How cell phone use during pregnancy can seriously harm your baby
A study suggests that exposure to mobile phones before and after birth may increase your child's risk of developing behavioural problems.
Mobile phones and other such gadgets are such inseparable part of our lives these days. Whether you are a pregnant mum or already have a baby, you may find a mobile phone so useful and handy in many ways. But Mum, are you aware that cell phone use during pregnancy can seriously damage your baby?
A study published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that exposure to mobile phones before and after birth may increase your child’s risk of developing behavioural problems. These include hyperactivity, inattention and difficulty in getting along with peers.
According to a few experts, this research has its limitations. Leeka Kheifets, PhD is a professor of epidemiology in the UCLA School of Public Health. She explains: “There are theories, but we do not know. Exposure to the foetus is likely to be very low, so it’s unclear how it can influence foetal development.”
Expert And Author Devra Davis Has a Different Take on the Matter
On the other hand, Devra Davis warns parents and parents-to-be about the hazards of cell phone radiation.
She authored Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family. Davis, PhD, MPH is the founder of Environmental Health Trust. The organisation creates awareness about environmental health hazards. Further, they also push for policy level changes required to reduce such risks.
She says: “Pregnant women should be careful about exposure for lots of reasons, not this study. Warnings actually appear on phones that say pregnant woman should avoid exposure to their abdomen. Do not keep it on your abdomen, use it with a headset or speaker phone.”
Talking about a lack of data on the subject, she explains: “It is better be safe than sorry. We do not have a lot of data, and if we are smart we would not insist on waiting to get lots of data before taking these simple precautions.”
Going by what Davis is suggesting, it may be useful to take some basic precautions to reduce exposure when you’re pregnant.
Here are a few useful tips that can help pregnant mums reduce their usage.
- Give preference to a landline when at home or work.
- Keep your mobile phone switched off more often. It continues to emit radiation even when not in use.
- Ensure that you avoid using your mobile phone when the reception is poor. That results in more emission. Use headsets or earphones and keep the phone away from your body.
- Carrying your cell phone on your body is also a bad idea — especially keeping it in the breast pocket of your shirt or dress.
So, while cell phone use during pregnancy can seriously damage your baby, you can reduce known and potential hazards by using your phone wisely.