Using a Mobile Phone during Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Is It Safe to Use a Mobile Phone During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when a woman needs to observe extra safety measures to ensure the well being of her child as well as herself. By now you must be well aware of why you should eat healthy foods and give up junk food during pregnancy, but do you know that little things that form a part of your daily life can also harm your pregnancy? Radiation from a mobile phone, computers, and wireless routers can also affect your pregnancy.

A pregnant woman is exposed to various environmental influences that it may be tough to pinpoint one thing that may affect her pregnancy. The use of electronic devices emitting radiation, like WIFI routers and smartphones, have remarkably increased in the recent times. This implies that a pregnant woman may be exposed to enormous quantities of radiation even if she is not using a mobile phone.

However, researchers advocate that mobile phones emit radio waves, a type of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation, which is not likely to affect the health of the mother or of the growing foetus. Though some studies suggest that long-term use of a mobile phone can trigger insomnia, reduced bone density, and brain also. But exposure to lower and limited levels of mobile radiation may not be harmful to your health. Therefore it makes sense to limit your exposure to a cell phone during pregnancy by curtailing the usage time.

Is It Safe to Use a Cellphone during Pregnancy

Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiation which is a form of non-ionising radiation. These emissions are low levels of energy waves which may not infiltrate deep into the human tissues but can harm your eyes.

Also, mobile phones are usually rated based on the frequency of radiation it emits. This rating is known as SAR (specific absorption rate) value, which informs you about the maximum quantity of radiation your body may absorb when using a mobile. The SAR of different phones may vary as per the model and brand. The higher a mobile phone’s SAR value, the more is the radiation absorbed by the person using that phone. Using a mobile continuously during pregnancy can expose you to greater radiation absorption which may interfere with your brain activities causing disruptions in sleep patterns, fatigue, or decreased memory.

Numerous studies have been conducted to ascertain if mobile phone usage poses a serious health risk. But till date, no study has established any adverse health effects from using mobile phones for less time. However, when you are pregnant, it is best to be overcautious than to be sorry in the future.

A pregnant woman using a mobile phone

What Does Research Say About Using a Mobile Phone While Pregnant

Research has been conducted to understand the impact of using a cell phone during pregnancy. As per a research, excess exposure to a mobile phone during pregnancy can prove detrimental to foetal brain development and may result in behavioural issues like hyperactivity later on. However, in spite of these research, substantial evidence is still unavailable which can prove that the use of a mobile phone can result in behavioural complications. There is a likelihood that other factors may have played a role in causing the behavioural disorder. For example, the mom may have spent a lot of her time on the mobile phone neglecting her baby in the process. Lack of mother’s attention can also lead to behavioural problems in the kid.

On the contrary, a study indicates that there is no serious risk to the health of the foetus from short or long-term mobile usage.

Also, research done so far in this field has been limited and mostly restricted to animal testing. Therefore, there is no absolute certainty that mobile phone usage during pregnancy is unsafe. But in case, if you are still concerned, there is no harm in taking certain precautions while using a mobile phone when you are pregnant.

Impact of Overusing a Mobile in Pregnancy

Overusing a cell phone in pregnancy may affect you and your baby in the following ways:

  • Long-term use of a mobile during pregnancy may increase the risk of children manifesting behavioural problems like hyperactivity in their childhood.
  • Pregnant women using mobile phones for long durations are more likely to bear kids with behavioural and emotional problems.
  • Some studies propose that lengthy exposure to mobile radiation during pregnancy can alter the gene sequence in the mitochondria of the expectant mom which may travel to the baby, affecting his DNA and lead to the development of degenerative illnesses in the child.
  • The higher rate of exposure to radiation during pregnancy can also change the brain activity of a pregnant woman causing fatigue, anxiety, reduced memory, and sleep disturbances.
  • Constant and continued exposure to radio waves during pregnancy can even interfere with the cellular receptors of the human body and may initiate a force of uncontrolled consequences possibly increasing the risk of cancer. However, further research is needed on this.

Tips to Limit Mobile Phone Usage

The ill effects of cell phone radiation is a cause of concern during pregnancy. Many experts believe that excess use of a cell phone during pregnancy can be detrimental to the health of a baby. Therefore, you must try to limit the use of mobile phones when you are pregnant. Here are some useful tips to limit mobile phone usage:

  • Make an effort to not use a mobile phone as much as possible. Go in for alternative means like a landline phone.
  • Avoid carrying a mobile phone in a pocket which is near to your belly, to protect your baby from any harm.
  • Refrain from placing your mobile phone underneath your pillow or next to your head when sleeping. Also, keep in mind to place your mobile phone at a safe distance from your bed.
  • You may also like to turn off your mobile phone at night if possible.
  • Remember to switch off the WiFi at night after you sleep or when it is not required to lessen the exposure to mobile phone radiation.
  • Try not to have lengthy calls when communicating through a mobile phone.
  • Consider using a handsfree or speakerphone when talking on the mobile phone when you are pregnant.
  • Use your mobile phone at a spot where a strong signal is available. A stronger signal implies a low SAR value.
  • Select a mobile phone with low SAR (specific absorption rate) to ensure minimum absorption of radiation by the body.

There is no conclusive evidence to justify the use of a mobile phone during pregnancy is hazardous. However, it is best to be sensible during pregnancy. You must limit your mobile phone usage to a minimum for a safe pregnancy.

Also Read: Is It Safe to Use Microwave in Pregnancy?