Cellphones and iPads are two things that divide most parents – mainly because half of us think these devices are causing harm to our children while the other half see their benefits. While that debate is still at large, another related concern has been brought up: is it safe for pregnant women to be around m0biles and tablets?
In fact, it’s not only mobiles and tablets; basically, any gadget is suspected to be a hazard to pregnant women because of the radiation that allegedly emanates from devices when they use electricity or even access the internet.
That said, should women avoid using gadgets altogether? Is wifi truly harmful during pregnancy? Is it truly not safe to rest a laptop on top of a pregnant woman’s stomach? All of these we will dive deep into and finally find the answers to. Let’s do it one by one.
Cellphones and Radiation
This digital age has given birth to a generation of parents who cannot go a day without their phones. So, yes, asking if mobiles have adverse effects is truly a question many pregnant women today will want to ask.
Let’s rule out one question before we answer that question though. Do cellphones emit radiation?
The simple answer is yes. Any gadget that is capable of accessing the internet emits and receives electromagnetic waves, which cause non-ionising radiation. Tiny bits of such radiation enter your body. And the more you are exposed to such radiation, the likelier it is for radio waves to damage tissues, damage DNA, and even cause cancer.
But the key word here is varying levels of the same type of radio waves. Some everyday items have high levels of radiation, while some do not. A typical example of a high-level radio wave energy is X-Rays, while granite countertops have low-grade radio wave energy.
The good news is cellphones emit low-grade radio wave energy. No study so far has confirmed that such a level of exposure to radiation or the use of cell phones is harmful.
What Research Says
Studies found no connection between high-level of exposure to radiation with pregnancy. So, what did they find?
- One study showed that long cellphone calls led to shorter pregnancies or preterm labour but had no connection with the baby’s growth or weight.
- Another study found 80,000 mother-child pairs whose kids appeared to have behavioural concerns when their mothers talked on their phones during their pregnancy. However, a significant number of such mothers appeared to have ADHD as well and the reason their kids had behavioural concerns may have been because their mothers passed the gene on to them. Another theory is the fact that these mothers are giving more attention to their phones than their kids, causing these little ones to have behavioural concerns.
- Another research found that mothers who used their phones regularly during their pregnancy turn out to have children with better language and motor skills. Researchers have deduced that the chatty personality of these mothers contributed significantly to influencing these children to speak better.
- Some studies also show that high exposure to radiation during pregnancy can cause pregnant women fatigue, anxiety, reduced memory, and sleep disturbances.
Given all that, should we still put a limit on the number of hours a pregnant woman should be using her cellphone? Any of these studies have yet to show a strong connection between unborn babies and cellphone usage. So it’s safe to say millennial parents need not worry if they would need a 9-month hiatus from their devices.
How to Avoid Mobile Radiation During Pregnancy
While mounds of evidence can attest that using your cellphones is not harmful to you or your little one, it doesn’t hurt to be a tad more paranoid. So, we thought of helping you with a few tips:
- Check the radiation level of your phone by checking its SAR value. The SAR value tells you how much radiation is being absorbed by your body by using your phone. Where do you find it? In the instruction manual that came with your phone or on the phone manufacturers. Or, you call *#07# and the SAR value gets sent to you.
- Distancing yourself from your phone through any means.
- So, for instance, use it only for essential reasons (e.g. calling your doctor or your partner, checking your pregnancy apps, responding to work communications). If you only need your phone to amuse yourself, find an activity you can do or do some workouts or hang out with your friends and family.
- Send text messages instead of calling. The farther your body is away from your devices, the better. That means no balancing your phone or your laptops on your pregnant belly.
Image source: iStock
- Use hands-free devices. If you really need to call someone, use the speakerphone or try wireless earphones.
- Avoid putting your phone in your pocket where it’s closer to your belly or underneath or next to your pillow where it’s closer to your head. Put some distance between you and your phone when you are not using it.
- The stronger the signal, the lower the SAR value. So if you have no choice but to take calls, make sure to be in a spot where your signal is high and hot.
How Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy Can Seriously Harm Your Baby
Working During Pregnancy, What To Watch Out For
Sports and Exercises That Are Safe During Pregnancy
What We Recommend
Now you know what SAR value is, you’re surely going to start looking for phones with the lowest SAR value. A warning before we list these recommendations: though the SAR value tells you how much radiation your body is absorbing from using these phone brands, how you use your phone or which apps you use are not factored in.
So, regardless of whether your phone has a low SAR value, if you are highly exposed to the device,, you could still be at risk of radiation effects. So, once you find a phone with a low SAR value, make sure to follow the tips mentioned above for safety. Now to phone models with the lowest SAR values:
1. ZTE Blade V10 – SAR rating of 0.13
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – SAR rating of 0.17
2a. ZTE Axon Elite – SAR rating of 0.17
3. Verykool Vortex RS90 – SAR rating of 0.18
1. Apple iPhone 13 – SAR rating of 1.19 W/kg
2. Apple iPhone 13 Pro – SAR rating of .99 W/kg
3. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max – SAR rating of .99 W/kg
4. Apple iPhone 13 Mini – SAR rating of .97 W/kg
We also recommend EMF blockers. These are small pieces of powerful technology that you can stick to the back of your phone and help neutralise chaotic electromagnetic radio waves and match them with your biological radiation. So, if you are on your social media or playing a mobile game, have any of these EMF blockers set up on your phone, and you can enjoy your little phone time.
Again, control is going to be your best friend here. So, even if you have EMF blockers but are going past your bedtime (yes, even mums should have one too) just browsing through your social media or playing Candy Crush, then the use of EMF blockers will be for nought.
So, take extra care. Our best picks for EMF blockers, by the way, are EMF Harmonizer+, Aulterra EMF, and RadiArmor EMF.
So, yes, mum, you no longer need to fear using your phones when you’re pregnant, just as long as you are taking precautions.
What to Expect, Babycentre, First Cry, EMF Academy, Nerd Techy
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.