After the excitement of finding out that you’re pregnant, reality sets in. Your life completely changes in the blink of an eye.
Those drinks you were looking forward to having this weekend, that sushi you had last night, those three cups of coffee you enjoy daily— suddenly everything needs to be modified or avoided altogether.
Everyday, seemingly-harmless events can posture risks to you, your baby, or both. As you settle on the couch to put your feet up and relax, assuming it’s the only thing you actually can do, you might turn on your favorite scary movie and find yourself wondering whether or not pregnant women can even watch horror flicks.
In general, pregnant women can watch scary movies. The elevated heart rate and stress levels caused in reaction to watching scary material is not enough to be unsafe for the mother or her baby.
The loud sounds associated with them or a personal tendency to overreact to thrills could endanger the baby, though, so read on to ensure you’re safe to get your fright on.
DISCLAIMER: The following information is NOT a medical advice. Please consult your own medical professional before making a decision. The information is strictly for educational purposes.
Can Pregnant Women Watch Scary Movies?
Pregnant women can watch scary movies, so long as they are accustomed to enjoying them under normal circumstances.
Those who don’t prefer the genre might easily scare or react intensely to scary scenes. Excess stress can cause hormonal changes in your body, which feed right into your fetus.
If you can’t handle the stress of watching a horror flick, it’s probably best to avoid them during your pregnancy just to be extra safe.
You experience emotions much more intensely as it is when you are pregnant, so any potential feelings of stress or fear will only be amplified.
Otherwise, women who already enjoy scary movies should continue to absorb their favorite horrific flicks!
Can You Go To A Haunted House If You’re Pregnant?
Haunted houses are generally considered safe during pregnancy. If the concern is the mother’s accelerated heart rate due to stress or fear, the average amount of time spent in a haunted house is comparable to an uptempo walk, which is also safe during pregnancy.
The only matters that could challenge safety for the mother would be physical obstacles such as the need to crawl, run, or even the opportunity to trip and fall in dark spaces.
In the midst of the current pandemic, it is probably safest to stray from close, dark quarters such as these since it’s difficult to consistently manage your proximity to others in the dark.
Watching True Crime Shows While Pregnant
Watching true crime shows while pregnant is completely acceptable. Some women may experience an accelerated heart rate as a result of watching psychologically thrilling material, but that’s exactly how these sort of shows earn their genre.
Women with higher levels of psychological stress are 80% more likely to have a stillborn than those with lower levels of stress.
Some people can watch a true crime show and go to bed unfazed. Others dwell on what they consumed, obsessively lock the doors, and struggle to sleep. It really depends on how deeply you allow material to impact you.
The physical reaction to true crime shows and psychological thrillers is normally not intense enough to endanger the mother nor her baby.
If you react strongly to dramatic or intense material, it’s probably best to avoid this genre, out of an abundance of caution, while pregnant.
Who needs that sort of stress on a regular day let alone while pregnant?
Can I Watch A Movie In The Theater During The First Trimester Of Pregnancy?
There are two concerns when watching a movie in the theater during any stage of pregnancy: your stress level and your baby’s hearing.
Loud, sudden noises can cause an uptick in your stress level, which can be damaging to the baby’s development.
Even though the loud sounds will be muffled in your womb, they can also be detrimental to the baby’s hearing development.
While going to the movies is generally safe, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution by proactively sitting far away from the speakers, or going with an easy-going comedy or animated flick as opposed to action or horror.
Watching A Movie In The Ninth Month Of Pregnancy
As your baby begins to face head-down in preparation for birth, rest assured that it’s time to relax as much as possible and you can absolutely turn on your favorite movie while you do so!
You can certainly watch a movie during the ninth month of pregnancy, or, truly any month of pregnancy.
In fact, many pregnant mothers experience conditions such as swelling, fatigue, and pre-eclampsia in the third trimester, so resting and putting your feet up is literally a medical necessity at times.
Being able to throw your favorite scary movie on is just an added bonus, so long as you don’t allow yourself to become overly stressed by the flick.
If you do find yourself too far off the edge of your seat (and it’s not just a result of needing to run to the potty once more!), turn it off, rub your belly, and throw on a rom-com!
What Films Can A Pregnant Lady Watch?
Pregnant women can really watch any type of films. You should only avoid intense material if you know that you tend to react strongly to it.
At that, normal, everyday stress is not enough to harm your baby. In theaters, maybe err on the side of caution by avoiding overly active films with lots of bass and sudden noises.
These could have long-term negative effects on your baby’s hearing.
Pregnant women are raging with hormones and, as a result, they often dream very vividly and intensely.
If watching certain genres affects you on a deep level, they could dictate the components of your upcoming dreams, so watch with care.
Can Getting Scared While Pregnant Harm The Baby?
Everyday stress such as traffic, long grocery lines, bills, and minor disagreements are not considered unsafe for mother and baby.
However, intense stress including death, divorce, and other major life impacts have been shown to have a negative impact on the baby’s development.
Excess stress from the mother can affect unborn babies as early as 17 weeks post-conception. there are long-term fetal effects associated with suddenly scaring a pregnant woman.
Long-term effects can include:
- low birth weight,
- premature birth,
- developmental issues.
The definition of “being scared” is what holds the most weight here. Watching a serial killer go after his next victim on an awesomely-made flick while you excitedly eat your popcorn— not likely to cause any damage to you or the baby.
Being surprised by an actual serial killer in your house is a whole story.
Can You Go To Scary Mazes While Pregnant?
Participating in haunted mazes (escape rooms) while pregnant is discouraged. People have two reactions in response to fear: fight or flight.
Either one is hazardous for a pregnant woman. Being so suddenly scared by the unexpected presence of someone else in the maze can instinctually send you running– and possibly falling. A fall can be fatal to your fetus.
In the dark, haunted maze employees have an equally difficult time spotting you and your features.
They— or other maze-goers—could accidentally run into you, knocking you down or making direct, blunt contact with your belly.
During this pandemic, it’s generally recommended that you not get too close to strangers as it is. You’ll risk such in the dark during a scary maze.
Can Jump Scares Cause Miscarriages?
Jump-scares are sudden, loud actions or scenes that elicit their name exactly: a jump from the person viewing or the victim.
Though intended to be fun, jump-scares could stress the mother out, particularly when unexpected. Still, the experience is not enough to cause a miscarriage.
Studies have not shown any link between being suddenly scared and experiencing a low level of stress and having a miscarriage.
For the most part, miscarriages are believed to derive from abnormal chromosomal developments. They can also be a result of a fall or blunt impact to the womb area.
As a result, it should at least be considered that a jump-scare could cause an unexpecting expectant mother to fall.
As she is already constantly experiencing new weight to deal with, it’s probably best to avoid suddenly scaring a pregnant woman altogether, and pregnant women should err on the side of extreme caution by avoiding experiences that could cause them to physically jolt or fall.
At the end of the day, you know yourself best. While jump scares, haunted houses, and scary movies alone aren’t powerful enough to cause miscarriage or harm to your fetus, these scenarios could result in the ideal atmosphere, stress, or physical harm for the right person in the darkest place.
If you are prone to intense stress as a result of scary movies or haunted places, stay away for the time being.
If heading into the theater and emotionally-equipped to handle the genre, proactively sit far from the speakers and try to pick a category that won’t feature too much noise and bass.
If you’re a content creeper who isn’t too emotionally jarred at all by watching something scary, well, why aren’t you relaxing already?!
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.