From the funny to the weird, it's safe to assume we've all experienced a strange dream - so much so, there's a whole "DreamTok" area on TikTok where people discuss them.
But now women are sharing how they have had dreams where they give birth to a child, calling them "dream babies," and detailing how they feel real grief when they wake up, only to realise the baby was not real but in their imagination.
Some even have recurring dreams where they further bond with their baby.
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Back in December, TikToker @melamamiii detailed how she had a baby dream the night before where she was laying in a hammock with her baby.
"The baby was sleeping, like I could feel the baby breathing on my chest," she said as she described cradling the baby and was in this position when she woke up.
"How do you mourn someone who never existed?" the TikToker asked in the caption.
The video has received over 558,000 views, 118,000 likes and thousands of comments from women who shared their baby dreams.
One person wrote: "It’s crazy how sad you feel when you wake up."
"I think it might be our biological clock gaslighting us," another person said.
A third added: "I was grieving for at least a week over my dream baby."
"This happens to me a lot and I feel the biggest void and the deepest sadness I’ve ever known when I wake up and there’s no baby. It’s so strange," a fourth person commented.
Someone else replied: "Same happened to me and I cried because it felt so real."
In January, a similar video from @usherusheryeahhman went viral after she shared her dream where she "graphically birth, and continued to raise a baby boy" she named Finley, and described a "literal ache" she had for him when she woke up.
"I still have an emotional attachment to him over a year later," she added in the video that has over 1.1m views.
Meanwhile, @phine_alice shared how she felt "nothing but pure grief" when she woke up after she "birthed and raised a baby," that she could "feel and smell and named," up until the age of four.
I hate dream babies cause i love them so much only to find they were never real . Iykyk #dreambabies #fyp
"I hate dream babies cause i love them so much only to find they were never real," she wrote in the caption.
So do "dream babies" actually meaning anything?
Professional dream analyst and author Lauri Quinn Loewenberg believes dreaming about babies can represent growth, or something new in your life.
“Usually baby dreams are a really positive sign that represent growth or development, either with you personally or with something that you’re working on,” Loewenberg told The Cut.
“It’s a message from your subconscious saying this new thing is great, it’s time to focus and nurture it. It’s time to get busy."
Dr. Dylan Selterman, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University who specialises in dreams and social relationships noted these dreams and the subsequent grief caused have not been researched yet but could reflect feelings in our real life.
"It may be the case that people are prone to feelings of grief or loss because the baby in the dream corresponds to another child or family figure in the person's life," Selterman told Insider.
"Perhaps this is their mind's way of coping with a different type of loss," he added before speculating an "attachment" to a fictional or dream baby could mean the person is longing to become a parent.
"If you’re not pregnant and don’t have a baby, dreams about newborns might be an expression of a new beginning in your life or a desire to take care of others," according to Healthline.
"Baby dreams could also be completely random and not really mean anything at all," it added.
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