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Dreams of Having a Miscarriage – What Does It Mean?

Our dreams bring forth deep issues from our unconscious minds. Things that are just as upsetting in reality can be even more debilitating when we dream them. This is ever so poignant when people have dreams about miscarriages.

This is a very deep kind of dream that can have profound effects on the psyche in waking reality. It’s always recommended to see a psychiatrist or other professional in the event you experience this as a recurring dream with subsequent trauma.

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While it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly a dream can mean, it’s possible to have a general idea about what could be the underlying reason that you’re seeing these dreams.

Clearing Up Common Misconceptions

Many people mistakenly believe that having a dream of a miscarriage means you’re predicting the loss of the baby you’re carrying, assuming that you’re pregnant. However, if you are not, you may believe that the dream is foreboding the loss of a baby for another woman who’s pregnant. While dreams can sometimes give us a glimpse into future events, very rarely will a miscarriage dream mean anything literal.

Oftentimes, it’s your subconscious and unconscious teetering with images because you super consciously know or understand something is wrong. But you either deny it in waking reality or are completely oblivious to it.

Some Preliminary Considerations

First, it’s important to understand this is a common dream for women to have once they consider becoming or have become pregnant. And there are many possible interpretations depending on the situation and stage of pregnancy. Many women will dream of a miscarriage that will have influences stemming from their ability to get pregnant, how far along they in their pregnancy, and what their postpartum depression is after giving birth.

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However, for those not pregnant or don’t plan to be pregnant anytime soon or for a man, dreaming of a miscarriage is incredibly rare. If you fall into any of these categories, it’s a warning sign from your subconscious about something heavy or serious you’re dealing with in waking life. In most cases it signifies something you’ve lost that was very important or it’s something you feel that’s deeply missing from your life.

But the best way to understand the meaning of this kind of dream is to study those who have been bold enough to publish their own experiences. One such person is Sylvia Plath, a famous American poet and writer whose popularity was highest in the early 1960s.

The Dreams of Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was curious about her dreams and they are the basis for many of her writings. The theme of miscarriages and stillborn births were common for her. Jungian therapy expert, Dr. Susan E. Schwartz explored Plath’s life through evaluating these dream themes.

Plath was married and had two children, but she also experienced two miscarriages that were a great source of her depression. So much so, she dreamed about miscarriages often and these themes intimately influenced her work and creativity.

In one account, Plath tells us about the bad dreams she had after losing a one-month old child. The dream and her own analysis of it is in her Unabridged Journals:

“The baby formed just like a baby, only small as a hand, died in my stomach and fell forward: I looked down at my bare belly and saw the round bump of its head in my right side, bulging out like a burst appendix. It was delivered with little pain, dead. Then I saw two babies, a big nine-month one, and a little one-month one with a blind white-piggish face nuzzling against it; a transfer image, no doubt . . . But my baby was dead. I think a baby would make me forget myself in a good way. Yet I must find myself.”

Potential Interpretations of Plath’s Experience

According to Schwartz, “Dreams of babies can represent new growth and development.” It’s quite possible that death in this instance may signify a path to a transformed identity. Certainly, experiencing such a heavy event as a miscarriage would weigh heavily on anyone’s subconscious, especially if you were looking forward to bringing the child into the world.

Dreaming of miscarriages in this way may display Plath’s ego structures that were previously solid but suddenly dissolved. It might signify her oscillation between longing and escape encapsulated by the babies representing lost or diminished hopes.

From a Jungian perspective, the transformation of the self will almost always present itself in a dream. Plath’s real-life experience of losing a child was certainly a kind of transformation that stuck in her psyche for the rest of her life.

Other Theories about Miscarriage Dreams

But not everyone will have a dream experience in conjunction with their pregnancy the same as Sylvia Plath. For new mothers who have never experienced an abortion or miscarriage, having a miscarriage dream can signify a fear of losing the child, per the opinion of Lauri Lowenberg, a professional dream expert.  

For those that aren’t pregnant and never have been, experiencing a dream of having a miscarriage can signify something much deeper that your subconscious is alerting to you.

Reflections of Deep Loss

couple holding hand after hearing miscarriage news

Pregnancy in dreams often signifies something new that must be cared for before it comes out into the world. When that stops in a dream, it indicates loss in waking reality. Lowenberg comments that having a miscarriage in a dream is a potential sign that something has ended or should stop.

This could connect to a toxic job or relationship. Alternatively, it could indicate a negative habit or a particular attitude you have. Whatever it is, this situation is heavy on your unconscious and something has got to go from your life.

Analyzing Elements to the Dream’s Basic Core

So, when you take Sylvia Plath’s dream experiences with miscarriage and combine it with the potential Jungian interpretations, there’s something the dreamer lost in waking reality. It could also indicate a deep fear of losing something that the dreamer finds to be important in waking life.

But, of course, there are many other extenuating factors that will influence what the symbolism and meaning is behind such a dream. For women, it may not have anything extra associated with it at all. This is going to be truer for expectant mothers who have never experienced a loss of a pregnancy.

However, for women who haven’t been pregnant or aren’t pregnant, as well as men, experiencing a dream of having a miscarriage brings with it a sense of loss, fear of loss or something you should lose.

In Brief

If you’ve recently had a miscarriage dream, this will not equate to the trauma you may have experienced in that state. More often than not, it’s your subconscious working out a recent loss. But it can also be alerting you to something that must go in your life or it’s bringing up a fear of loss deep from the unconscious.

If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, this kind of dream is simply your fears about bringing new life into the world. However, if you’ve experienced the loss of a pregnancy, there’s something deep in your psyche that’s trying to work out the loss.

Affiliate Disclosures

Dani Rhys
Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education, and has also studied Political Science, Ancient History and Literature. She has a wide range of interests ranging from ancient cultures and mythology to Harry Potter and gardening. She works as the chief editor of Symbol Sage but also takes the time to write on topics that interest her.