Why shouldn’t pregnant women go to temple?

I have heard many of my elderly relatives advise the pregnant women, not to visit any temples during their pregnancy, especially after the commencement of fifth month. Since my childhood, I have been feeling curious to know the reason behind this. Every time I questioned, my grandma used to say that she’d tell me when the time comes.

Last week, when I entered my sixth month of pregnancy, I got reminded of the rule and asked my husband if he knew the reason behind it. His explanation was quite reasonable enough to follow the rule for life.

Here’s what he said,

” During the fifth month, the fetus becomes more life-like, with active internal system and external body parts. It is believed that this first phase of a complete life is highly divine and faultless, and hence considered to be godly. So, when the pregnant mother goes to temple after the commencement of fifth month, the Gods in the temple stand up and bow in front of the unborn life which is curled up inside the womb of the mother.

The temple is a holy place where various Gods reside and They are worshiped by the humans. The same should not be a place where the same Gods bow in front of the humans ( in this case, in front of the mother who carries the unborn child ).

To avoid this situation, pregnant women whose fifth month has commenced are not advised to go to the temples.

They may resume their temple visits, after the 28th day of baby’s birth ( in some Indian traditions, it is after the 41st day of baby’s birth ). According to ancient Hindu tradition, the newborn baby is looked after and owned by God during the first 28 days of its birth. On the 28th day, a function called ‘Noolukettu’ or ‘Irupathettukettu’ is organised, which is similar to baptism in Christianity. During Noolukettu, a girdle-like ornament or holy thread is tied around the waist of the baby.

Once the holy thread is worn and the baby’s name is announced to its own ears thrice, it becomes the possession of its parents. “