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