Pregnancy 'wet dreams'

Women often report lively, vivid dreams while pregnant, which may be because of their heightened emotional state

Dreams

I’m 36 weeks pregnant now and keep having what I think is a ‘wet dream’. I wake straight afterwards with a strong, cramping period-like pain. Is this normal? I feel a bit embarrassed to tell anyone about it.

Women often report lively, vivid dreams while pregnant. This may be because of their heightened emotional state, caused by hormonal changes as the pregnancy develops. These changes can also increase the vaginal secretions that lubricate the vagina in preparation for birth. This usually occurs from 37 weeks onwards, but can be earlier.

As for your cramping pain, oxytocin, sometimes known as the love hormone, plays a part in uterine contractions and orgasm, so could be the cause. But if it feels strong or uncomfortable you should see your GP or midwife, as it’s a potential sign of labour.

However, there may be a reason for all this that’s not related to hormones. Many experts believe the type of sleep you get when pregnant is responsible for vivid dreams. Dreaming makes up about 25 per cent of our sleep pattern, occurring during the deepest phase of the sleep cycle. Usually we sleep through this phase and don’t remember it. But during pregnancy, sleep can be interrupted because of your baby’s movements, needing to wee more, being generally uncomfortable and so on. It’s these interruptions during the dreaming phase that experts believe wake you up and cause you to remember your dreams – making them seem more real. Dreams tend to reflect your emotional well-being, so I can only assume that your bond with your partner is strong.

On a more down-to-earth note, a full bladder could also be the cause of your pain, as the womb tends to be more irritable – and we all know it doesn’t take much to fill your bladder at 36 weeks pregnant. Even if this is the cause, if the pain continues I’d advise you get checked out by a midwife.

Alison Brown

 

Alison Brown has been a midwife for 20 years and is an expert in ante- and postnatal care, and infant feeding. Got a question for the panel? Email experts@gurgle.com.

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