Pregnant Women in Church. Prejudice Revealed

Pregnancy is a wonderful, although difficult, time in a woman’s life. The unsolicited advice and recommendations showering expectant mothers during this period make it harder yet. Some of them voice various reasons why pregnant women cannot go to church.

The truth is, there are no prohibitions or restrictions for pregnant women attending church. If a woman is feeling well, she can come to services, participate in mysteries and, most certainly, pray at home. Pregnancy is a great time to focus on spiritual life before your newborn baby distracts you from it.

As a rule, pregnant women are allowed to fast less strictly. If required for health reasons, bodily fasting may be completely abolished. The same goes for bowing to the ground. It is not forbidden for a pregnant woman to sit in the temple during a long service.

Church rules allow pregnant women to participate in all church mysteries that they wish/feel comfortable participating in. For example, if a woman comes to faith and decides to be baptized, her pregnancy is no  reason for delay.

Pregnant women can (and need to) get married in church, unless they have done so earlier. The church recognizes a registered marriage regardless of it being a church marriage. If a couple comes to believe in Christ and decides to have a church marriage while expecting a child, there are no obstacles to this. On the contrary, God’s blessing is a great support for a marriage during this period. Anyone saying that getting married in church during pregnancy is a sin is spreading prejudice and should not be taken seriously.

The question often arises whether a pregnant woman can be a godmother. There are also no canonical obstacles to this, as long as you do not overestimate your abilities to take care of your baby as well as your godchild. Without doubt, a pregnant woman can attend the baptism of her own children.

Naturally, believing women pray for a safe pregnancy and childbirth. You can turn to the Lord, the Mother of God and the saints in your own words or through the texts of your favorite prayers. There is also a tradition to read certain prayers during pregnancy, for example…

A Christian Woman’s Prayer to Lord Jesus Christ, Read During Pregnancy

Lord Jesus Christ, our God, the Son born of the eternal Father before all ages; Who in the last days, with the love and assistance of the Holy Spirit, descended to be born of the Most Holy Virgin as a baby, swaddled and laid in a manger; the Lord Himself, who in the beginning created a man and a woman for him, joined them in marriage and gave them the commandment to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). According to your unfailing love (Ps 50: 1) have mercy on me, your servant (name), preparing to give birth according to your commandment. Forgive me my voluntary and involuntary sins, by Your grace grant me the strength to be brought to bed, keep me and the baby in health and prosperity, protect me with Your angels and save me from the hostile action of evil spirits, and from all evil things. Amen.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

About the author

The Editor of the Catalog of Good Deeds.


  1. Anyone saying that getting married in church during pregnancy is a sin is spreading prejudice and should not be taken seriously.

    Are you serious??? Of cours it’s a sin.
    What kind of liberal are you???

  2. are church marriages separate from the legal marriage where they sign the paper in the presence of a judge or in court? Is there a judge in a church marriage? If unbelievers get married in court but they come to the faith later, can they have a marriage in church even if it is much later? Therefore the woman might be pregnant during the church marriage. Is church marriage a sacrament? Is court marriage a sacrament?

  3. Dear Ana and Katie,

    Living in an unmarried partnership as man and wife is a sin, and will always remain one. We do not think that this has ever been in dispute among us. At issue here is our treatment of the sinners, and Christ has given us a clear answer.

    In the Gospel of John (8:11) Christ says to an adulterous woman: “I do not condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin”. In His parable of the Lost Son, He teaches us to welcome a repentant sinner with joy and celebration: “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found”.

    Belarus is a secular society, and most couples register their marriages with the Public Registrar’s Offices of the local governments, but not at Church. The Russian Orthodox Church recognizes such civil marriages as valid and does not consider them as adulterous partnerships. So how should we respond to a couple in a registered marriage who ask for a church wedding? Likewise, how should we treat an unmarried couple who have repented their adulterous life, registered their marriage and come to Church to sanctify it? Christ gives us the answer. Anything else might look in the eyes of our Lord as the sin of condemnation.

    1. Well unfortunately most people don’t repent and if the church starts being to tolerant it won’t help either I mean just look at Roman Catholic. I don’t get it it’s insane, the Church should try to help people being more religious less secular not helping them with their secular life. Very sad but at least now I know why I won’t be on your website anymore.

      1. Hey Ana,

        how would you better handle the situation ? Don’t you think couples would be my more inclined to abort their children if there was more prejudice against them?

  4. In the Greek tradition, pregnant women are not only allowed but even urged to attend Church and take Communion. It is advised to pray for a baby from its very conception in order to “immerge” it as soon as possible in the prayer life of our Church.

  5. Dear Sisters,
    The English title here about pregnancy is misleading. The article celebrates pregnant women present in church. I suggest you change the title. People with limited ability to read or who have not read the article could misunderstand. We had that case in our bookstore in Miami in the 1970’s with a booklet that had a title with words that contained both Orthodox and the word “abortion” and it was sadly misunderstood by someone never reading the booklet.

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