Pregnancy is a time of intense physical changes in a woman’s body, having a strong impact on how she experiences the world and how it perceives that world in return. In order to remain healthy, pregnant women should maintain healthy levels of activity, rest and sleep. While watching a thrilling movie can provide a mental escape from the physical and psychological changes of pregnancy, it can also have an adverse affect on the unborn baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that babies whose mothers watch thriller movies during their pregnancy can experience a range of physical symptoms, from an increased heart rate to restlessness. The unsettled feelings that these movies provoke can also result in increased production of the stress hormone cortisol in the mother’s body, which can pass to the unborn baby and affect its balance of hormones – an element in brain development.
In addition, the intensity of the movie may increase the woman’s heart rate, leading to greater demands on her body, potentially leading to fatigue, headaches or nausea for the mother. Ultimately, too intense a thriller movie can have a general impact on the mother’s physical well-being, both during and after the movie.
In addition to the physical impact of watching a thrilling movie during pregnancy, the psychological effects must also be taken into consideration. Stress, fear and anxiety are all common emotions that can be aroused by exciting movie content and can lead to long-term psychological distress for both mother and baby.
As with any strong emotional experience, the unborn baby can be affected by the emotions felt by the mother while watching a thriller movie. If the mother is experiencing feelings of fear, stress or anxiety, this has been linked to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability in the baby, which can impact its well-being.
Furthermore, some studies have suggested that if exposure to a thriller movie occurs too frequently during a pregnancy, this can lead to behavioural issues in the baby as well as developmental delays and intellectual deficits. Another psychological concern is that the mother may become more prone to postpartum depression after viewing a thrilling movie, as she may not feel adequately prepared for the difficult and frightening moments of parenting.
There are other considerations to keep in mind when viewing a thriller movie during pregnancy. Expert opinion is divided on the matter, but many medical professionals suggest that heavier content such as graphic violence, disturbing imagery and disturbing sounds should be avoided altogether. These can create a heightened emotional response and potentially induce emotional trauma, leading to symptoms such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Moreover, movies with themes related to childbirth or baby loss could potentially have an emotional impact on the mother. Announcing a pregnancy prior to watching a movie of this nature could also lead to feelings of grief, guilt and anxiety that could be detrimental to both the mother and the unborn child.
Seeking Professional Advice
Due to the potential physical, psychological and emotional impacts of watching a thriller movie while pregnant, it is important for the expectant mother to consult with her medical professional for guidance. For the mother’s own peace of mind, talking to a doctor with regards to signal limits and safety recommendations can provide clarity and reassurance.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to watch a thriller movie while pregnant is entirely a personal one. Expectant mothers should establish a level of comfort and identify boundaries when it comes to viewing thrillers during their pregnancy. Those who choose to view thriller movies should also be aware of their own comfort levels and act on them if they experience any level of discomfort during the movie.
Monitoring the Unborn Child’s Development
Part of the responsibility of being an expectant mother is to monitor their unborn child’s development. While watching thrilling movies during pregnancy may not necessarily be harmful, it is important to remain alert to the potential impacts that it could have on the unborn baby.
For mothers who have already seen a few thrilling movies, it is important to look out for any potential changes or warning signs – such as a change in the baby’s heart rate, restlessness or fatigue – that could suggest that the baby has been negatively affected.
Personal Hygiene and Habits
Pregnant women should also take into account their personal habits when evaluating whether to watch a thrilling movie or not. Alcohol, for example, should be avoided at all costs, whilst smoking and diet should be limited. Exercise and general personal hygiene should also be kept to an optimal level in order to ensure the health of both mother and baby.
Awareness of Triggers
Finally, expectant mothers should be aware of any triggers that could be present in thrilling movies and take the necessary steps to avoid or limit exposure to them. Avoiding intense scenes where possible, as well as taking regular breaks, can help to reduce the impact of the movie on the unborn baby.