A Dream-Pregnant at 56?
January 21, 2009 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Why on earth would a post-menopausal woman dream every night about having a baby, nursing and changing diapers?

Also, the ex-husband shows up all the time (it ended badly 16 years ago). She can feel the baby nursing, and loses it sometimes.
posted by ~Sushma~ to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Per dream dictionary:

This is a very rough estimation, but here I go...I think she's realizing that she's entered a new phase of her life, and wants/is aware of the need for a clean slate (mend ends, get a closure, stop doing things that are harmful to herself, etc).

Below are 'definitions' for the elements you mentioned:


To see a baby in your dream, signifies innocence, warmth and new beginnings. Babies symbolize something in your own inner nature that is pure, vulnerable, helpless and/or uncorrupted. If you find a baby in your dream, then it suggests that you have acknowledged your hidden potential. If you dream that you forgot you had a baby, then it suggests that you are trying hide your own vulnerabilities; You do not want to let others know of your weaknesses.

Breast Feeding

To dream that you are breast feeding, symbolizes tenderness, love, nurturance, and motherly love. Good things will be at your grasp.


To see or wear a diaper in your dream, symbolizes your childish or babyish attitudes/actions. You may be too dependent on others.

To dream that you are changing diapers, suggests a need to clean up you behavior and change your childish ways. Perhaps you need to change your attitude and approach regarding a new idea or project.

To see dirty diapers in your dream, indicates that you need to clean the mess you have created with your childishness.


To dream about your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-husband/wife or that you and your ex got back together again, suggests that something or someone in your current life that is bringing out similar feelings you felt during the relationship with your ex. The dream may be a way of alerting you to the same or similar behavior in a current relationship. What you learn from that previous relationship, may need to be applied to the present one so that you do no repeat the same mistake. Alternatively, past lovers often highlight the positive experiences you had with that person.

In particular, to see your ex-husband/wife in your dream, indicates that you are finding yourself in a situation that you do not want to be in. It suggests that you are experiencing a similar relationship or situation which makes you feel unhappy and uncomfortable.

To see your mate's ex in your dream, suggests that you may be comparing yourself to the ex. The dream is trying to tell you not to make the same relationship mistakes that ended that relationship.

Alternatively, seeing your ex in your dream also signifies aspects of yourself that you have x'd out or neglected.
posted by icollectpurses at 6:35 PM on January 21, 2009

If you ask 50 experts you'll get 100 answers.

No one knows why we dream what we do. Dreaming is probably a side effect of a maintenance process in our brains having to do with organizing our memories.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:56 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

The road not taken? Not enough information to speculate really, and also, this: Dreaming is probably a side effect of a maintenance process in our brains having to do with organizing our memories.

That said, if this dream is repetitive, and is also upsetting/disturbing on a regular basis, then perhaps talk to a therapist?
posted by gudrun at 8:23 PM on January 21, 2009

If this was my dream, I would think the baby represents a new project, a new opportunity around the corner. Babies are often the dream representation of our potential new work and goals.

Just another opinion...
posted by lucydriving at 8:32 PM on January 21, 2009

Wish fulfilment, if the dream feels good, reflecting her wish she had a baby. When she wakes up with the feelings and memory of the dream all fresh in her mind, she should indulge the feelings to the maximum. If she wants to cry, cry a river. Allow the dream to spark a catharsis, in other words. Releasing the emotions by indulgence is the way to get past the worst of the regret.
posted by Goofyy at 8:55 PM on January 21, 2009

Since she is having the dream every night, it's a pretty strong signal from her subconscious. If she visits a therapist, she can explore what is going on in her life today, and what happened in her past, that relate to these dreams. Thus providing insight and perhaps stopping the dreams.
posted by exphysicist345 at 9:48 PM on January 21, 2009

Maybe she's dreaming about what she can't have anymore? Clearly, a post-menopausal woman is not going to get pregnant by natural means.

Quite frankly, there's some loss of identity there (it can be easy, especially during menopause, to associate "female" with "capable of having a baby"---even though that's not true for many women).

Menopause is difficult, and with hormones out of whack, it could be very possible to be weepy and feel a sense of loss. You say she's post-menopausal, though you don't say how far post. Maybe she isn't post? Or maybe she's post-menopausal and just now being to understand the full ramifications of that fact?

This is a rather literal interpretation, but I do know people who have dreams somewhat rooted in current life crises (i.e. fretting about a baby is fretting about a baby, not about a new opportunity). In any case, the above posters are right: if it's disturbing her, whether it's stress about identity/motherhood (or lack thereof) or a new opportunity burbling from the depths of her consciousness, far better to talk it out, perhaps with a therapist, and resolve the issue.
posted by librarylis at 11:07 PM on January 21, 2009

I'd focus on what happens in the dreams. Are you up at night with a crying baby that you can't put down? Or are you playing with the baby, who's all coos and gurgles?

Looking at what's happening and how you feel about it when it's happening is going to tell you way more than any standard dream meaning book might.
posted by Grrlscout at 1:26 AM on January 22, 2009

I discussed a dream with my therapist and was SHOCKED at the insights she helped me find. This wasn't dream dictionary stuff, it was deep subconscious emotions coming out in ways I never would have seen before. For a recurring dream, I would try to find a therapist who can help unravel the meaning.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:16 AM on January 22, 2009

Menopause is difficult, and with hormones out of whack, it could be very possible to be weepy and feel a sense of loss.

A little friendly myth-busting -- menopause is a pretty easy ride for many many women. There's just no pharma/lifestyle advertising that goes along with that fact.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:01 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Dream dictionaries are b.s. Sure, they can get things right by using guesses based on common human experience. The dream's symbolism is derived only from the dreamer's mind and his or her personal associations with the things that are dreamed about. (And not every dream has to have a meaning; although it seems likely that a recurring or deeply emotional one probably does.) A therapist could help the dreamer figure this out; whether it's important enough to go to a therapist depends on how upsetting the dream is and/or how much luck the dreamer has figuring it out on their own.

I like to "test" for the meaning of a dream by thinking about different possible meanings and seeing if any cause a feeling of recognition. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does.

I agree that the feeling that comes with the dream is really important, as is the woman's experience. Did she have a child or children? If so, was her experience of infancy positive or negative overall, and what major events does she associate with it? Did she want more children than she was able to have? Have her children recently moved out, or are they looking at colleges? How did her ex-husband interact with the children, and has she had any recent contact with him? What big events have been going on in her life recently? When she dreams these dreams, does she feel a sense of loss? Wistfulness? Anxiety (as would be implied by the idea of losing the baby)? Joy? These are the kinds of things I would think about.
posted by Herkimer at 1:11 PM on January 22, 2009

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