Pregnancy brings a critical period wherein the mom-to-be needs to take good care of herself and her baby. No wonder why there are lots of do’s, don’ts, and even myths and beliefs related to pregnancy.
One of the hot seat topics is watching scary movies while pregnant. It is not uncommon for some pregnant women to get really hooked on horror, thriller and suspense movies so they may ask themselves – it is okay to watch scary movies while pregnant?
Can you watch scary movies while pregnant?
The idea of not watching scary movies while pregnant actually stems from two different sets of beliefs! The first roots from the ancient belief that what you frequently watch or see while pregnant will affect the looks and characteristics of your baby. As such, pregnant mothers are often advised to stare at beautiful personalities in the movies, TV, or magazines in hopes that their baby will be born with the looks or characteristics that they want them to have.
Though it may be fun, this concept is merely a myth and defies the law of genetics. In genetics, the traits of the baby are inherited from the genes of both parents. This also explains why watching a horrible monster in a scary movie will not have a single effect on the looks of your soon-to-be baby.
The second concern is the idea that scary movies may cause physical reactions in your body that can cause damage to the health of you or your baby. This concern is much more valid, and is worth looking into further.
Is it safe to watch scary movies while pregnant?
Let’s take it to the scientific side. There is no direct contraindication against watching scary movies while pregnant. However, what doctors advise pregnant women is to minimize stressful experiences over the course of pregnancy. Pregnant women’s bodies are very sensitive during this time and stress can ruin the normal flow of hormones that aid expectant mothers in keeping a healthy pregnancy.
Stress affects the adrenal glands and induces the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The typical effects of elevated adrenaline are elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels. The same way, the so-called stress hormone, cortisol, prepares your body for a fight or flight response, increasing the blood sugar levels, enhancing the brain’s ability to utilize your blood sugar, and improves the body’s tissue repair. Alongside, cortisol suppresses some body functions that are deemed as non-essential for a stressful event such as growth, digestion and reproduction.
The disruption of hormones while at the state of stress is not ideal for a pregnant mother’s body. Elevated blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels may lead to serious pregnancy complications if continuously experienced by pregnant moms. This is also the reason why doctors often recommend that pregnant mothers should stick with doing things that will make them happier and relaxed while pregnant.
While one scary movie is probably not anything to be concerned about, it’s perhaps not ideal to put your body in a constant stage of stress or fear.
So now the question is can watching scary movies be stressful for the pregnant mom? It entirely depends on the one watching. If scary movies is something that disturbs you and a reason to get less sleep at night, then you may consider skipping them and opting for a calmer alternative.