into a panic, particularly in those first hazy moments right after you wake up, when you think that you may have somehow genuinely become eight months pregnant without noticing it. But they're actually nothing to worry about — in fact, they usually symbolize something positive, like personal growth (rather than something negative, like being unexpectedly pregnant). Phew!

REALIZING THAT YOU’RE PREGNANT

Dreams about finding yourself suddenly pregnant often mean that “an aspect of yourself or some aspect of your personal life is growing and developing,” one that you may not be ready to take public yet. They can also mean a fear of new responsibilities.

REALIZING THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS PREGNANT

This one can signify a growing bond with that person. But dreaming that a significant other is pregnant with someone else’s child can symbolize a gap growing between the two of you and your goals.

TAKING A PREGNANCY TEST

Changes are occurring in your life, and “you feel that you are being put to the test as to whether you are prepared or ready for these changes.” Alternatively, it can simply mean that you’re frightened of becoming pregnant (call it the grown-up version of the "taking a test that I didn't study for" nightmare).

GETTING AN ULTRASOUND

To get a pregnancy ultrasound or sonogram in a dream usually signifies “a new and developing phase in your life,” like switching jobs, moving to a new city, or, uh, trying to get pregnant.

HAVING A BABY

Dreams about going into labor can sometimes signify something simple, like the fact that you fell asleep while watching Juno. But they can also reveal your inner emotions about new projects and people in your life.

GOING TO THE HOSPITAL TO GIVE BIRTH

"Signifies your issues of dependency and your desires to be completely cared for. Perhaps you are trying to get out of some responsibility.”

GIVING BIRTH

Dreams about going into labor can signify that a project that you are about to embark upon will take a lot of effort. Of course, if you're actually pregnant or trying, they can simply reflect your desires for a child or emotions and fears about going into labor.

GOING INTO PREMATURE LABOR

You “feel unready or unprepared about a new endeavor.”

HAVING A C-SECTION

This represents “that you need help in order to get your idea or project off the ground. You can not do it by yourself.”

GIVING BIRTH TO A NON-HUMAN CREATURE

This one is terrifying, but common. You might be “trying to overcome difficulties in your life and achieve inner development,” according to DreamMoods. Giving birth to a monster in particular can mean that “your inner creative energy has yet to blossom and grow into expression.” If you are currently pregnant, dreaming that you give birth to, say, a tiny Sasquatch just means that you’re nervous about the health of your baby (and, again, it’s a very common dream for pregnant women, so don’t read too much into it).

DYING IN CHILDBIRTH/HAVING A STILLBORN BABY

This sounds terrifying, but dreaming that a mother dies during childbirth most often means that you’re in the process of “making life changes or getting rid of your old habits and ways.” Likewise, dreaming that you give birth to or witness the birth of a stillborn child simply means that something in your life has come to a sudden and unexpected end, or that you have lost trust in something.

SEEING PLACENTA

“You need to let go of some unnecessary burden" (this goes double if the unnecessary burden you've been carrying around is your actual placenta, you kooky hippie).

SEEING AN UMBILICAL CORD

This “represents your lack of individuality. You may be expressing some anxiety about being on your own and supporting yourself.” It can also mean, specifically, that you’re too close with your mother. Dreams, sometimes you are a little too on the nose!

NOT HAVING A BABY

Dreams about a pregnancy that ends — either by choice or by accident — can feel wildly stressful. But they're mostly your subconscious working out feelings of confusion or disappointment about changes in your own life, and are nothing to fear.

HAVING AN ABORTION

To dream that you are having an abortion means that you may be “hindering and blocking your own growth,” and could feel hesitation about pursuing a new life direction. To dream that someone else is having an abortion may mean that your relationship with the person in question is growing or changing.

HAVING A MISCARRIAGE

Dreams about having a miscarriage when you’re not currently pregnant can mean that you have “a plan that did not go as expected,” or that you need to change a current course of action. If you are currently pregnant and dream of a miscarriage, it is most likely just an expression of anxiety about your pregnancy.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING AN IMAGINARY DREAM BABY

Does dreaming of a baby mean that you want to have a baby? Or just that you're acting like a baby? Both of those options are actually just the tip of the imaginary-baby iceberg, my friend.

SEEING A BABY

A baby’s appearance in a dream, in any capacity, signifies “innocence, warmth and new beginnings,” and perhaps an innocent part of your own self. A crying baby in a dream can represent acknowledging a part of yourself that is “deprived of attention and needs to be nurtured.” A walking or dancing baby means that you have great prospects ahead: You’re engaging with “the potential and possibilities that life has in stored for you.”

FEEDING A BABY

Lactation dreams usually signify that you have a lot of “tenderness, love, nurturance, and motherly love” to give. Or, also, the complete opposite: “that you need to be careful who you confide in" (we'll leave it to you and your milky dreamland bosoms to decide which one applies to you). Bottle-feeding a baby in a dream may mean that “you are relying too much on others.” Feeding baby food to a baby “indicates that nurturance and care is needed in a waking situation.” To dream of a starving baby means that “you are experiencing some deficiency in your life that needs immediate attention and gratification.”

FINDING A BABY

Finding someone else’s baby in a dream represents finally acknowledging your own hidden potential.

FORGETTING THAT YOU HAD A BABY

This means that “you are trying hide your own vulnerabilities; you do not want to let others know of your weaknesses,” or that there are aspects of yourself “that you have abandoned or put aside due to life's changing circumstances.”

CHANGING A BABY’S DIAPERS

Soiled nappies may mean that you need to “change your attitude and approach regarding a new idea or project" or “that you need to clean up the mess you have created as a result of your childishness.”

WHEN YOU’RE A BIG BABY

Far more horrifying than the "forced to repeat 10th grade" dream is the "forced to repeat my entire life, because I'm a baby again" dream. But hey, at least you'll get some pureed carrots out of the deal. Not too shabby!

YOU'RE A BABY

When you’re the one in Pampers and a duck-print sun bonnet, it may mean that have a desire to be cared for, nurtured, and all-around babied. It may also mean that you’re just acting, well, like a baby, and engaging in immature behavior.

YOU'RE NOT A BABY, BUT YOU'RE BEING TREATED LIKE ONE

Being fed baby food as an adult may signal that “you are being forced to re-learn something that you already know.” Like how good pureed carrots are.

rararae1 on YouTube

Images: planetchopstick/ Flickr, Giphy (6)

Happy shopping! FYI, Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which were added independently from Bustle's sales and editorial departments after publication.