Is it Safe to Watch Movies in Theater During Pregnancy?

6 min read

Written by Ambili Kartha

Ambili Kartha

Can One Watch Movies in Theater During Pregnancy_

Pregnancy is a crucial time in life. A lot of changes take place during that period. A pregnant woman may experience morning sickness, fatigue, mood swings, etc. Some things which they may enjoy doing otherwise could bother them during pregnancy. Like, watching movies in a theater during pregnancy.

If one loves watching movies in the theater and never misses the first-day first show of any new release, then one would be curious to know if they can still watch movies in the theater during pregnancy. In this article, we will answer all such queries and doubts related to watching movies in theaters during pregnancy. So, read on.

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Is it Safe to Watch Movies in Theater During Pregnancy?

Yes. Watching movies in the theater is safe for a pregnant woman. However, it’s advisable to watch movies in theater during the first trimester. And avoiding it during the second and third trimesters, as some problems may arise during that time. 

The loud sound inside the theater may trigger excessive movement of the fetus and cause stress to the pregnant woman. This stress can cause changes in the woman’s body and affect the fetus’ health adversely. Moreover, the loud sound may travel from your body to the womb. Although, the sound will be muffled, but still it’s a lot of noise. 

Is Theatre Sound Safe During Pregnancy?

The theater sound is too loud for pregnant women. It is advisable to avoid loud noises because it increases the stress level. This stress may pass on to the baby from an expectant mother. 

According to the journal Noise-Reproductive Health, pregnant women should not expose themselves to sound levels which are more than 115 dBA. This sound itself is too loud and similar to that of a chainsaw.

Pregnancy is not an easy journey. Growing a human within may cause weird symptoms and side effects. The loud sound in the theater may cause rapid movement of the fetus. This is because it gets excited after hearing the loud sound and vibration from outside. One may experience an adrenaline rush after watching certain movie scenes. This leads to an increase of certain hormones in the blood causing excitement, anxiety, or fear. This, in turn, will excite the baby too.

Also, theaters have big speakers all around for an immersive sound experience. And, being in close proximity to the source producing loud levels of noise is also not advisable while being pregnant. When the belly is close to the source of the noise, the sound is louder for the developing baby. This in turn will definitely affect it adversely.

What Are Some Alternatives to Watching Movies in Theater?


Instead of visiting the theater and exposing oneself to high-decibel sound, one can watch some interesting movies at home. There are some really good options available these days on OTT platforms. Also, there are so many satellite TV channels which keep on telecasting movies on a regular basis. 

But, do not watch aggressive content as it may increase blood pressure and harm the fetus. Being a movie buff, choose some light-hearted movies for entertainment.

What Are The Risks of Watching Movies in Theater During Pregnancy?

While a theater may have been your preferred place to catch up on latest flicks, during pregnancy it is not such a viable option. There are so many disadvantages and risks associated with watching movies in the theater during pregnancy. These are-

  1. A common side effect of watching movies in a theater during pregnancy is loud noise. It can be a cause of stress.
  2. Sitting for long hours in a theater may also not be conducive to the health of a pregnant woman.
  3. Violent or action movies in theaters have high decibel sound. They can also cause developmental problems in babies, including aggression and anxiety.
  4. The flashlight used in the movie theater can trigger nausea, headaches, and dizziness in a pregnant woman.
  5. There is also a risk of being exposed to germs and viruses in crowded theaters.
  6. Pregnant women need to keep hydrated and this leads to frequent urination. In theater it may not be possible for a pregnant woman to visit the toilet frequently.
  7. Also, while trying to reach the toilet, navigating through the darkness in a theater, may cause a potential fall or injury to the pregnant woman.
  8. During pregnancy, a woman may feel hungry often. Since one cannot take food inside a theater, one has to be dependent on the junk food available in the theaters. This is not a good option as theater food may not be very hygienic and nutritious.  
  9. Horror movies are scary and can cause stress and may also lead to high blood pressure in a pregnant woman. It can lead to complications during the gestation period.

Precautions to Take While Watching Movies in Theater During Pregnancy


Pregnant women should take extra care if they are watching movies in theater. Here are some tips to have a safe movie-watching experience for the expecting mother-

  • Sit up straight. Do not recline in the seat
  • Avoid intense movies. Do not watch any horror, intense, or action movies 
  • Avoid sitting close to the speakers inside the theater
  • Choose a cinema hall that provides some facilities for pregnant women. Some cinema halls have amenities favorable for pregnant women. They are soundproof pillows to put on the belly that save the fetuses from the effect of loud sound, restrooms for pregnant ladies with support staff, etc.
  • If the theater allows, carry food along while going to watch a movie during pregnancy. Better to avoid outside snacks
  • Avoid sodas and sugary drinks sold in theaters
  • Book an aisle seat. It will make it easy to access the toilets without any hassle in case of urgency
  • Be careful about people moving around, as it is common in movie theaters
  • Select the movie timing when it is less crowded. It will give a good experience

Which Type of Movies to Watch During Pregnancy?

Which type of movies to watch

Pregnancy is a difficult time when you want to mostly relax for a couple of hours on a comfortable sofa or bed. You would also seek to calm your mind and remain positive. What could be a better way to relax than watching a good movie? 

But one has to be very careful about the kind of content they are watching especially during pregnancy. Horror, violent, or intense or serious movies are a strict no-no. These could cause anxiety and fear and trigger stress during pregnancy. So better stay away from such movies.

Instead one can opt for light-hearted, feel-good movies. These movies will enlighten you, inspire you, make you laugh or cry, and uplift your spirits. Some genres you can opt for are- comedy, rom-coms, kids movies, cartoons, inspirational movies, movies about games, famous personalities, etc.  

To sum up, while it may be relatively safe for a pregnant woman to visit theaters during the first trimester as it will not have any adverse effect on her health or on the fetus, it is better to avoid visiting theaters altogether. It will lower the possible risk to her health and to the developing fetus. Still, if one chooses to go to the theater, they should take care and follow certain precautions. In case of any doubts, consult with your doctor. Watch movies for fun, and have a happy pregnancy!


1. How Loud is Too Loud During Pregnancy?

The sounds which a pregnant woman may be exposed to, may not be that strongly heard inside the womb but it is still there. According to experts, a pregnant woman should not expose themselves to more than 115 decibels of sound on a regular basis. This again is a very high level of sound as for a normal adult even 85 decibels of noise is considered to be high.

2. Can Pregnant Women Watch 2D And 3D Films?

Yes, pregnant women can watch 2D or 3D movies. However, there is hardly any data to show the impact of watching movies on the woman or her fetus’ health. Also, watching movies in very low or very bright light may affect the eyes of the expecting mother. Thus, it should be within limits.

Ambili Kartha,B. Sc Zoology (St Xavier’s college for women)

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